As with all small towns, fires have always been a cause of much concern, our small town was no different. Following a couple major fires in 1941 a group of Sherman men decided that the town was in bad need of a fire department. Not that the New Milford and New Fairfield fire departments hadn’t done a good job but it just took so long for them to get to the fire from their towns that in most cases the fire had to much head start to stop. In late 1941 and early 1942 these men obtained a 1937 GMC 2 1/2 ton farm truck from John Blantin which they took to Will Giddings garage to start the transformation of a hay truck into a fire truck to protect their town. On Feb. 26, 1942 the first official meeting of the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department took place. At this meeting the following men were picked to run the department.

Chairman-------------Stetson Ward
Clerk------------------Howard Hueston
Captain----------------Roger W. Munch
1st Lt.-----------------Howard Smith
2nd Lt.----------------Edward Goldspink
Secretary--------------Howard Hueston
Treasurer--------------Francis Evans
Steward----------------William H. Giddings

The second order of business at this meeting was to pick a bylaw committee consisting of Stetson Ward, Howard Smith and Albert Amazeen. Next there was a group formed to go to Woodville, Mass. to look at a pump and other equipment for the truck. This group was Stetson Ward, Howard Smith, Will Giddings, Howard Hueston, Roger Munch and LeRoy Booth.

On March 26th, the second meeting of the department took place, at this meeting a report was given on the trip to Woodville as well as a report from the bylaw committee. It was decided that the vote on the bylaws would be put off until the next meeting when more men would be present.

At the April 9th meeting the bylaws were presented, after some discussion they were approved, and the newly formed Sherman Volunteer Fire Department was well on it’s way into the history books. Chesed Wakeman suggested that the department look into the purchase of a fire siren from Pawling at a cost of $150.00, he was empowered to see if we could get this also to make financial arrangements for same.

The May meeting approved the suggestion of sending thank you notes to all the people who had contributed to the department and also to send a follow up letter to those who had not responded. It was also approved to pay members expenses to take the truck to Woodville, Mass.

At the June 11th meeting it was voted on and passed that all Sherman residents in the Armed Forces be considered Charter Members of the department. Albert Amazeen and Howard Smith were picked to talk to the telephone company in regards of setting up some sort of alarm system. The members also voted to approve sponsorship of a 4th of July celebration and to dedicate a service flag.

The morning of July 4, 1942 found the dawn of a new era in the history of Sherman, this was the first non-fire related service performed by the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department, for the town. All the town’s residents were invited to the Town Hall where a double flagstaff was set over the door, from this staff hung an American flag and a service flag containing 19 stars, the number of town residents serving on that day in the armed forces. About 150 people were also shown a plaque made by Marshall Munch with the names of these 19 people on it. On July 10, 1942 the first annual meeting was held and the following is a list of the Officers picked to lead the department into the future.

Captain------------Roger Munch
1st Lt.-------------Howard Smith
2nd Lt.------------Emerson Osborn Sr.
Secretary---------W.L. Evans
Treasurer---------F.E. Evans
Steward----------William H. Giddings

It was also decided at this meeting to purchase 250 picture cards of the truck, at a cost of $9.00, to be sent out with a letter requesting funds. The morning of July 8, 1942 will be recorded in the history books as being the date of the first fire fought by the newly formed fire department. The record reads, “ no damage by fire or water”, this occurred at Mrs. Beckwiths home, it was a chimney fire, the prompt response to the fire prevented any damage. Those in attendance at that first fire were, Howard Smith, Emerson Osborn, Marshall Munch, Will Giddings, James Brinsmade, H. Kohl, Charles Munch and Jack Quinn.

On the afternoon of Aug. 10th the department was called to it’s second fire after lightening struck the Stuart barn, this fire was put out by, “a thorough soaking”. At the August meeting it was reported that a private phone line at a cost of $6.00 per month was the only thing that the phone company could offer in the way of a fire alarm, it was decided to table this matter and to reconsider the Pawling fire siren. On the 16th of August a demostration of 2-1/2 “ hose over our present hose was held at Judd’s brook by Capt. Munch, following this drill the department bought 200’ of 2-1/2” hose and several fittings.

In October the department decided to collect scrap iron for the government. Howard Hueston reported trouble in getting rubber boots as they had been put on the rationing list. At this meeting a questionnaire was handed out to all those present to take to their neighbors to fill out information on the exact location of their home and any water supply available.

The November meeting finally approved the purchase of the fire siren from Pawling for the sum of $150.00. This meeting also approved the purchase of 2 sets of boots, helmets and raincoats.

On Dec. 10th Stetson Ward reported that the $157.00 received for the scrap iron was turned over to the Defense Council which in turn presented the department a check for $100.00. The matter of heat for the firehouse was discussed, Capt. Munch will talk to Willard Thorpe about this.

During the year of 1942 the following members were voted into the department:

May 14, 1942----------Lewis Taylor, Jack Ormiston, Emerson Osborn Sr.
June 11, 1942----------Theodore Alfredson
July 10, 1942----------Irwin Atchison, Malcolm Cowley,Vincent Green, Andrew Potter
Sept. 13, 1942----------Joseph Thomas
Nov. 12, 1942----------Harold Stevens

All members who started the department and anyone voted into membership prior to July 1, 1942 were considered Charter Members as well as those who were in the armed forces at that time if upon their discharge they joined the department.

Charter Members

Theodore Alfredson
Albert Amazeen
Lester Bennett Sr.
LeRoy Booth
Edward Castro
Robert Coates
Francis Evans
Walter Evans
Peter Frank
Raymond Giddings
Theodore Giddings
William Giddings
Edward Goldspink
Howard Hueston Sr.
Ernest Irvine
Robert A. Judd
Robert R. Judd
Herbert Kennedy
Robert Kennedy
James Keyes
Rev. V. Lawson
Marshall Munch
Roger Munch Sr.
Jack Ormistom
Emerson Osborn Sr.
Jack Ouinn
Howard Smith
Lewis Taylor
Chesed Wakeman
Stetson Ward
Joseph Warrick Sr.

With the passing of Ted Giddings and Marshall Munch in 2006 we said goodbye to the last two surviving charter members of the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department.

Hilights of the early years
Feb. 26, 1942
First meeting was held. Prior to this meeting a 1937 GMC farm truck was given to the department by John Blantin, this truck was driven to Will Giddings garage by Ted Giddings to start the transformation of hay truck to fire truck.

April 9, 1942
Bylaws were accepted

July 4, 1942
The department put on a service flag dedication at the Town Hall, this was the first of a long line of non fire related functions performed by the department.

October 1942
The department sponsored a scrap iron drive for the government $157.00 was raised that was then turned over to the Defense Council.

January 1943
The department purchased a pool table for $50.00, This table was a source of much entertainment for the members over the years and is still in use today.

February 1943
A siren purchased from Pawing was put into service to alert members of a fire.

July 1943
The department starting sponsoring movies at the Town Hall

November 1943
The department decided to take Edna Allen up on her offer of $7.00 cash and one years dues, ($3.00), as a contributing member, for a wood stove to heat the meeting/pool room. To go along with this Nick Power agreed to keep the stove going at night in return he received free dues for the winter months.

January 1944
The department voted to send a floral arrangement to the family of any member of our community that past away, also to put flags on veterans graves.

July 1945
The first Jr. members were voted into the department.

December 1945
The department placed a lighted Christmas tree in front of the Town Hall and also donated $10.00 to the Sherman Church to help with the cost of dinners they provided to the needy.

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