Candor’s Early Fire Companies Join Forces
By Carol A. Henry, Historian
Shortly after the Village of Candor incorporated in 1900, there were two fire companies in Candor. Hose Company #2 changed their name in 1907 to the Alert Hose Company. It was located at 7 Mill Street in Candor Center.
The Alpha Hose Company at the ‘lower’ end of town was built in 1903 next to the Grange Hall and covered the Candor Corners area. The firehouse was originally a one-story building with a windmill tower. The old tannery bell was given to them for an alarm, and the windmill tower became the bell tower. After acquiring a Reo chemical truck in 1925 they changed their name to the Alpha Hose and Chemical Company.
In 1939, a new fire district was formed with the approval of the State Comptroller, which included the Town of Candor. In 1949, Robert Butterfield was the first permanent volunteer Fire Coordinator in Tioga County.
For over 50 years the two companies enjoyed a bit of rivalry at many town events. The two hose companies took great pride in their role in the community and their respective fraternal organizations. They marched in parades, gave exhibitions, held field days, sponsored social events and fund-raisers and at different times formed bands, organized athletic associations and fielded ball teams. Their ‘friendly’ rivalry was a unique feature of Candor’s social scene.
Eventually, however, the two companies merged in 1958 to form the Candor Fire Company, Inc. At that time the Fire Company, located on Mill Street, was renovated to house their combined equipment. They remained in this location until the 1990s when space and equipment became an issue.
In 1990, funding in the amount of $362,000 for a new Fire Station on Route 96 was provided by the Fire District. The facility included a 7-vehicle Fire Station, a meeting place for the community, an outdoor space where special events could take place and in a general location that serves and benefits the majority of the people in the Candor Community. Because the Candor Fire Company saw the need for a community hall a Member Item Grant was provided by the State through Marty Luster in 1991, for $25,000, to help build an adjoining facility. They also received a grant from the Mildred Faulkner Truman Foundation.
To help raise more funds, the Fire Company held various events such as flea markets and yard sales. These fund-raising efforts were the start of the Ladies Auxiliary for the Candor Fire Department. Lois Barden was instrumental in starting the Auxiliary in 1992.
Today the Candor Fire District covers 95 square miles and includes the Village and Town of Candor, including Weltonville. Besides the new building on Route 96B, Weltonville maintains one on West Creek Road. Each Company falls under the jurisdiction of the Candor Fire District but has their own separate Fire Chief. Hal Coghill is the Fire Chief for Weltonville and Doug Haner is the Fire Chief for Candor.