The Woodruff Hose Company was organized by Eugene Woodruff in 1887; it consisted originally of about 30 men. Sanborn maps of the period make clear that the building shown at right was built between 1895 and 1899, when it first appears, labelled "Hose Cart & H & L [hook & ladder] Truck"; by 1916, the building is simply labelled "Storage," as the Saranac Lake Fire Department on Broadway had been built.
In 1893, a second company was formed when some members became dissatisfied and formed the Miller Hose Company. The two companies were reunited about 1912 when the new village fire house was built on Broadway, although they continued to elect separate slates of officers. See Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department.
The two companies were united when they moved into the village's new fire house on Broadway about 1912, although they continued to elect separate slates of officers.
Joseph S. Dukett was an early member of the company.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, December 9, 1887
Saranac Lake has just organized a fire department, with R. E. Woodruff as chief engineer. Woodruff Hose Co., No. 1, was also organized, and with their recently completed water works that village need no longer fear the fiery element.
Franklin Gazette, December 23, 1887
Dec. 13--Last week a fire company was organized at this place. Mr. R. E. Woodruff is one of the prime movers in this enterprise, as is his custom in almost all worthy undertakings of our citizens. In calling this their first organization for protection against fire, The Woodruff Hose Co., the high estimation in which the gentleman is held by his fellow townsmen, is, in a certain degree, manifested. Saturday and Monday Tuffield LaTour canvassed the village for subscriptions toward buying a hose cart for the Woodruff Hose Co. Last night $150 had been subscribed.
Plattsburgh Republican, September 1, 1888
At an early hour this morning about 4 ½ A.M. Aug. 23, the fire alarm was given immediately on the notice the Woodruff Hose Co. No. 1 was on the spot and with the able management of N. L. Bailey several streams of water was pouring on and into the burning log house building of A. S. Wright, in a few minutes the flames were so subsided that all hopes were felt for the safety of the building, a little later and the fire was under perfect control. Had it not been for hose protection and its able management by the foreman, N. L. Bailey, our little town might at this writing been in ashes as the building is located in the central part of the town and had it burned it would have been the cause of a great loss of property as other buildings would be danger. As this has been the first fire alarm since the organization of our hose company we them our sincere thanks for the promptness with which they discharged their duty.
--Citizen [Yes, it really is that badly written!]
Plattsburgh Sentinel, December 21, 1888
SARANAC LAKE, DEC. 10.—A fire at Wright's dry house on Friday evening resulted in a large lot of spoiled lumber. The Woodruff Hose Co. came out in fine style, and although the fire had gained considerable headway when discovered, It was soon subdued by their well-directed efforts.
Essex County Republican, January 24, 1889
Harry S. Isham has been elected Foreman of Woodruff Hose Co., of Saranac Lake. Mr. Isham graduated from the Plattsburgh Fire Department, and thoroughly understands what is necessary to make an efficient company. The Woodruff Hose will celebrate Washington's birthday, Feb . 22, by a grand ball.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, May 8, 1891
The insurance Co. presented the Woodruff Hose Co. $60 for gallant and prompt action at the fire at Bailey's.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 5, 1891
Decoration Day was better in the fulfillment than in the promise. Tents had been put up in Mrs. Miller's grove, and other arrangements made there, but the prospect of rain caused much disarrangement of plans and some delay in serving refreshments. Otherwise everything went smoothly. A special train of five coaches having on board veterans, the Rogersfield cornet band, and excursionists, arrived at 9:45 A. M. These were met at the station by the Saranac Lake cornet band and veterans. The marshals of the day were Capt. Pierce, of Bloomingdale; F. M. Bull, C. Russel of Lyon mountain. There was a long line of veterans from Lyon, Bloomingdale and Saranac Lake. The Woodruff Hose company had ordered new uniforms, which were expected to be ready for the occasion, and were disappointed in not receiving them. Our people were much interested in the uniforms, and subscribed liberally, Orlando Blood heading the list with $20.00. But the hose company had to fall into line without their uniforms, and they and the G. A. R. went through their military drill and evolutions. At the town hall they were joined by the public schools, and a large procession of citizens, on foot and in carriages, and all marched to the cemetery. Much preparatory work had been done there, and when, after prayer, and brief addresses, with martial music, the flowers were laid reverently on the graves of the soldiers, the place looked like a flower garden. After the impressive services were over at the cemetery, the procession reformed and marched to the grove, as arranged. The apparent approach of a shower started them away again, and in consequence of this, and the ensuing uncertainty, the minds of the veterans began to wander back to those marches whose conclusions hard-tack and coffee were often the principal refreshments. But their bill of fare was not so limited when at last they sat down to appease their hunger. After this important part of the program was over, there were speeches from Revs. McCarthy and Woodruff of Saranac.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 26, 1891
—The ball given by Woodruff Hose Co. last week was the best of the season. The hall was beautifully decorated with graceful tamaracks, and festooned with evergreens and flowers, the purple iris being used in abundance, and with fine effect. The life-size portrait of R. E. Woodruff, in whose honor the company was named, was also wreathed with flowers, as was the musician's stand, and with the electric lights, the hall made a charming appearance. The firemen were dressed In their elegant new uniforms of blue, trimmed with gold. The ball was opened with the "Grand March," led by Chief Woodruff. To the officers of the Co. C. L. Sherrill, Fred Streeter, Frank Eaton and Bailey, [presumably Napoleon Bailey] is greatly due the success of the evening. There were 80 couples present, and the receipts of the evening were $200. One noticeable feature of the entertainment was the beverages, which were confined to lemonade and soda. None were admitted to the hall, who showed any signs of liquor. The best of order was observed, and all vied with each other in making the evening a pleasant one. Refreshments were served at Streeter's. [presumably the Berkeley Hotel, owned by R.A. Streeter]
Ogdensburg Journal, August 7, 1891
A SAW mill belonging to George Maher at Saranac Lake, and standing within eighty rods of Hotel Ampersand, was destroyed by fire on Saturday, July 25th, together with 76,000 shingles and immense piles of lumber belonging to Nathan Strauss & Co., of New York. The mill was run by Mr. Strauss for getting out lumber for the million dollar hotel to be built at that point by a syndicate, of which he is the head. The pump-house of the Ampersand was saved by the efforts of Woodruff hose company. There was great excitement among the summer visitors at all the hotels, who, with the villagers and people from surrounding territory, formed a crowd of spectators numbering at least a thousand.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, March 4, 1892
SARANAC LAKE —The photographing establishment, including cameras, apparatus, etc., belonging to Ernest Ayer and Samuel Sheldon, was completely destroyed by fire Monday afternoon. No insurance. The loss falls heavy on the young gentlemen, as they had quite a collection of animals, wolves, deer, bears, etc, as their studies were mostly of Adirondack views. The Woodruff Hose Co. were not apprised of the conflagration until the fire had gained such headway it was impossible to save the property.
Adirondack Pioneer, November 12, 1892
--A grand annual firemen's ball will be given by Woodruff Hose Co. in the Opera House on Thanksgiving Eve, November 24th, 1892. Particulars and programme wilt be given next issue.
Elizabethtown Post, August 24, 1893
Resolutions Offered by the Woodruff Hose Company, No. 1 .
WHEREAS, It has pleased Almighty God in his infinite wisdom and power, to call from our midst our beloved comrade and officer, Cassius M, Ladieu, be it therefore
Resolved, That the members of the Woodruff Hose Company, No. 1, do deeply and sincerely mourn the loss of our faithful friend and brother, and that we extend to his deeply afflicted wife and family our heart felt sympathy in this, their bereavement, and be it
Resolved, That in the death of First Assistant Ladieu, this company has lost a worthy and honored member whose memory will be cherished in our hearts not only as a friend and comrade, but as a brave and valiant fireman, and be it further
Resolved, That the bell, hose-room and equipments be draped in mourning for 30 days, and that these resolutions be placed upon the minutes, a copy be sent to the family of the deceased, and that they be published in the Adirondack Pioneer, Essex County Republican and Elizabethtown Post.
Wm. F. Mannix
Seaver A. Miller
Com. On Resolutions
Plattsburgh Daily Press, July 6, 1896
AT SARANAC LAKE
The Day’s Festivities Marred by a Sad Accident--
Result of the Races
Saranac Lake celebrated the Fourth in a manner never before attempted in the metropolis of the Adirondacks, the principal feature of the celebration being a hose race, in which the Horicon and Rescue Hose companies of this village took part.
The pleasures of the day were marred, however, by the accidental drowning about 2 o'clock in the afternoon of one of the spectators. Edward Wallace, whose father was killed at Hotel Ampersand a few weeks ago by having his head blown off while blasting, secured a boat, and against the advice of his friends, went out onto Lake Flower to witness the boat race when it took place. A short time after his boat was found drifting on the lake, but nothing could be seen of the young man, who was about 30 years of age. A search was instituted and about 11 o clock at night his body was found.
At 6 : 30 in the morning a special train of five coaches, containing nearly 500 excursionists, together with the City Band of 21 pieces, pulled out of Plattsburgh depot. When they arrived at Saranac Lake rain was falling in torrents, but it soon let up sufficient for the parade of firemen, wheelmen and horribles. [sic]
At 1 o'clock the hose race, in which there were but three starters, was called. The conditions of the race were to run 200 yards, lay 150 feet of hose, put on pipe and get water. The Rescues of Plattsburgh made a good run, but before they could get the pipe on the water came through the hose and no time was given them. The Woodruff Hose, of Saranac Lake, with Lyon and Smith on the lead, had beter luck, and their time was announced at 54 seconds. After the failure of the Rescues, the hopes of the Plattsburgh contingent centered on the old-time favorites, the Horicons, and they proved themselves equal to the occasion, making the run and getting water in 53 1/4 seconds, winnings first money.
There was but one entry for the exhibition drill, the Rescues, and they won hearty applause for their evolutions. [sic]
In the foot races, Smith, “the Ausable Forks sprinter," won the 100 yard dash in 10 2-5[?] seconds. Lyon won the 220 yard dash as he please, with times announced as 36 seconds while Moulton won the hurdle race.
The music for the day was furnished by the Plattsburgh City Band, their concerts from the band stand during the afternoon and evening, winning the applause of the hundreds of listeners.
Plattsburgh Daily Press, January 8, 1898
The addition to the Woodruff Hose House No. 1 is completed.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, January 10, 1902
The New Year's ball given by the Woodruff Hose Company .alt the Town few days recently Hall was very largely attended.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, July 11, 1902
An interesting program of sports was held at Saranac Lake on the Fourth. The hose race was won by the Woodruff Hose, of Saranac Lake; Tupper Lake, second; time, 47 seconds...Lake Placid News, July 10, 1914
The sports committee of the Firemen's Field Day celebration have arranged the following program:
Fatmen's race, Alex Whitcher on scratch; greased pig contest, winner to have the pig; one mile relay between teams of eight men each, representing Miller and Woodruff Hose Companies; ball game between the two companies in the morning; ball game Boys' Club vs. Stevens House afternoon; 100 and 220 yard dashes, open; three-legged race, and potato race.
A meeting of the ladies has been arranged so that various committees may be chosen to look after the big dinner to be served. Arrangements have been made for a base ball game between Stevens House and the Boys Club. The Business Men's Band has been engaged and Nimmers[?] orchestra has been selected to play at the dance at Town Hall in the evening.
Lake Placid News, April 11, 1924
C. H. GOLDSMITH TO HEAD WOODRUFF HOSE
Miller Hose Company Chooses Hugh McKillip as Captain
Election of officers for the Woodruff Hose Co. No. 1, and the Miller Hose Co. No. 2, constituted the principal business of their annual meetings, held at the fire house.
Charles H. Goldsmith was chosen captain of the Woodruff Hose company, with the following officers: First assistant captain, J. A. Fortune; second assistant captain, Frank Fortune; secretary, George A. Utting; treasurer, John C. Morgan; first pipeman, William Duquette; first assistant pipeman, Charles Duquette; second assistant pipeman, J. C. Leary; hydrantman, Fred Duclos; warden, John R. Hogan; delegate to State fire association, Charles H. Goldsmith, and alternate, J. A. Fortune.
The following officers were chosen by the Miller Hose company: Captain, Hugh McKillip; first assistant captain, J. Curran; second assistant captain, R. E. Morhous; secretary, John J. Mooney; treasurer, Frank E. Sheldon; first pipeman, Jack Walker; hydrantmen, E. W. Harrison and E. Stringham; wardens, H. W. Taylor for one year and Frank E. Sheldon for two years. A later meeting of the fire council brought the election of E. W. Harrison, for 27 years a member of the Miller Hose Company, and the oldest man in the fire department, to the post of fire chief. Mr. Harrison's selection for the position follows a long term of faithful service and rewards one of the ablest firemen in this part of the state. For two years he has served as first assistant under Harry Danforth.
His nomination only awaits the sanction of the village board of trustees to be made official. J. C. Morgan of Woodruff Hose, was nominated first assistant, and H. W. Taylor, of Miller Hose, second assistant. Fire council members are A. J. Baker, J. R. Hogan, F. E. Sheldon, and H. W. Taylor, besides the chief and his assistants. Other officers of the council will be appointed at a meeting next Thursday evening.
Lake Placid News, August 12, 1927
No One Will Fill John C. Morgan's Place
Out of respect to the memory of the late John C. Morgan, for many years fire chief of Saranac Lake, members of the Woodruff Hose company of that village at a recent meeting voted to leave the post of chief vacant for the remainder of the year.
Next spring the right to select a chief reverts to the Miller Hose company. It is expected that they will approve the action of the Woodruff company.
For years, Mr. Morgan was one of the most willing workers in the ranks of the Woodruff Hose company. He was treasurer of the organization.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 11, 1948
FIREMEN PLAN ANNUAL DANCE ON NOV. 24TH
The 58th annual Thanksgiving Ball of the Woodruff Hose company, Saranac Lake Fire Department, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 24, at Hotel Saranac.
Plans for the affair are now being prepared by the company. Vernon Wamsganz chairman in charge and will be assisted by Carl H. Smith, A. J. Fortune, William and Robert Dupree, Louis D'Onofrio, Donald Ross, Gordon Vosburgh, Jr., and Charles Barbara.
The dance will be from 9 until 1 a. m. Arrangements are being made for a special orchestra and the ballroom will be decorated in cabaret style.
Funds from the dance are used for uniforms for the members and for preparations for the Northern New York Firemen's Convention next June in this village.