OWEGO, NY – Fresh off its rehabilitation of the firemen fountain on the courthouse square, the Owego Hose Company is building a large scale trophy case for more of its historic treasures.
A groundbreaking was held today on North Avenue next to Fire Company 2 for a new Steamer House.
The glass walled building will allow people to view the volunteer fire company’s 1866 Amoskeag Steam Fire Engine which is currently being refurbished and repaired.
The structure will also house Owego’s 1938 Sanford Hose Truck.
And it will have a steeple in which the fire company’s 1911 bell will hang once it’s finished being rehabbed as well.
Bob Thompson has been a volunteer for 68 years and remembers when the steam engine was still used.
He says Owego should celebrate its volunteer firefighters.
“Do you realize what our village would have to pay if we had paid firemen? It would just make the taxes go sky high. It’s great that we have the volunteers and our companies. And the companies are all great companies here,” says Thompson.
“This building is right in the gateway to the Finger Lakes, as they say. Right on the main drag in Owego on North Avenue. There’s several local businesses that will benefit, there will be foot traffic and tourists drawn to downtown. So, we really think it’s a win-win,” says Volunteer Firefighter Pat Gavin.
There are also plans to erect an 8 foot tall monument out front topped with a cauldron with a gas flame burning 24/7, 365 days a year to honor past and present firefighters.
Gavin says the company has raised enough money to start site work this Fall with the hope of beginning construction in the Spring.
More money still needs to be raised as the steamer rehab will cost approximately 60 thousand dollars and the building somewhere between 100 and 200 thousand.
Information on donating can be found at OwegoHoseTeams.com.