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Township History Project

Posted 8/25/2018

In June of 2015, I began looking back at the history of the fire departments in the Smithtown Township. As I looked through countless piles of photos, journals, videos and news clippings in different firehouses, I realized that they all told part of a story and documented a piece of history. But they were all just pieces of a huge puzzle. I decided to try and put the puzzle together, with the end result being the history of the fire service in the Smithtown Township.This has been a daunting and time consuming task, but I consider it a labor of love. I have been a part of the fire service since 1981 and the rich traditions and community spirit of the fire departments and ambulance corps here span all the way back to the beginning of the 1900s. Thus far, tens of thousands of photos have been scanned and cataloged. Videos have been ingested and every edition of the local news papers since 1898 are been culled for information. For every photo that we have, there are doubtless 20 more out there in someones closet, basement or attic. There were news photographers like Stewart Seymour, Zimmerman, Frye, Tony Jerome and others who most likely have massive photo collections, yet I have no way to contact them or their families. So where is this project at? There is now an icloud calendar that has been published. That calendar is a true, yet incomplete timeline of the history of the fire service in the township. The calendar is the heart and soul of this project. All of the entries are fire service related events that occurred on the dates and years listed. They all reoccur every year so you don't have to try and remember when it was. As this is a work in progress, some of the entries are very basic, with no details. As time goes on and more is learned, these stories are being updated with the new information. This calendar is a living document with stories from the past and the present added every day.The next step in the process will be to attach all of the photos, video, audio and news clippings to the calendar entries. This is going to take some time but it will be worth the wait. The final phase of this project will be a television series that will air on the Town of Smithtown Government Access Channels (18 on Cablevision and 27 on Verizon). Hopefully this will be ready to go in 2019. So if you have any photos, videos, news clips, installation programs or anything else that would help enrich this project, please contact me here or via email at dcfmbrofman@smithtownfm.org. We would love to hear from you and your contribution would be invaluable.I will be adding "on this date in Smithtown Township History" entries to this page every day. If you see a post that you remember, that have a story about or that you have photos or videos about, PLEASE post them or reach out to me so that we can add them.

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