Taking a Look back in Southampton history you can see that the July 4th celebration has changed over the years, but not that much. One of the earliest all day celebrations was organized by the Southampton Fire Co in 1912. The fire co had just purchased the lot at Knowles Ave and Second Street Pike where it planned to build a new fire house, and was looking to celebrate its good fortune with the town’s people. The Fire Company planned a full day of activates for the 4th and it went like this. The day was started at 9 a.m. with a parade. The parade featured a brass band, decorated floats and horse drawn business wagons, boy’s brigades, Boy Scouts, and yes, neighboring fire companies marching along with their fire apparatus. The parade route was reported to have started at the fire house lot and went north on Knowles Ave to Street Road to Howard Leedoms turning south to Addis corner then back to the Pike north to Scholes, and then counter march back to the fire house lot.
At 10:30 a.m. the dedication of the new fire company lot was held with the raising of the flag, and the singing of school children. Of course, what would any dedication ceremony be without plenty of speeches by guests, and politicians, of which there was no shortage. At noon a lunch was provided by the fire company and its Ladies Auxiliary to those who entered the parade, and it a special lunch was made available to spectators at a reasonable price.
At 1:30 p.m. a horse race up second street pike was held followed by bicycle and running races. The route for the races was from Frog Pond Hill to the railroad tracks, with ribbons being awarded to the winners. The fire company members policed the route to ensure all danger of accident would be averted. At 3 p.m. a baseball game was held between Bethayres and Southampton.
The Southampton Fire Company carnival was after the baseball game and was held on the Chapel lot near the new Fire Company Lot. Some of the attractions at the carnival were a fortune telling booth, a fancy table, shooting gallery, and games like pitch the quoits, and ringing the canes. Music was provided and a free vaudeville program was given in the evening. Souvenir badges and postal cards were sold to the public. When the day was over the fire company reported a total profit of $48.36 for all their activities. It wasn’t for the money that the July 4th celebration was held but for the enjoyment of the towns people, and a thank you from the fire company for the support the town has given them.
Southampton Fire Company very recently was given one of the 1912 souvenir badges, which will be displayed in the fire house. The Fire Company appreciates the donation of any Southampton Fire Company historical items.
In the early morning hours of June 17, Southampton Fire Company (Station 2) was dispatched with the Willow Grove Fire Company (Montgomery County Station 10) for an auto extrication on the PA Turnpike. Chief 2 arrived to find a two vehicle accident with one occupant trapped in his van against the concrete barrier. To everyone’s surprise, however, the driver was not alone; in the back of the van were 81 puppies in transit to New Jersey.
Crews arrived on the scene and immediately worked to extricate the driver and all the passengers from the vehicle. The driver was transported to the hospital to be treated for his injuries, while the puppies took a short trip off the Turnpike to a parking lot to await the SPCA. Unfortunately, two dogs did not survive the crash, but Station 2 firefighters remained with the other 79 furry friends until the SPCA arrived. The SPCA took the whole group for evaluation and also captured these great photos of the scene that morning.
Great teamwork by Southampton and Willow Grove Fire Companies, as well as Second Alarmers, Horsham and Warminster Ambulance crews and PA State Police during the rescue. Special thanks also go out to the Lower Moreland Public Works Department for helping to transport all the puppies to the SPCA.
For more information or to donate to the SPCA please visit www.bcspca.org.
We ask all residents to look at the hydrants in their yards and adopt them for snow removal. Below are two photos showing an approved clean out and a rejected clean out. Please take the time to adopt your local hydrant and clear out around it after the storm to make our job much easier. In the event of an emergency, every second counts… no one should get hurt because a hydrant wasn’t shoveled out.
Santa Claus will take a quick break from his Christmas preparations and make one last check of his naughty and nice list in Southampton. On Saturday, December 20, (rain date: Sunday, December 21), members of the Southampton Fire Company will escort Santa around town on a fire truck between 9:00am and 3:00pm. Listen for the sirens and horns on your street, and be sure to come outside and greet him. Santa’s helpers will give out candy canes to you kids. But don’t run out into the street. Just stand on your lawn; Santa’s helpers will greet you there.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!