Fireman's Hall42 Main Street, Potsdam, NY
By: BD Wojcik
The Potsdam Fire Department has been "Making House Calls Since 1857" proudly protecting the residents of the Town and Village of Potsdam, New York from the threat of fire. Potsdam is a small community of 15,000 plus residents located in St. Lawrence County along the Raquette River. Potsdam is home to Clarkson University and Potsdam State University, two nationally renowned universities, and is known as the "Educational and Cultural Center of the Northern New York." Potsdam Fire is one of 42 fire departments providing fire protection in St. Lawrence County, the largest county in area in New York State.
The Ladies Volunteer Aid Association was formed in 1861, and their first meeting held on October 18 of that year. In June, 1862, the organization was renamed The Ladies Auxiliary Relief Association. Its purpose was "to render aid to the Sanitary Commission of the United States". [This Sanitary Commission eventually became the American Red Cross] The new officers of the Relief Association included Mrs. Rev. E. W. Plumb, president; Mrs. Rev. O. C. Cole, vice-president; Miss L. A. Partridge, secretary; and Mrs. C. T. Boswell, treasurer.
The members of the Relief Association met at the Fireman's Hall every Thursday and Friday. All ladies of Potsdam were urged to work, or to give their money, or both if possible. The contributions of the ladies of Potsdam in this manner continued through the War.