White Mills Fire Hall
Route 6, While Mills
This fire hall made from Dorflinger hand-fired bricks was erected in 1911 on land donated by Christian Dorflinger. Fred Houth, the master carpenter on the job, was paid $1.50 a day.
In 1910 the White Mills Fire Department was organized. The first elected officers were all well-known local residents: President, Joseph Stephens; Vice President, A.H. Howell; Recording Secretary, Charles Elmore; Financial Secretary, J.W. Toms; Treasurer, Dwight Dorflinger. The Board of Trustees: Marcus Elmore, Thomas Gill and George Kimble. The first fire chief was Fred Houth. Assistant chiefs were John Dorflinger and John Boyle.
The equipment purchased that year was a ladder truck, which carried six ladders, four ropes, and twenty-two ten-gallon pails. Engines 1 and 2 carried four lengths of hose, soda-acid extinguishers, lanterns, and nozzles. Two hose cars were also part of the hand-drawn equipment.
In 1999 the state constructed a new bridge near the old fire hall. Concerns were raised that the old building would have to be destroyed. Wayne Stephens, grandson of the first president of the White Mills Fire Department, through a grant and much public support, was able to find a new location across Route 6 for the old fire hall building. (Wayne Stephens passed away in 2003.) The residents of White Mills, through sponsors and attendees at the annual Wayne Stephens Memorial Golf Tournament, have made possible extensive improvements to the old building, including gas heaters, a new ceiling on the second floor, replacing the old electrical wiring and lighting, and a metal roof.
This building housed the White Mills Volunteer Fire Department for four decades. It is where the community's social gatherings and meetings were held. Historic White Mills Fire House has become part of the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary's Historic White Mills project.
Text by Marge Hook
Line Drawing by William Amptman
From 1993 through 2008 the Honesdale National Bank published an annual wall calendar, each featured 13 historic sites. The sites were chosen and researched by a committee of the historical society and artwork was commissioned to Judy Hunt and William Amptman by the bank.
This page was one month of the calendar and was made possible through the Wayne County Commissioners and a Tourism Promotion Committee’s Tourism Grant.