East Greenbush Fire Company Celebrates a Century of Service.
The East Greenbush Fire Company will be celebrating 100 years of service
to the community in 2016. The Fire Company was formed by a group of 17 citizens on January 7, 1916, after a
spectacular 1915 fire that destroyed the landmark Hillcrest Inn, where the present Rensselaer Lodge of Elks is
now located. That 1916 meeting was held in the parlor of Duff's Hotel, which still stands on Columbia Turnpike.
Today, the building space is occupied by Your Day, Your Way Wedding Planning and Boutique under the
proprietorship of Richard and Linda Smith. The Smith’s were gracious enough to allow the Fire Company to
use this historic space for a commemorative special meeting, which was held on January 7, 2016.
A color guard crossed Columbia Turnpike to begin the special meeting,
attended by over 100 Fire Company members, the media and invited guests. The meeting was called to order by
President Michael Benson, Jr. A roll call of the Company’s membership was read by Chief Robert Lehmann.
A history of the Fire Company was provided as well as the reading of the names of the East Greenbush Fire Chiefs
and Fire Company Presidents since 1916. A special presentation was provided by Lt. Mark Becker, who had recently
returned from deployment in Iraq. An American flag, flown over Iraq, was presented in gratitude to the Fire
Company for efforts to connect Lt. Becker to his family here in East Greenbush while he was deployed.
At the conclusion of the special meeting, disbanded by a blast from the siren on the firehouse,
members assembled at Fire Headquarters for a commemorative program.