Old News – Iron Fireman

The Iron Fireman has been atop of the Honeoye Falls Village Hall for 125 years. It was originally a sport for one fire company to capture it from another. Avon tried unsuccessfully to get it back in 1930. The Rush fire company tried to get it in 1938 but they also were unsuccessful.

The Fireman now has blue pants and helmet. Old pictures should that both the pants and helmet used to be a rusty red at one time. He hold a fireman’s trumpet which in the old days were used to signal the volunteers to come to aid at a fire.


THE HONEOYE FALLS TIMES

Thursday, Oct. 26, 1916

Silver Jubilee of the Iron Man.

iron_fireman

Next Saturday, October 28th, is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the “capture” of the Iron Man, the figure of a fireman which adorns the tower of our Village Hall. .This peculiar image has an interesting history

The issue of the Times of October 29, 1891 contains an engraving… which was produced at the time by a local physician, Dr. Dell Browne, now deceased, together with an extended account of the capture. Our artist was one of the hundreds of visitors who called at the store of Park & Son next morning to view the iron figure which was carefully guarded until lifted to its final resting place.

The iron Man had his origin in Hamilton, Canada, and was brought across to Rochester during a fireman’s convention, where the Hamilton firemen were guests. Before leaving for home the Rochester firemen relived their visitors of the trophy. Van Zandt Hose Co. of Avon, who also attended the convention later put up a job to steal the figure from the Rochester men.

The Avon boys placed the “Old hap” on their engine house tower and settled down to congratulate themselves.

A group of adventurous spirits from Honeoye Falls took a notion to play it on the Avon boys. The party went out one night with malice aforethought only to be discovered in their attempt. A week later under cover of darkness they made a second and successful endeavor and came home in the early morning and came home in the early morning greatly elated with their success..

The fellows who made up the party were: L. J. Nickason, B. L. Beach, Henry Hawkins, C. H. park, E. A. Bronson, Charles R. Pierce, W. H. Gates, Will Desmond, Charles Lange and Will Nau.

It was 1:30 a. m. when they reached Avon after a long cold drive. They preceded to business at once, Lange Nicjason and Beach mounting the roof while the rest stood guard as they sawed through the bar of steel.

Cords attached to the wrists of the men at work were arranged to signal in case of their discovery. The boys were interrupted but once by two Erie railway men on their way home from a trip, who stopped to visit for half an hour on the street corner. The looked up at the Iron Man and made some allusions before parting.

A short time later the figure crashed to the ground where strong arms loaded him into the wagon waiting a short distance away. The noise aroused the dwellers nearby but before they could alarm the sleeping citizens the plunderers had disappeared. As they rode on echoes of a melodious voice calling “here Tige,” and a babble of voices following finally died away in the distance.

It was not worth all the fuss, but the fellows enjoyed the sport and from that day till now the Iron Man has been the watchman on the tower whose presence has brooded over the silence of the night and cheered a generation of belated kids on their homeward way..

One Comment

  1. I was visiting my uncle in Lima at the time of the 1938 attempt and learned of the
    adventure first hand. I was quite young and thought it was exciting

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