Members of the Rockton Township Historical Society took an in depth look into fires of the past and the roles they have played in Rockton history.

By Marianne Mueller
As part of the Rockton Township Historical Society’s program theme a walking tour uncovered a rich history and the impact that fires in the Rockton community have had over the years.
Program Director, Mary Anne Mathwich led the first part of the tour which began at the front of the American Center (Legion building). “This building had a fire in 1949. It is made of brick and is a Greek revival. It was originally built in 1847 and was the first brick building,” said Mathwich. It was noted that it was once owned by a James Preston.
At one time there were three hotels in Rockton. The Hyatt House building is said to still exist. Its structure is a two story Greek revival with a low pitch roof. The New England House burned down. The Mansion House –Wait Hotel was the other. Dr. Ellis owned the property was in a state of disrepair in 1980 and was torn down.
RTHS member, Charlotte Larrison gave detailed information on the now known Rockton dental for the past 15 years the building that sits at 215 Main St. was Rockton’s first fire station. Larrison showed everyone where the two original fire doors once existed.
She looked back at the time when a police constable and jail that is believed to remain inside the building today were utilized. In 1894 this was the Village fire department and lock up.
“The second floor was used by the Village to hold council meetings,” said Larrison. “As soon as the Village organized to have meetings, volunteers came to put out fires. They were running with pails, ladders and a wagon that was used to haul things around.”
In 1932 the fireman wanted their own Association. In the 1930’s the first fire truck was paid for with money earned from having fish fries on the third Friday of each month. Larrison reflected back on stories told by

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