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On January 4,1876, four years after the incorporation of Potsdam Junction (Norwood), the Board of trustees appointed two prominent residents, William Waldron, a carpenter and builder, and Loren Ashley, a merchant, to form two fire companies of not less than 20 men each and establish fire protection in the village.

Stephen Ducolin, a manufacturer and dealer in stoves and the former owner of a fire engine, was named chief engineer of the Village Fire Department. He was instructed to buy 8 dozen pails, 4 axes and have them marked with engine company and number.

Mr. Waldron called a meeting January 8, 1876 and organized Defiance Fire Co. No. I with a motto, "Able and Willing" and a roster of 25 men. Their equipment consisted of 3 dozen water buckets, 2 axes with handles and 25 feet of rope for hauling the fire engine. They made a "practice appearance" on the Village Park April 29, 1876. Two years later a 2-story building on the West End of Spring Street near the Norwood Lumber Company was rented as a fire house for $60 per year. Because of the location of the firehouse and the fact that most of the men in the company were employed in the mill, Defiance Fire Co. No. I was commonly called the "Mill Company." Mr. Waldron was elected as foreman.
Archives early 1950
Rescue Fire Co. No. 2 was organized January 5, 1876 when a meeting held in the law office of C.N. Bixby, Esq. and chaired by W.D. Loveless recruited 48 volunteers under W.T.Leonard, foreman. Their fire fighting equipment included 4 dozen pails, ladders in 10, 18, 25 & 30 foot lengths and "two axes for use."

A downtown building was rented for $20 a year to serve as an engine house. "The place where the key is kept is to be a secret," say the village minutes.

The years of rivalry ended in 1919 when the two fire companies merged as the Norwood Volunteer Fire Department. Prior to the formation of the two companies the village fathers voted to raise $250 to purchase a fire engine, hose and other items