New Book On Frederick County Fire & Rescue Service

It tells the story of the county’s local volunteer fire companies.














Frederick, Md (KM) Local fire historian Clarence “Chip” Jewell has written two books on the Frederick County fire and rescue service. They were part of the Images of America series which took the stories of Frederick City and County fire and rescue with pictures and captions. But Jewell says t his new book, entitled, “The History of Fire Companies of Frederick County, Maryland,” contains both words as well as pictures.

“What I tried to do in this book is truly give a good chronological written history of all the fire companies in Frederick County,” he says. “Predominately, it’s before 1915. But I did try to touch on the initial organization of every fire company in Frederick County.”

He says the fire service in Frederick County pre-dates the Declaration of Independence in 1776. “Actually, the very first fire engine was purchased in Frederick in 1764. So essentially before we had a country, we had fire service in Frederick County,”: says Jewell.

When researching this book, Jewell says he relied on histories that a lot of fire companies have written, along with other sources. “I have a lot of references to {Jacob} Engelbrecht’s diary, The Frederick News-Post Archives has a lot of really good information. Even some newspapers that are back around the Civil War time that we’ve been able to find. And the Maryland State Archives: there’s a lot of good information that’s  accessible from the Maryland State Archives,” he says.

Jacob Engelbrecht was diarist who wrote “The Diary of Jacob Engelbrecht, 1818-1878,” which is published by the Historical Society of Frederick County. He was born in 1797 and died in 1878.

While doing his research, Jewell says even though each fire and rescue company has its own traditions and ways of doing things, all volunteer fire fighters share one thing. “But the one thing I think across the board for the entire service is the dedication and commitment,” he says. “The fire companies have been there in many ways serving the community well beyond just providing fire protection when it comes to the militia units and such.”

The book is expected to be available locally very soon. Jewell says any proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Museum in Emmitsburg..

He says the book is available at the museum. On Saturday, August 8th and 15th, from:12:00 PM to 4:00 PM both days, Jewell says he will be available at the Fire and Rescue Museum for a book signing.


By Kevin McManus