Larchmont’s Millionaire Fire Department

Larchmont’s Millionaire Fire Department – Sunday, October 18th 3:30-5:00

“From the spick and span yachts at anchor in the harbor, small boats put out madly racing for the shore, and from them leap men in starched trousers and pipe clayed canvas shoes who sprint for their posts of duty, tearing off collars and neckties as they run.” This is how Larchmont’s Fire Department responded to a summer alarm, according to a 1904 article in Fire and Water, a national firefighting newspaper. In the first decades after the formation of Larchmont Village in 1891, Larchmont’s Fire Department was nationally known as the “Fire Department of Millionaires.”

The Larchmont Historical Society’s program for October will take place on Sunday, October 18th from 3:30 – 5:00 at the Village Center. LHS Board Member Ned Benton will present the unique history of the Larchmont Fire Department, focusing particularly on the early years when Chief Mayhew Bronson, known then as a “wealthy retired capitalist” who marched with a “golden trumpet,” led a fire department of “bankers, brokers, merchants and yachtsmen.”

Chief Mayhew Bronson

Chief Mayhew Bronson

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Ned Benton has made several LHS presentations, one on local records of slavery and another on the local history of prohibition in Larchmont.

ned01 Ned Benton is Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and serves as Director of the MPA in Inspection and Oversight Program, which is the only Master of Public Administration program in the Unites States that concentrates expressly on inspection and oversight of public agencies. He serves as the Federal Court’s Monitor in United States of America v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Monitor reports to the Court on compliance with a consent decree about youth corrections in Puerto Rico, and is independent of the parties in the case. Before joining the faculty at John Jay College, Benton served as Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections from 1975-1979, and as the Director of Planning for the National Clearinghouse for Criminal Justice Planning and Architecture from 1972-1975.