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History of Chautauqua Fire Dept. focus of next CCHS lecture

October 10, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

CHAUTAUQUA - The Chautauqua County Historical Society's final program of 2013 will take place on the grounds of historic Chautauqua Institution. On Saturday, Oct. 19, Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) Chief Mark Powers will give a presentation on the history of the fire department.

One of the most unique communities in all New York State, Chautauqua Institution rests on 2070 acres of land next to Chautauqua Lake and features wooden housing and other structures that are more than a hundred years old, bunched tightly together along narrow, winding streets.

This layout has posed some interesting challenges for the local fire department and a portion of Powers' presentation will focus on the history of CVFD and how it has developed a strategy over the decades to address some of those challenges while responding to fire calls at Chautauqua.

Chief Powers is also the grandson of James T. Powers, who was named CVFD Fire Chief in 1911. Learn his interesting history as told by Powers, named Fire Chief in 2011, exactly 100 years after his grandfather held the title.

The event will also feature a 15-minute illustrated presentation of the CVFD, a tour of the fire station and its in-house museum. Attendees will also have an opportunity to inspect the 1929 Pirsch fire engine, completely restored during the 1990s. Cookies and coffee will be available for attendees.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited to 60. Please RSVP by Friday, Oct.11 by phone at 716-326-2977 or by email at

Directions: Chautauqua Fire Department (CVFD) is located on Massey Ave. on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution. Enter the grounds at either the South Gate or Market Gate. Ample, free parking is available.

ABOUT CVFD: Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department is a unique department that is physically located adjacent to the grounds of Chautauqua Institution and protects approximately 17 square miles of the Town of Chautauqua as well as the Chautauqua Institution Grounds. We have a winter population of approximately 2,500 and a summer population of up to about 12,000 per week.



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