Goshen Fire Department
The first makeshift fire department in Goshen was kept in a petitioned off room in the back of the forge run by Harry Sinclair on Copper lake road. The equipment, hose and pump distributed by the Department of Lands and Forest, was the responsibility of Johnny O’Brien who worked across the road at the McNaughton & Sinclair Store. Memories of the fire fighting equipment date from the 1950’s.
The current Goshen Fire Department Building was a schoolhouse until 1960 when it was purchased by the Goshen Community Club to be used as a Community Center. In 1984 it changed hands from the Community Club to the Fire Hall. Minnie Hendsbee started the fire department in 1978 and was there when they purchased their first truck from the Annapolis Valley Fire Department. The department existed for a year before a location was picked for a hall. Minutes from the meeting for May 24th 1979 state that the first meeting of the Eight Island Lake & District fire department was held at the Goshen Consolidated School. The fire chief at this time of the meeting was Alfred McPherson; nine members were in attendance for this meeting. The main focus of this meeting was to choose a location for the fire station. Four locations were under consideration: Eight Island Lake, Waldo Hendsbee’s land, Edgar Sinclair’s land, or Chelsey Feltmate’s land. The fire chief also reported on the May 24th meeting that there were two fires in the coverage of the area, the first on May 13th on Merritt Feltmate’s land, the second on May 17th on Angus McNeil’s land in Loch Katrine. It was also decided at this meeting that one night a week would be set aside for practice. Executives at this time were:
Chief – Alfred MacPherson
Deputy Chief – John MacQuarrie
Secretary – Charlotte Feltmate
Treasurer – Minnie Hensbee.
The Ways and means committee was set up at the June 20th meeting to raise funds for the fire department. The committee consisted of Lynn Alexander and Juanita MacPherson. The fire marshal was also present during the meeting and Chesley Feltmate’s land was the location chosen for the fire hall. The land would be leased by the department with the understanding that if they didn’t use the land it would go back to Chesley. Equipment for the new fire department was then brought in from the fire marshal’s office with an estimated value of $3,589.00, along with info regarding a radio system and a box of films on fire safety, a fire safety poster was received and put up in Merritt Feltmate’s store.
At a meeting on November 27th, a discussion took place concerning the location of the hall and preparations needed to get the land ready for the building. It was decided at this meeting that the building should measure 24X30 feet to accommodate the fire truck. During a December 24th meeting more discussion took place about the building to house the truck. Land had been cleared by fire department members: Ronnie Chisholm, Wendell Hensbee, Byron Smith, Aubrey Grover, Alfred MacPherson, and John MacQuarrie. It was decided that they would need three phone numbers for the fire station and to hook up a siren in the community.
On January 28th 1980, it was decided that the lot at Chesley Feltmate’s was too rocky to be used for the building. The Community Hall in Goshen was chosen as a suitable location for the Fire Department. In 1984, major renovations were made and a two bay garage was added. Currently Wendell Hensbee presides as fire chief.