The Manassas Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) has been faithfully serving the City of Manassas and the surrounding areas of Prince William County, Virginia since 1892. As this was the first Fire Company in the county it was designated Company 1.
In 1892, a handful of prominent citizens of the Town of Manassas recognized the need for fire protection services for their communities. Through the need came about the establishment of the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company, Company 1. As time went on the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company continued to upgrade its equipment and its roster numbers to meet the demands of the area.
In 1914, the first Manassas fire station was built on Center Street. It was a two story building with the first floor housing 2 bays for the fire equipment while the second floor served as the Town Hall. In 1948, the station underwent a business change as they incorporated as a non-profit corporation to provide fire protection to the Town of Manassas and surrounding areas. At that time, the name was changed from the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company to the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company, Inc..
In 1956, the Company moved to its new station on Centreville Road where it still operates from today. This station is equipped with four apparatus bays with meeting rooms on the second floor. As the amount of equipment needed has expanded to match the City’s growth, continued modifications to the station are still underway. In appreciation of the Company’s long tradition of service, the Fire Museum was opened in 1996 within the grounds of the Fire Company.
We Went To Fires: When The Siren Sounds
Now 50 members strong, the group has had 10 presidents since its start April 30, 1952. Past presidents and their years of office include, Bibs Wheeling, 1952-54 Eula Bourne, 1954-56: Sara Luck, 1956-58; Sally Gibson, 1958-59, Eleanor Hynson, 1959-61; Eula Bourne. 1961-62; Becky Dowell, 1962-63, Nancy Levitt, 1963-64; Ann Walser Harrover, 1964-66; Frances Tucker, 1966-68; Eula Bourne, 196971 and Helen Masi, 1971-72. "Prior to the first meeting, Mrs. Raymond Davis had been asked to organize a Firemen's Auxiliary. She went to Culpeper to ask the auxiliary there how to organize it and brought home with her a copy of their by-laws. She and Mrs. Earl Hurst Sr made a list of possible members and called them to a meeting at the Davis house April 30,1952."
And at that first meeting the auxiliary was organized with the 13 charter members being Mrs. James Barron, Mrs. Leslie Bourne, Mrs. John Brown, Mrs Jesse Crosby, Mrs. Raymond Davis, Mrs. C. W. Fitzwater, Mrs. Earl Hurst Sr., Mrs. Robert Leight, Mrs. Howard Luck, Mrs. Caton Merchant, Mrs. Charles Mathias, Mrs. James Robinson and Mrs. Turner Wheeling.
"Beginning in May 1952, with $2.50 in the bank, our main object was to make money for the firemen." By January 1953 they had $1,121.67 which was raised by the following activities- their first auction sale, $829. 73 the first Masquerade Ball, $95.64: a rummage sale, $69 and a bake sale. During that first year they also entered a float in the Christmas parade and gathered clothing for the Junior Woman's Club loan closet.
In Feb. 1953, they gave the firemen their first check for $1,000 and then ensued years of sponsoring various activities to raise money for the firemen-food auction, vanilla sale, fashion show, selling refreshments and auctioning cakes at the "turningon" of the new street lights in Manassas Aug. 30, 1955, selling Christmas trees and, most of all, dinners. The group began having covered dish suppers in 1955 for the firemen "as an economy move toward building the new firehouse, rather than banquets. "
The dinners began to interfere with marching in 1958 and more and more supplies were being bought for the kitchen. Mrs. Rohr commented in 1959, "We are kitchen-minded now. We bought oven racks, repaired the kitchen table, purchased two serving tables, saw that a screen door was installed in the kitchen. We began to think about purchasing cooling equipment for the kitchen. Because we spent more time in the kitchen, members objected to spending time in marching." And since that time, the auxiliary continues to serve dinners and assist the firemen through their donations.
Uniforms were purchased in 1954 and their first dress parade was at Orange where they won first prize of $25.
The group began having covered dish suppers in 1955 for the firemen "as an economy move toward building the new firehouse, rather than banquets. " The dinners began to interfere with marching in 1958 and more and more supplies were being bought for the kitchen.
A brief look at the auxiliary's history was given by Mrs. Walser Rohr