In 1894, the Village of Monroe was incorporated within the Town of Monroe for a very practical reason – the residents needed a local fire department. A town could not form a fire district of its own. Only a village could do that.
As a result, Monroe residents had to rely on fire fighters from Goshen to travel 12 miles, sometimes by train, to battle their blazes.
The following is an account of one such fire, which occurred in November 1892. The much longer original story about that fire appeared in the Nov. 4, 1892, issue of Goshen’s weekly newspaper, the Independent Republican.
Shortly before midnight on Wednesday night, the Goshen Fire Department responded to a call for help from the people of Monroe.
The town was being swept by fire, and several buildings were in flames.
It was 1 a.m. before Goshen’s Cataract Engine and Dikeman’s hose carriage arrived on the scene, and even longer before the fire fighters arrived by train, which had been slow to start.