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The Department and the Village: Social Connections


A volunteer fire department is an integral part of any community. There are many social connections formed between firefighters and other community groups. Let's take a look at some of the bonds formed between the Hilton firefighters and their community.

Musical associations

1901 -
Hilton Band marches in 1901 Firemen's Parade.

Here we see the Hilton Band marching in the Firemen's Parade. The parade was one of the activities of the 1901 Field Day, a fundraiser for the fire department. Events such as this brought out the people of the village to socialize. They were encouraged to support the important work of the department.

Circa 1950
- The Drum & Bugle Corps in action circa 1950.

The Hilton Fire Dept. Drum & Bugle Corps was started in 1947 to provide music for firemen marching in local parades. It was closely affiliated with the fire department. The Corps, later renamed the Hilton Crusaders, became very popular and competed in many tournaments. Their schedule became too conflicting with that of the fire department and so in 1959 they ended their affiliation and the Crusaders moved to Irondequoit.


Sports associations

In the early days of the annual Field Day fundraiser, the event was held on various farms in the Hilton area. In 1928 the Fire Department voted to buy 12 acres of land owned by Isaac Howard and turned that into the site for Field Days.

That area, which came to be known as Firemen's Field, became a popular sports and recreation spot for the Village of Hilton. The department built a baseball diamond, and even sponsored its own basketball team. Picnics were also held at the park.

This late 19th century picture shows a North Parma baseball team in uniform. Baseball was a popular sport in Hilton even back then. Games were played on area farms and fields until the baseball diamond was built at Firemen's Field in 1929.


The Ladies Auxiliary

In this scene from a 1903 fire, village women are at the scene, serving refreshments to hard-working fire fighters as they attempt to pump water from Salmon Creek.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Hilton Fire Department was organized in 1925. The charter members of the group took over officially what had previously been an informal way of providing food and drink at the scene of fires.

In addition to bringing snacks and coffee at the scene, the Ladies Auxiliary has also served meals after fires. In order to support this work and other projects, the Ladies Auxiliary has held many fund-raising events over the years. They have also marched with the fire fighters during parades.

The Ladies Auxiliary march along Main Street during a parade circa 1950.

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