It was less than one year after the separation of Verona and Cedar Grove in 1910 that this history began.
Samuel Brower had the first barbershop billiard table in Cedar Grove north of his residence at the northwest corner of Pompton and Bradford Avenues where it was quite customary for individuals to meet and discuss various issues surrounding the town.
Andrew Jackson Taylor (a Civil War veteran), suggested that a bucket brigade be organized in Cedar Grove, a timely suggestion that met with approval from all parties. Steps were taken immediately with meetings and in cooperation with the Cedar Grove Improvement Association, which had been organized in 1906. The result of this activity was the Cedar Grove Fire Company No. 1, now Center Fire Company No. 1, which was formally organized May 18, 1908.
It operated in accordance with booklets that had been approved, ordered and then distributed to each fireman. These booklets included the Constitution and by-laws of the company.
Louis Captain Sr., was elected the first Foreman, or Chief, at the organization’s first meeting. He had owned and operated his blacksmith shop at 452 Pompton Ave. for a number of years before that time.
Organization, however, was merely the beginning of matters. A number of problems had to be considered and solved. One of these was the need for a place to hold meetings and to house equipment, when and as purchased. A Fireman’s Committee was appointed to meet with the Board of Education to discuss this question, and from the Board, the fireman received permission to use the south end of the school building for that purpose.
Another important matter after the organization of men was a survey of the best locations to reach and have water available throughout the different sections of the Township in case of fire. Through a committee, a check was made to find where wells, cisterns, springs, ponds and brooks were located as sources of water, as well as the best available places for emergency location of equipment in time of need. At that time the Township was divided into thirteen fire districts