Hope Fire Company is located in Central Pennsylvania on the Clearfield/Centre county line. During summer of 1887, the citizen's of Philipsburg decided to form a steam fire company. On August 26, 1887 the Hope Steam Fire Company No. 2 was born. A committee was organized to determine which type of steam engine was to be purchased. A LaFrance and a Silsby engine were examined. After testing both engines, a second hand, fourth class LaFrance was decided to be the winner. On September 25, 1887, the steam engine was delivered. On the night of February 8, 1891, the LaFrance Steamer was damaged while fighting a fire at the Potter House. The top flue sheet was crushed when the building collapsed. Mr. LaFrance, the builder of the engine, was telegraphed immediately. Mr. LaFrance arrived in Philipsburg, and after a thorough inspection, it was decided to replace the damaged steamer. A new, third class, Rotary LaFrance engine was purchased. By trading the damaged steamer, the Hope Fire Company paid $300 in cash, and $1200 in notes for the new steamer. The new LaFrance arrived on a Saturday night, May 5, and was delivered from Tyrone, PA. by night express. This 1891 LaFrance Steamer is still in possession of the Hope Fire Company and is in complete working order. In the long history of the fire company, many different pieces of fire apparatus and equipment utilized.
The first location of the Hope Fire Company was the Pierce Stable located on Laurel street between Front and Second streets. On May 30, 1889, The Hope Fire Company moved into a new building located on Presqueisle street. This building still stands today and is currently used by the borough of Philipsburg as offices for the Mayor, Chief of Police, and other public services. If you drive by the Borough Building, take a look at the front of the structure. You can notice the original keystone marked Hope 1889. As the company grew, more room was needed for apparatus and equipment. In September of 1960, the Hope Fire Company moved to the building on Front and Locust Streets. This building was previously used as a funeral parlor. An engine room expansion was built in 1970 and the Hope Fire Company still occupies these quarters today. Below is a photo of the Hope Fire Hall on Presqueisle street, no date was recorded but it was believed to be taken in 1889.
In 1941, Hope Fire Company saw a need for emergency medical care and began an ambulance service. The Hope Ambulance service handled over 900 calls annually and provided coverage for Philipsburg and surrounding communities up to the year 1980. A separate organization was formed and the ambulance service was no longer provided. Pictured below is the ambulance service in 1942. The second photo is of members installing the old string christmas lights on Presqueisle street. The third photo is of the Hope Fire Company marching Unit. The fourth is a vintage picture of the 1937 Buffalo and 1891 LaFrance steamer.
Today, the Hope Fire and Rescue equipment includes a 1997 Seagrave Pumper, 1994 International Rescue, A 1986 GMC Tanker, a 1986 Chevy Brush Truck, and a 1985 Chevy Blazer Utility. In 1991, a Recreational Center was constructed on Seventh Street. Various fundraising events are conducted including bingo, wedding receptions, and banquets. Through these volunteer efforts, Hope Fire Company strives to have the latest equipment available to protect the citizen's of Philipsburg and surrounding communities.