James Rada, Jr.

The Frederick County Fire and Rescue Museum on South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg now has a three-panel glass etching, featuring a 1920s fire engine. Until recently, the artwork hung in the window of the office building that was the old Independent Hose Company in Frederick.

The etching, which was created by designer William N. Cochran of Frederick, shows a 1920s fire engine, leaving the old Independent Hose Company on West Church Street. Cochran is well known for his public art projects and wall murals in Frederick.

The Independent Hose Company was organized in 1818, and it is the oldest volunteer fire company in Maryland still in continuous operation. The building near the courthouse on West Church Street was the company station from 1846 to 1878.

The etching was created in 1988. “Thirty years ago, the building owner, who had purchased the property from IHC, commissioned Mr. Cochran to do the etching to commemorate the history of the fire company presence at one time on the site,” said Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs.

The etching is made up of three panels that have a combined weight of 1,500 pounds. It is more than 15 feet tall and over 8 feet wide. Emmitsburg Glass Company transported the panels to the museum on March 28, 2018.

According to Museum President Susie Nicol, “Emmitsburg Glass employees, including their President Dan Reaver, have all been terrific during the months of planning and coordination to include getting all its parts here completely intact.”

Plans are still being made for how to display the etching, but once in place, there will be a grand unveiling.

“We’re going to do everything possible to display it outside, lit up, and protected,” stated Briggs.

The Frederick County Fire and Rescue Museum is open on weekends, April 14 through October 14, from noon-4:00 p.m.

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