In 1960, a two-and-a-half story building and four-car garage on the E.A. Taylor farm on the North Road burned until destroyed, reported the Observer-Tribune. No one was injured, but the Ellis Burd and Henry Blokzyl families (10 people total) were left homeless as a result. Also burned that week were three cars when a fire broke out in a garage owned by Walter Patrey.
In 1960, “a spectacular fire” destroyed Hans Lowensteiner’s a 150 x 50 ft. cow barn, attached milk house, silo, and sleeping quarters of farm worker William Boloway. Lowensteiner, a North Road resident, and his hired workers had begun the evening milking when his wife pointed out the smoke at the roof. The farmer saved his 65 cows, but inadequate water supplies stymied the 140 firemen from 7 fire companies around the area, until a pond on the Bell Labs property (1 mile away) became the source of water to bring the conflagration under control. Source: Observer-Tribune
1938, the Mendham-Chester Tribune reported that the Chester Fire Department extinguished a small blaze at David Philhower’s house. The fire was caused by an oil stove. Thanks to the quick response of the fire fighters, little damage was done to the Philhower home.
In 1955, fires ravaged more than 500 acres of the area from Hacklebarney State Park to Mendham Township. Fires began along State Park Road and burned quickly due to strong winds and dry grass. Fourteen fire companies responded to the calls for help as the blazes grew beyond the control of area fire fighters. No full-time homes were damaged thanks to the strategy of stationing fire crews at each house or barn in the fires’ line. Only the Kay estate’s summer log cabin was burned. Source: The Mendham-Chester Tribune