NEW JERSEY’S FIREMEN’S HOME.
NEW JERSEY’S home for disabled firemen at Boonton was formally dedicated and turned over to the State on Saturday last. Three thousand firemen from all parts of the State and from New York State took part in the ceremonies, in honor of which Boonton was lavishly decorated, Gov. Voorhees and the State commissioners were escorted by the firemen and their bands and other organizations to the home,which is beautifully situated at the distance of about one mile from the town on the road to Lower Montviile. In the plot purchased with the home there are about sixty-five acres of ground, most of which is under cultivation, and the rest is tastefully laid out in lawns, studded with fine shade trees. The building is of brick, three stories in height, and stands far back from the road on the highest elevation of the whole tract. From the upper stories of the structure forty miles of surrounding country can he seen. Built originally at a cost of $80,000 for a private residence, the building, when purchased, contained many modern improvements, and since then many changes and additions have been made. Besides the main residence there are on the land a green house, farmer’s and gardener’s houses, and several large barns. The property, which was formerly owned by the late William G Lathrop, was purchased on June 15, 1898. The purchase price was $36,000 paid by the State Firemen’s association, helped out by a legislative enactment, which decreed that the commission to be appointed should consist of one man from each Congressional district, and funds were provided for by placing at the disposal of the commission the two per cent, tax levied on foreign fire insurance companies doing business in this State. The whole sum paid for the house and property, with new fittings, etc., has amounted to $75,000.
Tae ceremonies began with the unfurling by Gov. Voorhees, of a large American flag, and after prayer by Rev. John Keller, of Arlington, Gen. Bird W. Spencer, president of the Firemen’s Home commission, formally presented the home to the governor of New Jersey for the State. In accepting the home on the part of the State Governor Voorhees praised in the highest terms the firemen of the State; dwelt at length on the perils of their calling; and declared no body of people in the country deserved more from the people than the active, venturesome, and untiring firemen. He said the home was an institution they had well deserved, and sincerely hoped that it would result in affording the benefits expected from it. The home now, he said, would afford comfort to forty-five unfortunate, but brave men, and he hoped the time soon would come when its accommodations would be doubled.
The address of welcome was delivered by Mayoi W. I. Powers, of Boonton. Other addresses were made by former Senator W. D. Edwards, of Jersey City, Senator John Pitney, John S. Gibson, of Newark, and W. A. Cotter. Speaker Benjamin F. Jones also spoke of ‘The legislative needs of the firemen.” In the course of his address he said that the numbers, influence, and eourage oF the firemen were great, and that whatever they needed in the way of legislation they ought to receive. He knew oi no class more deserving of legislative favors,olno class more modest in its requests. To the energetic exertion and unfailing courtesy of Chief Hopkins, of the Boonton fire department and his men is due in great measure the success of the day’s work. Everything went off without a hitch.