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Photographs and Prints
Cumberland, Maryland (Fire Department)

Fire Department Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


As the parade came over the Wills Creek Bridge and down Baltimore Street, a photographer was taking pictures. He was standing in the second floor of the now Times-News Building. As the Fire Department came over the Western Maryland Railroad crossing, pictures were taken of their apparatus, but would not be ready for distribution for a few days. The parade went over the principal streets of Downtown Cumberland, and when the parade was over a lot of the onlookers got on streetcars and went to Narrows Park for the annual Labor Day picnic. A great many people remained downtown, for Fire Chief Reynolds had announced that a demonstration of the new hook and ladder truck would be given at 2:00 PM in City Hall Square. At the given hour a great crowd had gathered in the Square in front of the Post Office (Public Safety Building). The demonstration began promptly at 2:00 PM and different exercises in climbing the ladder were done. Then the large 65-foot ladder was raised and extended to its full length. At this time, Fireman James Valentine climbed to the top of the 65-foot ladder. The ladder's extension ladder of 10 feet (known as the fly) was extended, whereupon Fireman Valentine climbed to the top of the extension. Chief Reynolds then announced that the ladder was at the height to make a rescue from the fifth floor of any building. Then, telling the crowd that the ladder would be let down to the fourth floor level, with Fireman Valentine on the ladder, the descent began. There was a loud snap and the top of the ladder with Mr. Valentine crashed to the pavement of City Hall Square. An ambulance took Mr. Valentine to the Western Maryland Hospital. Despite every effort to save him, Mr. Valentine died at 9:00 PM. Mr. Valentine was buried on September 5, 1907. On the following day, September 6th, which was four days after Mr. Valentine was killed, the pictures taken on September 2nd at noon, two hours before the disaster at City Hall Square,


Page #:

Miller, Herman J.

Mayor and Council, City of Cumberland


Collection Location:

Original Size:
27 x 20 cms

Stegmaier, Harry

Cumberland (Md.), history

Cumberland (Md.), 1700-1976

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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