Where We’ve Come From

The origin of the fire service in Rothsville began prior to 1900. Jeff Usner purchased a hand-drawn two-wheel chemical cart with a tank and attached cylinder to protect his property and that of his neighbors.

At the time that the article from which the picture above was written, Jeff’s son Joseph possessed the cart. Its current whereabouts is unknown.

As the 19th century turned into the 20th, the community banded together. They purchased two chemical carts like Usner’s and later purchased a hand-pumper. In 1907 these fire apparatus were used to fight one of the largest fires in the county, at least at that time, as the Moore and Reitz store in Millway. Later, the J. H. Reitz and Son mill was located at the site of the fire.

One of the chemical carts used to fight that fire is currently on display at the Pennsylvania Farm Museum on Landis Valley Road in Manheim Township.

The Rothsville Volunteer Fire Company was offically chartered on November 14, 1917.


If you or someone you know has pictures of information about the history of the fire company, please contact the WebMaster