Second Annual Irish Night Celebrates Larchmont Hose Company

The American Legion Hall in Larchmont’s Flint Park was filled by a band of red-shirted historical firefighters and around 60 of their green garlanded guests for the second annual Irish Night on Saturday, March 14, 2015. The Larchmont Historical Fire Company, a committee of the Larchmont Historical Society, has revived the long-standing tradition of Larchmont’s volunteer fire companies by celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a typical Irish feast accompanied by music, dance and appreciation of times past.

This year’s event was dedicated to Hose Company, one of the four volunteer companies that since 1889 has supplied manpower for fighting fires in the Village of Larchmont. Sam Orans, president of Hose Company, attended wearing the company’s bright red dress shirt worn for parades in previous decades. The shirt is similar to the historical company’s jacket, which is based on an outfit worn in the Civil War by the” Fire Zouaves.”  With him were a number of more casually dressed volunteer firefighters.

The Hose Company guests were serenaded by a quartet of historical firefighters harmonizing a firefighting ditty composed in 1923 and sung to the tune of “In the Good Old Summer Time.” Other attendees included Larchmont Mayor Anne McAndrews, Trustee Peter Fanelli and NY State Senator George Latimer.

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Members of the Larchmont Historical Fire Company Donny Keck, Ned Benton, PJ Abrahamsen and Jim Sweeney (l-r) serenade their Hose Company guests with a firefighting ditty.

The Historical Fire Company was in full dress gear, complete with spats and metal illuminated helmets topped by torches that get lit when they march in parades. The company’s beer-meister, former Larchmont Fire Chief Jim Sweeney, handed out tastes of his specially selected brews.

On display was the fire company mural which hung for decades in the Hose Company social room on the second floor of Larchmont’s Village Hall. Originally painted by Mimi Jenuwein, it was restored in the 1990s by Mary Hargrave.  It sustained significant damage following renovations that consolidated and moved the four company rooms to the third floor.  However it was rescued and restored again by the Historical Fire Company.

Al Craven and Bob Kenison, the duo known as Those Weasels, rounded out the entertainment with several Irish tunes and sets of Golden Oldies from the 1950s and 60s that drew several generations of revelers to the dance floor.

Another highlight of the evening was the drawing of the raffles. Larchmont Mayor Anne McAndrews was tapped to reach into the jar for a winner of the 50/50 raffle.  A local resident won $700, with the other half going to a fund for the maintenance of the Historical Fire Company’s two antique vehicles: Engine One,  the 1922 American LaFrance pumper  that once fought fires in the Village of Larchmont; and the Chief’s car, – a 1910 Brush roadster.  While heavy rain prevented the vehicles from attending the event, the Chief’s Car did show up in the slide show depicting its detailed restoration at the hands of several members of the Historical Fire Company.

Other excitement – and further funds — came from the raffling off of three large beverage coolers and a beach umbrella donated by Manhattan Beer Distributors in the Bronx.