Are you looking for a serious blast from the past? Look no further than the Facebook page for the Morristown Fire Department.
Active since November 2009, the page has not only let people know about events and programs the fire department has been involved in but, more recently, served as a treasure trove of classic MFD photographs, with Morristown as the backdrop.
Firefighter Mike Geary, one of the main contributors to the page, noted most of the photos accessible and getting posted to page have been passed down through the generations of Morristown firefighters. "Many of the early 1900's photos came from my family's collection," said Geary, who presently serves as chief of the all-volunteer Morris Plains Fire Department and has been a career firefighter in Morristown since 1996. "The more recent photos, 60's to early 80's, have come from Victor France. And the 90's on are a collection of many members pictures."
The number photos may be too large to count. "Morristown had one of the biggest volunteer fire departments in Morris County in the past and many of those members have either moved on or out of the area," Geary said.
The firefighter said the significance of such a collection is the story it tells, not just about the Morristown Fire Department, but of Morristown as a whole. "They tell the story of the town from the late 1800's," he said. "The first companies of the current fire department were organized in 1867. To see old photos of fires that were in buildings that no longer exist. They show the history of firefighting in this town from the late 1800's to the current 2013, from hand drawn to horse drawn to the first motorized fire apparatus to today's modern fleet."
The Geary's are just one of a long line of historic firefighting families, having served over four generations. Other names Geary points to are the France's, Flanagan's, SanFelice's and Hopping's.
Ultimately, historic records like the Morristown Fire Department Facebook page are "an opportunity to see long deceased relatives in photos you may have never seen before. It also allows people who have moved on from Morristown to look at the pictures and see the town they remember and allow them to compare it to the town of today."