York’s Rescue Fire Company, Mack the Fire Horse’s former home, now a private residence


Rescue Fire Company No. 4, on York’s South George Street, was founded in 1872. It was home to the famous fire horse, Mack, as Dianne Bowders points out in her submission to ydr.com’s digital photo gallery Your Photos. ‘Old Mack, one of the horses from Rescue No. 4, served for 25 years. During a dash down a burning alley he was singed on both sides, but nursed back to health by the Company and was able to continue as a fire horse,’ Dianne wrote. The old firehall is now a private residence. Also of interest: Rex/Laurel, one of four York, Pa., operating fire stations, built a dozen years after Civil War

York Sunday News columnist Gordon Freireich received a reply to a recent column about York city firehouses that updated the renovated Rescue firehall.

Erin Herbert wrote:

“Your article ‘Firehouses: Old and New’ caught my eye in this past Sunday’s paper. You mentioned Rescue firehouse which is my fiancée and I’s home. We fell in love with the charm of the building and purchased the house two summers ago.

“We have done some research since purchasing the home but really would love to talk to any firefighters who have worked out of the building. We have visited the Fire Museum but none of the regulars there worked from our building. If you have any knowledge or contacts of who might have worked here we would love to get in contact with them.

“Both my fiancée and I are transplants to York and are high school art teachers in the county. Our plan is to turn the first level of our house into an art gallery in the next several year and hopefully bring back the function of the building as a community gathering place.

“If you have any additional information or ideas of where to find contacts we would greatly appreciate it!”

Gordon provided additional info in a subsequent email, in addition to referring her to the book “York City Fire Department, York, Pennsylvania.”:

“By the way, did not know if you were aware that the statue outside of the Fire Museum was originally erected to honor Rescue firemen and was in neighboring Penn Park. The deer above the door to the Fire Museum was originally above the bays of the Rescue. And the Mack the fire horse monument at the museum pays tribute to the last fire horse at the Rescue.”

To which, Erin wrote:

“We did know about the statue and the deer. Someday we would like to find/ create a replica of the deer that is at the fire museum. We actually are currently renovating our garage bathroom in the garage which is where Mack’s stall was and we plan to put horse shoes in the ceramic floor as a way to pay homage to what the area of the garage was used for back then.”

So, if you have any other information on the old firehall, comment below.

Erin, with her art skills, is the very professional person that York City is seeking to attract to its downtown, tagged with the “Creativity Unleashed” theme.

Also of interest:

Check out these photos and stories about fires and firefighters in York County, Pa.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Fires & firefighters, For photo fans, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Mail bag, Nostalgia & memories, People, Pets & animals, Uncategorized, Unsung/obscure sites, Wheels of York and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to York’s Rescue Fire Company, Mack the Fire Horse’s former home, now a private residence

  1. Larry Bailey says:

    Are you by any chance related to a paid firefighter, Earl Herbert, who was stationed at the Rescue for many years. He was very protective of his truck that he did not allow anyone to step up on the apparatus without his permission. He considered the truck his piece of equipment.

  2. Erin Herbert says:

    I did see several Herberts according to information that the Fire Museum had worked out of Rescue but I’m no relation to them.

  3. Barry Copenheaver says:

    I am interested in any information about Bumgardner’s woods, adjacent to the Penn State campus in York, along Rathton Road, and the burial site of Mack the firehouse horse, which I think was buried there.

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