Volunteer efforts forged a commitment in Cassadaga

Village of Cassadaga notes 100 years of incorporation

Above is the first fire hall, located at Maple Avenue and Mill Street.

CASSADAGA – The Village of Cassadaga was officially incorporated 100 years ago on Jan. 9, 1921. Cassadaga dates to 1809 when settlers began arriving around 1803 because the area was rich for hunting. Its first land survey by the Holland Land Company happened in 1798. Cassadaga celebrated its birth centennial in 1959 and a 200th anniversary in 2009. Nineteen percent of the village’s boundary consists of water in its lower and middle lakes.

In the late 1910s Cassadaga had several bad fires, one at a sawmill and one at a basket mill. Because there was no fire department at the time it was necessary for the village to become incorporated, enabling it to establish a special tax and the money used to fund the first official volunteer fire department.

“This anniversary highlights the tremendous community participation by the volunteers who train and serve to keep our village and those around us safe and secure,” said Cassadaga Mayor William Dorman. “From our rich settler’s history, we are a vibrant community, home to residents and visitors able to enjoy a seasonal active and professional lifestyle while raising a family in a safe and tranquil small town. We salute those who came before us, guided our growth and provide for us today.”

The Cassadaga Volunteer Fire Department was officially established in 1924, with Bernie Lewis as its first fire chief. Today there are 61 members with 19 of them being life members with 25 years or more of service, and 11 EMS providers including four paramedics and 12 interior firefighters.

The department is funded yearly in part by the village of Cassadaga budget, along with its Annual Sportsman’s Raffle, November Turkey Party, Annual Fund Drive, Chicken BBQ’s, and ladies’ auxiliary. The funds obtained go toward upkeep of emergency vehicles, firefighting gear, ambulance supplies, training for members, and purchasing of any new equipment that is needed.

The Volunteer Fire Department of Cassadaga from 1947.

The Cassadaga Volunteer Fire Department is committed to its community and strives to provide the best services possible. These services include but are not limited to, fire suppression, EMS Care, traffic control, water/ice rescue, motor vehicle accident extrication, wildland fire suppression and community service events such as Santa in the Park, triathlons/sporting events, National Night Out, Winterfest and more.

“We are extremely lucky to have the tremendous support of our community,” said Cassadaga Fire Department Chief Robert Frank. “We are 100% volunteer, a group of people that are very community-oriented and have a strong sense of volunteerism with a desire to help the public in need.

We are always looking for members who want to assist us with our day-to-day operations and ensuring the safety of our residents and visitors.”

“This new year and milestone anniversary offer up the opportune time to shine a light on all the community volunteer organizations that enrich our small, town character. We are extremely grateful to have dedicated people who give with their time and resources to make Cassadaga the best place to live,” added Dorman.

The incorporation centennial will be celebrated throughout the year to include events and opportunities for volunteers to become involved. Organizations to be featured include the volunteer fire department, Boys/Girl Scouts, Cassadaga American Legion Post 1280, food bank, Citizens for a Better Cassadaga, Cassadaga Lakes Association and more. Events and activities will be announced at a future date.


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