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Ladies Auxiliary

Ladies Auxiliary

A group of ladies of Fruitland and vicinity, realizing the need for a community center for the village, held a meeting to discuss plans for raising funds for establishing and equipping such a center.

They decided to hold some kind of activities with this thought in view. Beginning in December of 1938, they held game parties and other activities and raised the sum of $96.10. During the period from December, 1938 to April 12, 1939, Mrs J. C. Palmer, who was treasurer of this unnamed organization, deposited these funds in The Bank of Fruitland.
On March 28, 1940, a group of women met in the Red Men’s Hall to organize a Ladies Auxiliary of the Fruitland Fire Company. Mrs. Raymond Gutherie, from the Ladies Auxiliary of Salisbury’s #2 Fire Company, was guest speaker and offered many helpful suggestions in organizing our Auxiliary. The Charger members of the Fruitland Ladies Auxiliary were: Elizabeth Atkinson, Cecil Hobbs, Florence Hitch, Alma Long, Cora Palmer, Florence Brown, Ethel Conley, Grace Gordy, Anne Spitznale, Zenna Pusey, Florence Pruitt, Thelma Jones, and Katherine Hobbs. At this meeting, the following ladies were elected to serve as officers for the year:

President: Mrs Elizabeth Atkinson
Vice President: Mrs. Cecil Hobbs
Secretary: Mrs. Florence Hitch
Treasurer: Mrs. Alma Long

At the second meeting, the ladies who had raised the sum of $96.10, decided to turn their funds over to the Ladies Auxiliary as a starter and same was accepted.
This newly formed organization, also feeling the outstanding need of a community center where the young and old could meet for social contact, start out with much enthusiasm and a drive to raise funds was immediately inaugurated and a committee appointed, to have tickets printed to be sold for bricks for our new Fire Hall. One activity followed another, each with specific aim of raising funds to apply on the Fire Hall.
At the meeting in May, 1940, the building committee was appointed. On May 22, 1940, they reported they had arrived at, and decided, after much stormy discussion, that a building could be build, a little smaller than Mr. John Hayman’s store, with a large kitchen on the back, and the upstairs to be used as a Community Center. Mr. Farlow, of the Long Lumber Company, was given a sketch to be made into a Blueprint and an estimate of cost, made.
So it came to reality, the Community Hall for the Ladies effort, and the new Fire Hall which the town needed badly to store their equipment.
The building committee, after meeting with the Volunteer Fire Company and the Ladies Auxiliary, together, decided to employ Mr. Raymond Hitch, contractor, to build the Fire House and he agreed to build same, according to the Blueprint made by Farlow, for $8,000, which was not to include wiring. He also stated that if it could be built for less, we would be charged only with the actual cost of same; in other words, it would be a non-profit project for him.
On December 2, 1940, the first earth was turned, and on February 6, 1941, Mrs. Cecil Hobbs laid the first brick. Here, we might state, the actual cost of the building was $7,900.00, which included the following extras not included in the Blueprint.
Stage – wallboard over head down stairs (to make it look more like a dining room)
Brick partition
Slate roof
$36.00 more to have bricks laid on gables, as a flat roof was originally planned
Better sink than Blueprint called for
Cement out front
The total monies raised from all activities, including the amount of $96.10 raised in 1938 before the Auxiliary was organized was $1,161.44; total monies raised second year, March 28, 1941 to March 3,1942, was $1691.99.
We thought it might be interesting to know how much we had paid on the building and equipment for hall and kitchen. Checks totaling $1,502.00, have been given to the Treasurer of the Building Committee of the Fruitland Fire Company, to be applied on the building, and $1149.53 paid on kitchen and hall equipment and labor for installing same, including special lights for the stage, from funds raised by the Ladies Auxiliary.
Now, 69 years later, in September, 2009, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Fruitland Volunteer Fire Company is still having monthly luncheons, consisting of Oyster fritters, vegetable beef soup, chicken salad, dumplings, and desserts. We also make Sweet Potato Pies and Sweet Potato biscuits in the fall to sell, and hold occasional bake sales. We are continuing to have these fund raisers to raise money to help support our Fruitland Volunteer Fire Company.


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Fruitland Volunteer Fire Company
104 E. Main Street
P.O. Box 70
Fruitland, MD 21826

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