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Up until the first of January 1957, White Salmon was still answering calls in the district and we were assisting.  On January 15, 1957, we announced that we would now handle all call from Bald Mountain to Camp Five Hill.  We had also kept our promise about the Fire District Commissioners, and had elected Art Moore as our first replacement the previous fall.  We replaced the other two as soon as their terms came up for election.  That summer we also joined the Mid Columbia Mutual Aid Association.

As things progressed we realized that we needed more water when we answered a call.  Alger Cox had a nice old 1936 Ford ton and a half with a two speed rear end that he leased to us for $1.00.  We needed a tank for it, and about that time the U.S. Forest Service at Trout Lake held an auction and had two tanks for sale.  As I was available, the guys sent me to the sale with a $20.00 limit.  Russell Kreps out bid me on both tanks, but when he found I was bidding for the fire department, he let me have one of them for $20.00.  We put the tank on Alger’s truck, mounted our new portable pump on it and in December of that year had our first tank truck with and additional 550-gallon capacity.

Of course we upgraded and added equipment through the year, but those old rigs will always represent the fun years, and will hold a special place in my memory.

Robert (Bob) Miller took over the old Corry Store in May of 1957.  Bob had been a White Salmon Fireman for several years, and was a welcome addition to our department.  Bob became our only fatality when he suffered a massive heart attack on August 15, 1966, while working on the Glacier Orchards Warehouse fire.  The department and I both lost a very good friend on that day.

Since our humble beginning there have been many changes and improvements.  Many faces have come and gone over the years, and we have had some good things come about because they have given so much.  When we first started many people contributed time and effort on our behalf while not serving actively to fight fire.  To those and to the wives who put up with us, and who furnished cakes and cookies, we owe our thanks for what we are and what we have become.

Roster of the Original Firemen 1956


  • Clell Black,

Assistant Chief: 

  • Dick Smith


  • Bud Aplin
  •  Claude Black
  • Luther Olson
  • Art Moore
  • Alger Cox
  • Jim Patrick
  • Homer Coulson
  • Leighton Armstrong.

These were the first 10 firemen at Husum.

Things change and people move on.  In August of 1956, I was elected Fire Chief and Bud Aplin was the new Assistant Chief.  Some of the changing faces through 1957 were:

  • Bob Miller
  • Jay Robbins
  • Ross Nedry
  • Ted Lutz
  • Bill Woosley
  • Woody Siemans
  • Some other who helped were:
  • Ralph Trout
  • Gene Groshong
  • Ernie Henderson
  • Willis Gross
  • Mrs. Harriet Potter
  • Forest Wallace
  • Paul Moore

And many others.  Patty Moore became the secretary to the District 3 Commissioners about 1958 until her untimely death in an auto accident that also claimed her husband and our long time friend and benefactor Art Moore.

I’m sure I have missed a number of people and am sorry.  We always had the support of the community and they were always there for us when we needed them.

Richard (Dick) Smith

Husum, Washington

October 3, 1997

Revised: 2005

Revised :(for typos and formatting )2022