Since this original Knapp website started with a story that heavily involved the Mastic Beach Fire Department and that many other pages on it that followed since, have had tidbits and photos about it, I have decided to add a central page that focuses on the history of the department as it related to the early history of Mastic Beach, my family involvement in it and of course the Knapps. This is by no means any attempt to represent the full history of this organization as it nears it's silver anniversary. Keep in mind I left Mastic Beach in 1964. I understand that current department member Kenny Montella has undertaken that chore and is in the process of building an official MBFD website that I'm sure will be very interesting.

I met Kenny and several other members, including former chief Matt Gioia recently, as I spent a very pleasurable Sunday morning at the fire house which has more than quadrupled in size since I was in it during a very memorable New Years Eve long ago. It was in 1961 and I was there with the band The Islanders (Pete Morano, Doug Percoco, Adolph Almasy, Bill Clausing, Eddie Ianetto and me) as we played for the departments New Years Eve celebration. It was our very first New Years job as a musicians and the highlights included an alarm coming in about 11:30 that evening! HAPPY NEW YEAR...the rooftop siren made a hell of a noisemaker!


That said...lets start at the very beginning with this press release that was in the Center Moriches Record newspaper in the autumn of 1929.





This announcement which was a more or less a feel good press release generated by the Smadbeck Brothers and their Home Guardian Corp, signaled the humble start of The Mastic Beach Fire Department, which would soon become two fire departments serving one town. Notice that land near the road to Knapp's estate was mentioned as a possible location for the original firehouse. Although not chosen, the Knapp estate would figure formably into the future of the department.








Jules Jacobs who I'm assuming was Augie Jacobs' Dad was the first M B Chief 1930-35








The Original Department was located in Section One on Lakeview Drive



This photo is from the late 1930's



photo courtesy of Greta Tucker






It was not long after the formation of the department that the emphasis on the location central town of Mastic Beach shifted from the eastern Section 1 to the western Section 4. These sections were totaly divided by the Knapp Estate which blocked egress. It was always my assumption that both "Old Town" & "New Town" were a result of Home Guardian developing on both sides of Knapp's land. In any event it wasn't long before this tiny village had two Fire Departments.













Photos above & below Wm. Greene Estate/MBFD





This garage was erected by the new West End Fire Dept. in the early 1930's on Bayview Drive and Cedar Rd.



It only housed trucks like the one above. They had no meeting hall so they used Paul Schulte's Tavern.





courtesy Greta Tucker












Bill Greene, who I would get to know in the '50's through my childhood pal Larry Schulz,



was one of the West End Chiefs. A fine auto mechanic for The Parr's and Frank Stiefel's Garages and quite a colorful character



Bill who lived on Daisy Dr. , was one of the guys who put the car up on Poje's Roof