Harney Volunteer Fire Company history

Harney Volunteer Fire Company history
Apparatus is at the ready at the Harney Fire Company. Pictured is the fire company's Engine 111. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

It was March 1951 when 65 members organized the Harney volunteer fire company. The company’s first projects included purchasing and distributing fire extinguishers within the community and building a reservoir with approximately 350,000 gallons of water, according to a history on Harney’s website.

Ground was broken on the fire station on Harney Road in 1954 and a Ladies Auxiliary was formed.


The completed fire hall was dedicated June 11, 1955, where Gov. Theodore R. McKeldin was an honored guest and gave an address. The cost of the building, which contained an engine room, boiler room, kitchen and a social room, was $23,000. Numerous residents volunteered to help erect the building.

Harney’s first firefighting apparatus was purchased in January 1957, a GMC chassis equipped with Barton American equipment.

The company and its auxiliary soon became known for its Saturday afternoon oyster and turkey dinners, which began in the 1960s and ended sometime in the 1980s. Those suppers would draw people from Baltimore, with more than 1,000 people often attending, according to a Carroll County Times article from 2013 on the history of the company.

The popularity of the dinners and other fundraisers helped the company expand its building in 1965 and again in 1979.

Harney’s fire company is the county’s only fire company that does not have an ambulance, but it does have a basic life support unit. The unit allows medics to go to the scene and help stabilize a patient, but they cannot transport anyone.

Like Lineboro, because of its proximity many of Harney’s members come from Pennsylvania. Harney is less than half a mile from the state line.

Like many of Carroll County’s fire companies, the annual summer carnival is Harney’s biggest fundraiser. The company’s first carnivals took place in the 1950s, when the company used Benner’s woods, an old picnic area in town.

In the early ’90s, Harney bought five acres of land behind the station to host the carnival and another 25 acres across the road, although it has since sold some of that land.

In the mid- to late 1990s, Harney began a junior firefighter program.

5130 Harney Road, Taneytown, MD 21787

Phone: 410-756-6464