Firefighters honored during Bakersville Homecoming

| August 13, 2018

Five of the original firefighters who started the Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department in 1960 were honored Friday, Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bakersville 70th Homecoming during the antique tractor pull. Pictured from left are: Dave Mizer, Gerald Hothem, Edgar Lower, Paul Zinkon, and Ed Honabarger (sitting).

The current Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department was recognized at the Bakersville Homecoming on Friday, Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m. during the antique tractor pull. Pictured from left are: Officers: Captain Mark Westhoefer, Assistant Chief Rick Berger, Captain Tom Hawk, Captain Tim Specht, Captain Tiffany Berger, Chief John Ridenour, Firefighters: Cameron Mizer, Jessica Welch, Derrick Regula, Justin Welch, Brendon Miller, Christian Deibel, and Cody Westhoefer.

BAKERSVILLE – During the annual antique tractor pull at the Bakersville Homecoming on Friday, Aug. 10, a ceremony was held to recognize and honor five of the original firefighters who were part of the first Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department in 1960.

Before the recognition ceremony, Larry Stahl took a moment to remember Dick Frey, who started pulling in 1951 and pulled in the tractor pulls for about 60 years.

“Dick was somebody that everybody looked up to,” said Stahl. “When you’d come in, he’d always shake your hand and he was always really happy to be here. Dick was a special friend to me and he always shook my hand and talked to me. I miss that this year.”

Stahl then took a moment to recognize any police officers, EMS personnel, search and rescue teams, and any other firefighters who were present at the homecoming that evening.

Twenty-six men started the Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department and five were there Friday evening to be recognized. They were Paul Zinkon, Dave Mizer, Gerald Hothem, Ed Honabarger, and Edgar Lower, who was also the first fire chief at Bakersville. There have been three chiefs in the fire department’s history.

“I’m just tickled to still be around,” said Lower, laughing. Lower was fire chief until 2005.

Zinkon served on the fire department until around the 1980s.

“I’ve been here in the community all my life,” he said. “It’s just an honor to be still living, like Edgar said. One thing I remember is building it. We had a couple of neighbors who donated trees and lumber who didn’t even belong to the fire department. It was definitely a community effort.”

Hothem has fond memories of the homecoming.

“I remember just being here at the homecoming and helping out,” he said. “I took over doing the chicken. My crew is the one who makes the good chicken barbecue.”

Honabarger was a member of the fire department for about 40 years. With tears in his eyes, he said that the ceremony on Friday night, “Brings back a lot of good memories.”

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I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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