We can find the beginnings of the Colton Fire Department if we look back to the spring of 1890. It was at that time that the people of the Village of Colton felt it was time to have some formal type of fire protection. Up until that time the bucket brigade was the only way they could fight fires.
Town Supervisor M B Hawley purchased a used hand water pumper from Potsdam and when there was a fire, 8 to 10 volunteers stood on each side and worked handrails up and down to pump out a powerful stream of water.
In 1894, the Colton Board of Supervisors established the first fire district for the village.