Revive Old Engine 5
This is Appleton Fire Department Engine 5, a 1925 Pumper. Engine 5 reliably served the fire department for 39 years until it was retired from service in 1967. As is a common practice, the Engine was then sold at an auction, and as time progressed, it slipped into department lore as no one knew for certain what had become of it.
In 2011, the Appleton Fire Department received a phone call from a fire engine collector who had ownership of Engine 5. The collector had stored the engine for nearly 40 years and was wondering if the department would be interested in returning the Engine home by purchasing it.
As a museum piece that would serve wonderfully as a public education and department marketing tool, the department is very interested in this prospect. This project further meets the goals of the Friends of the Appleton Fire Department, and the board embraced the idea.
The Friends of the Appleton Fire Department is officially on a mission to buy back and restore the Seagrave. Once restored, it will begin its second tour of duty as the center piece of many exciting and beneficial projects in the City of Appleton and community.
Once the engine is restored to its former condition, it will be on display at Appleton Fire Department Station #1 as the crown jewel of our museum collection. To our surprise, Engine 5 has some of the original equipment on board, including the bell, two axes and fire hose. Our retired members relate stories of fighting fires using this rig.
At Fire Station #1, Engine 5 will be featured in tours for hundreds of grade school students and adults when they are taught home and fire safety practices. Engine 5 will help represent the fire department in the Memorial Day, Flag Day and Christmas Parades, and perhaps one day it will be used carry Santa! By far, the most exciting and beneficial projects slated for Engine 5 will be to collect donations of money, food and clothing throughout the year for various local charities. We foresee the Seagrave becoming a grand symbol of community service and it will be synonymous with charitable giving within the community.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reclaim a lost treasure and a piece of Appleton’s wonderful history, but we need your help!
Current Appleton Fire Department members and retirees have already donated the $12,000 necessary to purchase Old Engine 5. Beyond that we hope to raise the necessary funds for restoration and maintenance costs. All donations are tax deductible and no funding will come from the City of Appleton or the Appleton Fire Department.
The Friends of the Appleton Fire Department need your help restoring this wonderful piece of Appleton history. Our intention is to restore the rig to its past glory – ensuring the generations that follow us have a connection to the proud history of the Appleton Fire Department. Please donate today to help support this worthy endeavor!
Photo taken in 1960 of the 1925 Pumper.
Photo taken in 2013 of the 1925 Pumper.