December 15, 2011 at 8:23 a.m.

Historical Society and firefighters to restore original fire engine

Historical Society and firefighters to restore original fire engine
Historical Society and firefighters to restore original fire engine

Center City fire crews have been responding to calls for 75 years, and now current firefighters plan to restore the department's original truck, a 1936 Dodge, perhaps in time to show it in the 2012 summer season of parades.

Remounting a chassis and completing the other work they will need to do in order to drive the truck may require funds of more than $10,000, but that will be for any replacement parts and other materials. Many of the volunteer firefighters will be giving of their own time to make the truck road-ready. "It's going to be a job, but we've got a few guys who are lined up for it," said project leader and Assistant Chief Travis Greene, an 11-year department veteran.

Among their tasks, they will install automatic controls in place of a four-speed manual transmission. The department has at least its first $1,000 for the project through a gift from the Center City Historical Society, whose president Bob Porter learned of the firefighters' plan during a city Planning Commission meeting this fall. "It fits our mission of discovering and preserving community history," Porter told the Chisago County Press.

The vehicle was one of the first to be produced by the Abrahamson family welding shop in Lindstrom, the predecessor of General Fire & Safety, based in Wyoming and owned now by Rosenbauer.

The historical society, through its 30 years of existence, has also funded park improvements and participated in establishing the Center City National Historic District. Members hosted an authentic Swedish smorgasbord dinner as a fundraiser this fall at the Swedish Village restaurant. Members will present old-time movies in the fellowship hall of Chisago Lake Lutheran Church, Friday night, Jan. 27, during Celebration of the Lakes. Porter said the group plans to partner with the church again to host an amateur talent show during Center City Days next July. For more on the Center City Historical Society, call Porter at 651-257-5232.

For more on the Center City Fire Department's plan to restore the 1936 Dodge engine, call Travis Greene at 612-221-1465. He is open to scheduling talks with other civic groups.


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