Recently discovered photographs bring back memories to a few minifigs of Ticlaw, from a by gone era. In these two photos from 1929, we see what is believed to be the 1898 Bricksby Steamer that was once owned by the Good Will Engine Company #4. The other is no mistake, but the famous bulldog nose on the 1922 Mack AC 85' aerial ladder truck, operated by Friendship Hook and Ladder Company #3. The building in the background is the ten story McHenry Building on Grant Ave. The building that is on fire was the Premier Theater that was once an opera house in Ticlaw. After the fire, the building was replaced by the first off street filling station in the city. Today it is the site of the Sell mini-mart and filling station.
Good Will Engine Company was one of seven engine companies in the City at that time. It was also one of the last two engines companies to still operate steamers. Eagle Hose and Steam Company #2 used their steamer for the last time in 1936. Union Engine Company #7 was the first fire department organized with gasoline powered fire apparatus in 1921. As better equipment became available, and companies could cover greater areas, several departments started to disband, and Good Will Company disbanded in 1950.
Friendship Hook and Ladder Company #3 was organized in 1876 to offer ladder support in the downtown area of Ticlaw. In 1884, the minifigs completed work on their massive 3 bay station and moved in August 10, 1884. In 1924, minifigs all over the city were excited with the news of the arrival of Friendship's new gasoline powered ladder truck. This ladder truck would serve the department for nearly 40 years, when a new Mack 100' aerial ladder truck arrived in 1960. The 1924 was placed in reserve status for 3 years, until it was sold to a small community North of Ticlaw.
The Company used the truck until 1973 when they sold it to another town to be used for training exercises. After nearly 75 years, the truck was sold to a private minifig and was stored in a large garage with other fire apparatus. This spring(2011), a couple of former members from the Friendship Company along with the current chief were at an estate auction and discovered their aerial was among the scheduled items to be auctioned. Well.... you mostly likely already know the outcome, the old Mack aerial was purchased by the minifigs and has returned home to Ticlaw and to the Friendship Station. A crew of 'seasoned' members are working on restoring the truck to it appearance when it served Ticlaw in the 1920's and 30's
Pictured here Friendship station's 1960 Mack 100' aerial, now being used as a reserve ladder. This truck was the mainline apparatus until 2004 when the companies new American LaFrance 100' Tower arrived.
Thanks!!! I am a history buff as you might have guessed. I plan to get some photos uploaded of the Friendship Hook and Ladder Department. The progess on the building, photos of the 1960 aerial, the 2004 Tower, and the refurbishing of the 1922 ladder truck.
Quoting Callum Rankin
I love old rigs. And these area a great example. I really like your American LaFrance 100" aerial, id love to see more pics of her. Again Great Builds.