Historical society aims to increase fundraising with vintage fire engine
By Lauren Waters
ASHWAUBENON – A 1941 fully-restored vintage fire truck will be proudly displayed at the Ashwaubenon Blast event on Saturday, Aug. 10, in hopes to raise funds for the Ashwaubenon Historical Society Museum.
The goal of the museum, located at 936 Anderson Drive in Ashwaubenon, is to preserve the community’s past through a collection of historical records and artifacts.
The museum is trying to raise funds to permanently display the vintage fire truck in the museum, which would require building an addition onto the back of the museum.
The restoring of this fire truck has been a big accomplishment and a point of pride for those involved, said Ashwaubenon Historical Society members Mary Kugel and Janet Klipstine.
“We want its history to get out and for the people of Ashwaubenon to know that it’s still here,” said Klipstine.
The Village of Ashwaubenon Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Rex Mehlberg said it was a collective effort from the Ashwaubenon Historical Society members and village staff who wanted to make sure that this part of the village’s history was experienced by the public.
“I think the community needs to remember where it came from and how things have progressed to modern times,” said Mehlberg. “Being able to see some of the previous equipment that the municipality had is a fun way to do it.”
Mehlberg is hoping that bringing the fire engine to the Ashwaubenon Blast and out in the public will get the community’s attention and aid in the fundraising efforts.
“The best way to achieve this is to get it out and around the community, so people have a chance to actually see it first hand,” said Mehlberg. “Hopefully that nostalgia will translate into donations that will eventually be able to make the storage room for the fire truck happen.”
The Ashwaubenon Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1942, and this particular fire engine was purchased during this time.
The truck was in service until 1979 and became the property of the Ashwaubenon Historical Society in 1981.
The fire truck was then restored in 2007 by R & D Services.
The fire truck was worked on more within the past year and is now drivable, thanks to the Village of Ashwaubenon mechanic and to local auto body shops which donated their time such as Williams Auto Body Shop, Auto Select, Automotive Supply Co., and The Detail Shop.
“On behalf of the village and the historical society, we’re ecstatic that businesses were willing to help restore this to drivable condition,” said Mehlberg. “And because of all their hard work, I’m sure people will really enjoy seeing the fire engine out and about in the community.”
Society members will be accepting donations at the Ashwaubenon Blast event, or the public can visit ashhs.com or donate in person at the museum.