Our fire chief recently alerted me to some photos recently donated to the department. They came with some good documentation so I can tell more of the story behind the restoration of Hood River's first powered fire apparatus. We've seen several photos of this 1920 American LaFrance before, but this shows it from 1972, when it was being restored after years of neglect.
According to the documentation, the truck was taken out of service in the 1950s and many parts were stripped and given to volunteer as souvenirs. What remained was stored in various places around town, including under the bowling alley (now Bette's). In the 1960's Ty Taylor decided to renovate it, and put out the word for people to return the pieces. By 1972 enough piecea were found to take it to the Rose Festival, which is what we're seeing here. After the Rose Festival John Schlosser worked with other HRFD vounteers as well as Pine Grove volunteers to completely strip and repaint/replate everything. The final stage was gold leaf pin-striping, which was completed in 1984. Unfortunately Ty Taylor died that year, but the work was completed by November 1984 and the truck now has a place of honor in the fire station named after Taylor.
Beautiful, eager to see it, we owe these volunteers so much for their dedication to preserving history ~
Kenn on 18th July 2017 @ 7:31am
Fascinating history. Thanks to the volunteers who put so much love and care into the restoration.
Can you imagine the excitement each time a piece was brought back?
L.E. on 18th July 2017 @ 8:56am
fond memories of father John L in the HR and West Side FDs; the siren on top of the hill below Prospect; the fire engine dragging main street picking up volunteers on the fly headed to a fire call.....some good memories.....good for Ty, a great legacy.
Arlen Sheldrake on 18th July 2017 @ 9:42am
I recognize a few here. Left side board with cigar is Jim Stassen I believe. Next to driver with white helmet is Web Hill. And I think that's John Schlosser with the mustache in the pink shirt next to Web.
RHD on 18th July 2017 @ 10:47am
I grew up in, what was then, a small town at the west end of the Gorge. I remember being at the check out counter, in the local grocery store with my mom The fire siren went off and I can still picture the tall, lanky owner of the grocery store, running out the door in his white grocery apron and jumping on the fire truck as it went by.
L.E. on 18th July 2017 @ 10:53am
I can remember how it was in Pine Grove when I was a child. My cousins,owned The Boys grocery store. I don't know exactly how it worked,but on the south end of the store was a huge chalk board. Location of the fire was written on it. That is where people and I am fairly certain the volunteer firemen went to find the location of the blaze.
Charlott on 18th July 2017 @ 1:56pm
Further IDs of firemen: Bob Hinrich in front; John Brynes seated to the side; Doug Beam up on the very top; Mike Frohm standing on back bumper; Bob Dillingham at the rear of the truck. ID provided by Roy Irwin, member of the department from '65 to '97.
susie irwin on 18th July 2017 @ 8:03pm
With my view of downtown from my office at the Courthouse .. when the fire "horn" blasted .. I could view guys running from their place of business etc. while putting on their firefighting gear & jumping on the truck as it came down Oak Street. We also had a phone number to call & they would inform us where the fire was located. The station was downtown.
Judy on 19th July 2017 @ 10:19pm