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Wabash County Museum acquires vintage fire engine

ENGINE:Engine No. 2 will make a homecoming appearance during the Wabash Founder’s Day Parade on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Staff Report

On Tuesday, Sept. 3, the Wabash County Museum took ownership of a 1971 Mack Fire Engine, according to a Friday press release from Mitch Figert, president and CEO.

This engine was used by the Wabash City Fire Department, and while it was in service was referred to as Engine No. 2. After being taken out of service in 2006 as a reserve engine for Wabash City Fire Department, the fire engine was owned by a local collector before being sold to yet another collector outside of the area.

The Wabash County Museum houses more than 150,000 artifacts that are actively cared for, preserved, and used for exhibitions. Some of the artifacts are as small as a paper document, while one of the largest items in the Museum currently is the Service Motor Truck. Many of these items are located in the Richard E. Ford Archives and Research Center, while others are stored in the climate-controlled lower level collection storage space. However, the museum’s newest artifact will not fit in either of these spaces.

“Engine No. 2 showed up at a fire muster in New Haven a few weeks ago with a for sale sign posted in it,” stated Figert. “It wasn’t long before the museum starting receiving calls to consider bringing this engine home.”

The museum does not usually accept large items due to the complexities presented in caring for them, such as storage, ongoing maintenance, and use restrictions.

“In this case, however, the museum saw an opportunity to preserve a piece of Wabash County history while also using the fire engine as part of their community and educational programming,” stated the release.

As part of the Museum’s sponsorship program, Gebhart Holdings has partnered with the museum to sponsor Engine No. 2.

Engine No. 2 will make a homecoming appearance during the Wabash Founder’s Day Parade on Saturday, Sept. 21.