A $2,500 grant has made it possible for restoration to begin on the Sycamore Fire Department’s first motorized fire engine, a 1923 Stutz.
The DeKalb County Community Foundation presented the grant to the Sycamore Fire Preservation Company Monday. Although the nonprofit company is $5,000 shy of its $25,000 goal, a deadline for the restoration of the fire engine, a 1923 Stutz, will be announced in four to six weeks, said Gene Ege, Sycamore Fire Preservation Company president.
The Sycamore Fire Preservation Company was formed in February 2001 by current and former firefighters to restore the truck close to its original form and to get it in “parade-ready” condition, Ege said.
“It was sold in 1967, went through three or four different owners and ended up in Indiana,” Ege said. “In 2000, we got a letter from the owner saying that he wanted to sell it, and [he] gave us the opportunity to buy it back and bring it back home.”
The fire engine, which was purchased in 1923 for $10,250 and removed from active service in 1957, was brought back to Sycamore in August 2001.
Since the group has obtained the truck, it has partnered with Jerry Didio of Marty and Sons Inc. Body Shop to help with the restoration process. Didio estimated the cost of restoration to be about $20,000.
Ege said the Sycamore Fire Preservation Company’s goal of $25,000 will cover the restoration cost with potential excess funds going toward future fire department historical projects.
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