Hickory (NC) First Fire Apparatus Remains in Good Condition

American LaFrance might have closed its production facility in South Carolina, but Hickory’s first truck, which was made by the company, remains.

The truck is currently at Huffman Hosiery Mills Inc., located on U.S. 321 in Granite Falls.

Lee Huffman, co-owner of the business, said his father, A.W. Huffman Jr., bought the truck sometime in the 1950s.

Huffman said it was his family’s yard ornament. He said his dad restored it in the 1970s.

Huffman said out in the country, it was tough getting fire insurance, but his father didn’t give up.

“He convinced the insurance company that we had a fire truck on duty,” Huffman said. “Through that, he was able to buy insurance and could buy some more equipment.”

Huffman has a delivery report for the truck. According to it, the truck was delivered to Hickory on March 10, 1914. The truck came from a factory in Elmira (NY) Huffman said. The report describes the condition of Hickory’s streets as “very bad and very hilly.”

When the truck responded to alarms, two people would ride in the driver seat and two would ride in the back by the water tank, Huffman said.

According to legend, when the truck was bought, it had to race the horses up a hill before the firefighters would accept it, Huffman said.

For more information, view www.hickoryrecord.com

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