A 1928 Seagrave fire truck is one of the largest artifacts the Society’s collection. The city of Woodstock bought the engine new, replacing an older Seagrave model. It boasts a 500-gallon pumping engine and can reach a speed of 50 mph. It fought its last fire in 1958 at Dacy’s Appliances, located on the northeast corner of the Woodstock Square, and was officially retired the next year.
In 1967 the Woodstock City Council adopted an ordinance directing the city to sell the 1928 fire truck to the McHenry County Historical Society for $1. As the Society did not have a museum then, the fire truck was cared for and housed by George Meyers until 1969. It later was housed in a barn, before coming to the Society’s museum in the 1980s. As the museum grew, more space was required for exhibits. In 1999, the Society acquired the Schuette building and relocated the Seagrave fire truck there. In 2007, the fire truck returned to Woodstock Fire/Rescue District headquarters off Judd Street for safekeeping.
Over the years, it has been maintained and cared for by Mike Shannon and Scott Sankey. Sankey also drives the fire truck in local parades and to Society events. This fall it was returned to the McHenry County Historical Society in Union.
• The Society is now seeking temporary climate-controlled storage to house the 91-year-old fire truck. The “adoption” would consist of a safe, donated space – while the Society seeks a more permanent location to house its engine. The fire truck is approximately 22 feet long.
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