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Newberg Fire Apparatus Show

Fire Truck Party at Private Museum in Oregon City

Members Apparatus

Member Owned Trucks

Everyone Enjoys An Old Fire Engine 

Bill Ayer of  Seattle owns this truck. It is a 1942 American-LaFrance. It’s a 600-series pumper (750 gpm, 500-gal. tank) that he got in 1989 from Port Townsend, WA. Originally it served the U.S. Navy Torpedo Station at Keyport, WA. It is powered by the original ALF V12 engine. It has been repainted and is now lettered “US Navy” on one side and “Port Townsend” on the other side. 

Fire apparatus owned by Wes Melo of Roseburg, Oregon. Left to right are a 1919 Model TT Ford/American LaFrance chemical and hose engine originally sold to Healdsburg California, a 1915 Model T Ford/American LaFrance chemical engine originally sold to Las Cruces, New Mexico, a 1923 Model TT Ford/Howe triple combination pumper, originally sold to Bowen Illinois.

Wes Milo's 1919 Model TT Ford/American LaFrance chemical and hose engine originally sold to Healdsburg California.

Wes Milo's 1915 Model T Ford/American LaFrance chemical engine originally sold to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Wes Milo's 1923 Model TT Ford/Howe triple combination pumper, originally sold to Bowen Illinois.

"Engine 41" Owned by Bill Aumen of Dunkin, Victoria, a1941 ALF Type B675CO   750/150

Served Fort Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis McChord), WA

"Ladder 58" Owned by Bill Aumen of Dunkin, Victoria, a 1973 ALF 1000 Series       1250/300/85’

Served East Peoria, IL and Jermyn, PA

This classic American-LaFrance pumper was one of two purchased by Portland, OR, in 1923, and shipped by train from Elmira, NY in December of that year.  It was placed in service as Engine 22 in downtown Portland. It is now owned by Chapter President, Matt Simek of Newberg, Oregon.

As a city engine, it had no booster tank or reel, but a massive 1,000 GPM geared pump and large hose bed.  It had a rudimentary electrical system, consisting of a large 6vdc battery that was used only to power the headlights and searchlight.  There was no generator, so when the battery faded, it would have to be recharged at the station house.  Nor did it have an electric starter, so it was hand-cranked each time.

In the early- to mid-1930s, the Portland mechanics reworked both sister engines to replace the ALF engine with Hall-Scott 177s.  Mine had been bored out for a displacement of 1100, providing enormous torque not only to run the pump, but also to deal with Portland's hills.  The mechanics also installed a three-speed "Brownie" in the drive line, a 12vdc electrical system, including a massive generator and electric starter, front wheel hydraulic brakes -- it came from the factory with rear mechanical brakes only -- and added an engine-operated vacuum boost system for all brakes, and some red warning lights.

This is the condition the truck was in when it was dispatched in 1935 to fight the catastrophic Capitol building fire in Salem, which was a total loss in the end due to its balloon construction and lack of city water pressure.

Today, this classic example of the American-LaFrance tradition is house in my Fire Hall in Newberg, OR.  It is currently undergoing restoration, focusing primarily on the engine and drive train for now, including a complete brake job and other mechanical components.  The generator has been replaced with a low-RPM alternator, the electric starter has been repaired, and all the fluids and settings repaired or re-set, so it is now road-worthy. Some body work has begun, but that will take several years to complete.

This is the condition the truck was in when it was dispatched in 1935 to fight the catastrophic Capitol building fire in Salem, which was a total loss in the end due to its balloon construction and lack of city water pressure.

Part of the Oregon Fire Service Museum collection, a 1950 Kenworth/Howard Cooper. 1,000 GPM pump and a 300 gallon water tank. This truck served the Oregon City Fire Dept. It later served as private fire protection at the Blue Heron paper mill in Oregon City along the river. It became part of the Oregon Fire Service Museum collection in 1995. 

Part of the Oregon Fire Service Museum collection, a 1956 International with the body built by Howard Cooper of Portland. The Clatskaine, Oregon Rural Fire District purchased this piece new. I was a 1,000 GPM mid-ship pump and also a high pressure pump. A special note about this truck is that is was the fire truck Howard Cooper built with enclosed jump seats. 

Part of the Oregon Fire Service Museum's collection, a 1958 Pirsch ladder truck. This was donated to the fire museum in summer of 2016 by Jeff LaGood of Vancouver WA. The truck originally served the Rusling Hose Co. in Hamilton, NJ. 

1956 American LaFrance from Nelson, BC, Canada. Owned by John Brown

Part of the Oregon Fire Service Museum collection, a 1954 Crown pumper. 1,250 GPM pump, 400 gallon water tank. This pumper was the 2nd Crown sold outside of California and the first Crown sold in Oregon. It was new to the City of The Dalles Fire Dept, later known as Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue. In the 1970's it went back to the factory and the gas motor removed and a Cummins diesel motor installed. A hard top was also installed at the same time. It was donated to the OFSM collection in 2015. 

Part of the Oregon Fire Service Museum collection, a 1958 American LaFrance 85' aerial ladder truck that served the Corvallis Fire Department. It was in-service until 1989. After being taken out of service it was slated to go into a city park as a play structure. But due to ADA regulations, the plan was canceled because it wouldn't have looked like a fire truck any more when it was done. The truck sat in the public works yard for the next five years in limbo. In 1994, OFSM was able to get CFD to donate it and it became OFSM's first piece of rolling stock. 

A 1938 Ford/Western States fire engine.This piece was donated to OFSM in 2007. This was originally a wood hauling truck that was converted to a fire engine in the early 1940’s by Gloyd Hall who founded Western States Fire Apparatus. This is Western States 2nd built apparatus. Gaston FD used this truck for many years for firemen’s musters. 

1924 Seagrave delivered to Olympia, WA in April of 1924. Owned by John Brown. 

Owned by Terry Hill, a 1928 Ahrens-Fox, M-S-4 piston pumper, ex-Cincinnati, Ohio Engine 9.  My Dad and I purchased it in 1982 did a complete restoration of it over about 10 years.  It runs and pumps well and we’ve traveled to Boise, Idaho in 2002 for their Centennial and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 2008 for their 150th Anniversary.  I usually show it in two local cars shows during the year also.


It served as Engine 9 in Cincinnati until about the mid-1950’s and then was sold to an upstate Ohio volunteer department.  It bounced around between 2 or 3 volunteer department over the next few years and then was placed in storage.  It was the last piston pump equipped Ahrens-Fox fire engine that Cincinnati purchased in 1928.  They purchased many more Ahrens-Foxes over the years, but not another equipped with a piston pump.  It is also the only Ahrens-Fox that the Cincinnati Fire Shops converted to have air brakes (rear wheels only).  An air  compressor was mounted to the crankshaft off the front of the piston pump and supplied air to an air reservoir tank mounted under the right side frame for the brakes.

Bruce Hertel of Grants Pass owns this 1914 TYPE 75 American LaFrance pumper. As you can see it is all there and NO rust anywhere.This truck was never outside and I think it is in very nice, easily restorable condition. I would love to paint it and get it running (I have ALL the parts to make that happen) just need the ambition!

Matt Droege of Creswell, OR: I have the 1953 GMC Howard Cooper factory "twin screw" with the 500 GPM pump. I found this truck during the Swanson's mill fire in Springfield parked on a farm in the area. I vowed to return someday to find out where it was from and who built it. When I did the owner offered it up for a price I could not refuse. It is in progress but does run and drive with only 6K miles. It last served for Siuslaw Valley in Mapleton Or.

Matt Droege of Creswell, OR: I have the 1957 Chevrolet Roney originally from Sweet Home and last served Fossil Or that I found in Wasco Or and restored. It has a waterous 750 GPM triple stage pump and is powered by a factory Buick 322 V8 engine with under 15K on the odometer.

Matt Droege of Creswell, OR: I also took over care of Eugene's 1970 Mack CF pumper after Ken Armstrong's passing from cancer. Ken was instrumental in the restoration and maintenance of the only apparatus Eugene ever kept. It is currently housed in the Eugene airport station and has paid it's respects to those who served with it by attending some of their services.

Mike Turcott of Tenino, WA. My first piece of classic fire apparatus is a 1948 American LaFrance 700 series built for Weyerhauser Timber Company in Longview, WA. The model is 710-PJO which means: 700 series, 1000 gpm pump, pumper, J-motor, open cab. I found it in February 2014 rotting in the weeds at the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad in Mineral, WA. I suspect the rig finished its useful years up on the logging roads because the undercarriage was full of mud and grass.


Details are fuzzy, but the legend says the truck was destined to be restored and displayed in a logging museum in Eatonville. Restoration never happened. Instead, it sat outside for 25-30 years. Somebody came along, pulled the motor and picked off the oil pan, distributors, radiator, and a bunch of body and trim parts, leaving the rest behind. 


I brought it home in August 2014 and found that it was really in pretty good shape for sitting outside. This speaks to the quality of fire apparatus construction in that era. I acquired another J motor from an eBay seller (paid too much) and a bunch of parts from 700 collectors including Katrina Nelson in Morristown, IN. (Free radiator, just come and get it.)(I did), and Larry Zotti, in Granite City, IL. I've discovered there is a tremendous network of good people in SPAAMFAA, willing to help with parts or technical info, or both. 


As of August 2017, the Weyerhaeuser ALF 700 is down to its frame and on its way back up with fresh paint, new brakes, wiring, etc. I'm hoping the putting back together goes faster than the taking apart. 

Mike Turcott collection continued: Since one fire engine isn't enough, in May of 2017 I responded to a Craigslist ad and purchased another 1948 American LaFrance 700 and a 1960 900, both of which were original Sumner, WA rigs. Both were purchased surplus from the Sumner FD by a former volunteer and stored in Puyallup, WA for many years. The owner passed away in 2016 and the trucks were put up for sale by his son. I got both rigs at a fair price, and a bunch of extra parts including a NOS gasket set for the model J motor and the 700's original operator's manual. 


The 48 700 is a 775-PJC (700, 750 gpm, pumper, J-motor, closed cab). The body is in better shape than my Weyerhaeuser rig but the motor sat for years with the carburetors removed and has an oil pan full of water. The 60 900 is a 1000 gpm rig with a K-motor (aka Continental R-6602). A little tinkering with the motor and some guidance from Pacific Northwest SPAAMFAA members John Brown and Bill Hall and it roared to life. 

Mike Turcott's 1947 700 Series American LaFrance pumper

Mike Turcott's 1960 900 Series American LaFrance pumper

Mark Merritt of Yakima, WA: 1960 GMC ex Yakima FD

Mark Merritt of Yakima, WA: 1947 Seagrave TDA ex Yakima WA

Mark Merritt of Yakima, WA: 1948 Howard Cooper Seagrave ex Yakima WA

1951 FWD fire engine owned by Greg & Vickie Musil of Lebanon, Oregon. This truck is full time four wheel drive, has a 750 GPM pump, and is equipped with several ground ladders. The truck originally served Astoria FD, and later went to the Hammond/Warrenton Fire Dept. 


Contact Us

c/o Greg Musil, Chapter President


c/o Bryan Joyce
PO Box 575

Newberg, OR 97132

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