The restored 1929 Gays Mills fire truck made a major reappearance last Sunday in the Apple Festival Parade.
The antique truck was proudly driven down Main Street by Gays Mills firefighter Jeff Christie, who along with local resident John Powell did the restoration work. Christie handled the woodwork on the truck and Powell did the bodywork.
The 1929 Chevrolet soda acid fire truck was manufactured at Dobson’s Blacksmith shop in Bell Center in 1930 and was put into service upon completion. It has been part of the Gays Mills fire department fleet since that time.
The lumber for the project was donated by Fuller Log And Lumber Company of Prairie du Chien.
Detailing and accents were done by All County Signs, the Showen Company of Gays Mills.
No pumping mechanism was employed on this fire truck. The water was forced from the tanks by internally mixing sulfuric acid with bicarbonate of soda and water. This mixture caused a chemical reaction forming carbon dioxide gas and building pressure, of up to 200-pounds-per-square-inch, thus forcing the water from the tanks.
Once the process was initiated there was no shutting it off—the tanks need to be depleted each time the reaction was started.
If the reaction at the parade was any indication, the restored fire truck is on its way to becoming a community favorite and a source of pride for the Gays Mills Volunteer Fire Department.