Fired up for First Saturday: Marvel Museum showcasing antique fire trucks


1922 american la france georgetown

Georgetown’s 1922 American La France.

GEORGETOWN – Georgetown Historical Society President Jim Bowden is pretty fired up about the July 11 extravaganza at the Marvel Carriage Museum grounds.

laurel 1924 ahrens fox

Laurel’s 1924 Ahrens Fox.

This Saturday, antique fire trucks – including one dating back to the 19th century – from numerous Sussex County fire companies will be on public display at the First Annual Antique Fire Truck and Apparatus Show.

The show will coincide as an added attraction during the third edition of the Georgetown Non-Profit Alliance’s First Saturday in Georgetown initiative.

“I thought it would be nice because I like fire trucks, like most people,” said Mr. Bowden. “I’m tickled to death I’ve got this many. In my wildest dreams I didn’t think I was going to be able to get this many departments.”

Response has been overwhelming.

1968 Kaiser Jeep gumboro

Gumboro’s 1968 Kaiser Jeep.

As of June 28, Mr. Bowden had received commitments from a dozen volunteer fire companies or departments, totaling 17 fire trucks and other vehicles.

“I’m very happy that we have gotten the buy-in from just about all of the fire companies in Sussex County. It’s very heartening. They are a good group, and they love to show off their trucks,” Mr. Bowden said.

Oldest entry bragging rights goes to Georgetown Fire Company’s 1883 Holloway hand-drawn ladder – one of Station 77’s three antiques to be on display.

Georgetown’s other entries are a 1922 American LaFrance and a 1954 Mac.

Millsboro Fire Company Station 83 will bring its 1942 Ford and 1938 Reo Speedwagon, while Frankford Volunteer Fire Company will showcase its 1968 Cadillac ambulance.

Other antiques are:

  • Milton’s 1926 American La France;
  • Millville’s 1945 Autocar;
  • Gumboro’s 1968 Kaiser Jeep;
  • Ellendale’s 1950 American La France;
  • Seaford’s 1948 Seagrave and 1921 Seagrave;
  • Greenwood’s 1924 Model T Ford;
  • Bridgeville’s 1936 REO Speedwagon;
  • Laurel’s 1924 Ahrens Fox; and
  • Rehoboth, 1954 Ward La France and 1961 Pittman Snorkel.
Millsboro 1938 REO Speedwagon

Millsboro’s 1938 REO Speedwagon.

These antiques usually seen at special events will be on display for up-close public viewing and photo opts.

“We’ve got some really unique pieces that you only see in parades just going by, where these are going to be stationary. You will be able to take pictures of them and look at them. To me I think that’s pretty cool,” said Mr. Bowden.

“And what I found is … the guys that actually tend the older vehicles love those vehicles to death,” Mr. Bowden said. “It’s like their child they are taking care of. They are very particular with them …”

milton 1926 american la france

Milton’s 1926 American La France.


Sponsored by the Georgetown Nonprofit Alliance, First Saturday in Georgetown is a five-month initiative offering free public tours of six Georgetown-area museums: Masonic Lodge, Old Georgetown Train Station, Old Sussex County Courthouse, Delaware Aviation Museum, Marvel Museum and Treasures of the Sea at Delaware Technical Community College.

On First Saturday events, museums are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., free of charge with docents on hand for tours in historical information.

First Saturday in Georgetown runs from May through September. July’s date is actually the second Saturday, moved back one week due to the July 4th holiday.

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