Antique Silver Lake fire truck coming back to village custody


Silver Lake’s 1929 Ford firetruck in the 2009 Silver Lake Memorial Day Parade. / file photo

If you’ve been to a Memorial Day Parade in Silver Lake, in the last few decades at least,  you have seen it — the familiar 1929 Ford fire truck.

For the last year there has been a dispute over the possession of the antique vehicle, it came to light at Wednesday’s regular Village Board meeting. Recently, it has been housed in the Silver Lake Rescue Squad station and being looked after by the Silver Lake Fire & Rescue Auxiliary.

But at a Silver Lake Village Board meeting Wednesday, the board, asserting that the village is the truck’s rightful owner, asked for it to be returned across the tracks.

Trustee Patrick Dunn on Wednesday said the village is the titled owner of the truck and has been insuring the vehicle all along.

“It has been kept away from the village,” Dunn said. “It does belong to the village and we want it returned to us.”

But two representatives of the auxiliary addressed the board, defending that group’s actions. They said the auxiliary has taken care of the vehicle for years.

“It means a lot to us,” said  auxiliary member Judy Kluender. “We’ve spent a lot of money on that truck.”

The possession of the truck came to a head recently with the funeral of a former Silver Lake Fire Department chief. Fire department members wanted to use the truck in the services and found it was housed in the rescue building. The rescue station is on village property, but leased to the private rescue squad for a nominal fee.

The truck ultimately was used as the chief’s family wanted.

Village officials assured the auxiliary representatives at the meeting that they did not want to limit that group’s access to the truck or sell it. They just felt they should take possession since they owned it.

“That’s a treasure to the village,” village President Bruce Nopenz said of the truck. “It shouldn’t be sold … it should be used.”

Auxiliary members agreed to return the truck to the village. Dunn said Town of Salem Fire/Rescue Chief Mike Slover did not want that department, which covers the village now for fire protection, to have responsibility for the truck. Instead,  it will be housed in the building where village police patrol cars used to be kept when the village had its own police department.



  1. Wow says:

    Maybe the board is to busy trying to give away the Village of Silver Lake to worry about keeping track of their “Treasures”?

  2. Thankful says:

    This article makes it sound like groups were keeping this truck from the village.
    When the village did not have suitable garage space the Rescue Squad, and others before them, made their extra space available. We should be thanking them for that gesture. Now that the village has freed up space it makes sense to garage it in the village building.
    The Fire/Rescue Auxiliary has been gracious enough to maintain the truck, keep it washed, waxed and ready for parades, etc. We should also be thanking them. Hopefully they will continue to do so and will have access to the truck for those activities.
    No one was ‘keeping the truck’ from the village. It’s whereabouts were never a secret.
    Again thank you to the Rescue Squad and Fire/Rescue Auxiliary for keeping this truck safe and maintained.

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