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Bringing history home: Antique fire truck to return to Neenah

A local firefighter wanted an antique fire engine, so he bought it; Now he just needs to get it to Wisconsin
Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 18:21:49-04

NEENAH (NBC 26) — A Neenah-Menasha firefighter is asking for the community's help to bring a piece of fire department history home.

  • The Neenah Historical Society shares photos and newspaper clippings of Neenah Fire Truck number seven from their archives
  • A Neenah-Menasha firefighter found the antique truck listed for sale on Facebook
  • He is buying it but now asks for help with the transportation costs
  • He says a couple members of the department staff were working at the department when the truck was first gotten rid of

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

As you can see, there are plenty of fire engines at the Neenah-Menasha department. And one man hopes to make room for another. I'm Pari Apostolakos and I spoke to one firefighter asking for help to bring a piece of local history home.

Antique fire truck enthusiast — and Neenah-Menasha firefighter — Amos Mikkelson came across a hidden treasure on Facebook.

"It's a 1965 [Peter Pirsch & Sons truck], which was built in Kenosha, Wisconsin, originally for the Neenah Fire Department," the shift commander said.

Mikkelson and his wife are now buying the antique fire truck, something he says they are happy to do for the community.

"We get by giving," he said. "We give back to the community and that's what makes Neenah so great."

The truck has been in Idaho for years. Mikkelson says the engine still runs, but not well enough to make the journey to Wisconsin on its own. That's why he's started a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of hauling it back.

"It's too bad that we let it go, but now we have a chance to get it back here and I want to see that happen," Mikkelson said.

The goal of Mikkelson's online fundraiser is $10,000.

"I feel strongly that this community, both these communities, Nennah and Menasha, would just enjoy having that piece," he said. "That link between the past and the present."

He says the building where the truck is now stored in Idaho is being sold. So, he needs to get it back to Wisconsin by the end of April.

Local organizations are already considering how they can use the old truck in events this summer. At the Neenah-Menasha fire station Pari Apostolakos NBC 26.