Restored fire truck on duty in Heritage Park
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

July 29, 2006 - Hopkins County Heritage Park is now home to a one-of-a-kind fire truck, a 1929 Southern fire truck that was used by the city of Sulphur Springs until the 1970s, according to Max Bradford, who spent more than 320 hours restoring the historic fire apparatus.

In sharing some of the history of the truck, Bradford said the city paid $8,500 for the truck on Sept. 17, 1929. It was manufactured by Southern at a plant at Dallas Love Field -- one of only five trucks ever built.

Of the five trucks manufactured, four were pumpers and the other is the ladder truck now in Heritage Park.

The truck was retired from service and given to Heritage Park in the 1970s and, according to older firemen, the last fire the truck was used to battle was  the old hospital, which burned late in that decade.

Restoration of the antique fire truck was a project of Sulphur Springs Class of '43, which raised the money for the project, which Bradford said cost approximately $8,000.

In response to questions as to whether the restored fire truck could actually be used in fighting a fire, Bradford said, "No."

"The original pump is beyond repair and too expensive to replace," he said. "But everything else on the truck works."

Now, with its newly restored fire truck, Heritage Park is in need of a building to house the truck -- a fire station -- and all donations for the construction would be greatly appreciated.

For more information on making contributing to the construction of the needed building, contact Verdon Graves at 903-885-3806.

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