Antique Swanton Fire Truck Being Donated to Sauder Village – 5/4/20

This is a reprint of a Village Reporter article from May 4, 2020,  The firetruck is now in place at Sauder Village’s 1920s Main Street Exhibit.

Antique Swanton Fire Truck Being Donated to Sauder Village

By:  Bill O’Connell

A 1923 Model T Fire Truck, once owned and operated by the Swanton Volunteer Fire Department, is in the process of being donated to Sauder Village in Archbold with the expressed intent to be displayed as part of Sauder’s 1920’s Streetscape Exhibit.  Currently, the Swanton Fire Department (SFD) houses the Model T Fire Truck and has for many years.

Representing the Taylor family, owners of the vehicle, Terrance L. Taylor, now of Fort Wayne, Indiana, wrote a letter to SFD Chief Anthony Schaffer giving the Village of Swanton permission to donate the historical fire equipment.

The letter read, in part, “On behalf of the late Swanton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Floyd L. Taylor (1949-1961) and Chief Lewis W. Taylor (1961-1999) families, we hereby authorize and permit the Swanton Fire Department and Village of Swanton, Ohio to donate to Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio the 1923 Model T Fire Truck of the Swanton Volunteer Fire Department in their 1920’s Streetscape so that the public can view Fulton County and Swanton history.  It is our understanding, from speaking with Mary Smith, that Sauder Village is very interested in the 1923 Model T and will transport, restore, maintain and display it as appropriate.”

“I have fond memories of riding in the 1923 Model T when I was on the Department as a Cadet in 1968-1972.  It made many trips on a trailer to be in the Annual Northwest Ohio Volunteer Firemen’s Association Convention Parade,” wrote Mr. Taylor.

Chief Schaffer said his department supports the effort for several reasons.  “We just don’t have the resources to get this vehicle back to what is was and Sauder Village does,” he explained.  “We’re going to know where its at, a part of Fulton County.  We’re cautiously excited for what this donation, not only for what it does for Swanton but for Fulton County and Sauder itself.”

Legal documents will still need to be prepared including the reissuing of long lost the title.  Additionally, if sometime in the future, Sauder Village no longer has a use for the Fire Truck, the Village of Swanton will contractually be given the first right of refusal to get it back.

Swanton Village Photo:  Swanton Fire Chief Tony Schaffer and Swanton Mayor Neil Toeppe

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