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1915 Seagrave engine returns home

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 20th, 2013

Retired Watsonville Fire Assistant Chief Gene Friend (right) gets a ride aboard a 1915 Seagrave engine Wednesday after the engine was fully restored as firefighter Bob Warrick takes the wheel. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — A big chunk of Watsonville’s history rolled back into town Wednesday at Watsonville Fire Station No. 1. The department’s 1915 Seagrave engine, that served the city from 1915 to 1928, now has a fully restored engine and can run on its own power. The engine in the antique rig was blown during the 2010 Spirit of Watsonville Fourth of July parade.

Gene Friend, an assistant fire chief, who retired in 2004, said he was relieved to see the engine return home.

“They really cleaned it up and now it looks great,” Friend said. “This was a reliable machine. It was with us until 1946 when it went over to Freedom Fire District where it was used as their main pump engine. When you think of those hard rubber tires, no air brakes, and no power steering you wonder how this thing can even get around. I mean — you’d be rushing off to a fire. But back then, the City of Watsonville was one square mile.”

Retired volunteer firefighter Ed Banks said the engine still needs detail work including replacing headlights, trim work and a new driver’s seat.

For the complete article see the 02-21-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-21-2013 paper.

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