Mechanic Falls Fire Chief Fred Sturtevant III takes a look at the 1931 Chevy fire truck that was brought back to Mechanic Falls from Ontario on Sunday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

MECHANIC FALLS — Fifteen years ago, the firetruck was in a barn in a Vermont.

Mechanic Falls firefighter Chris Arsenault and his sons, Paxtyn, and Preston, take a look at the truck. Arsenault and his brother, Robert, drove to Ontario to pick up and bring the fire truck back to Mechanic Falls. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

It was just days away from being totally scrapped.

Then Doug Leuhmann, a vintage firetruck restorer from Ontario happened by the barn.

He bought the truck for $5,000.

He had not done too much restoration on the truck since then.

The truck still held onto its original paint, engine and equipment such as the ladders, hoses, tools.

He still had the original paper work.

The town of Mechanic Falls raised $3,750.00 in 1931 to purchase the fire truck. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

But Leuhmann wanted to cut down his inventory.

He contacted the original owners, the Mechanic Falls Fire Department, in July.

According to Mechanic Falls Fire Chief Fred Sturtevant, the first offer was $10,000.

Sturtevant said that was too much for the Fire Association to spend.

Leuhmann and Sturtevant agreed on the final price of $5,000.

The Fire Association is funded entirely by donations and fundraisers. No tax dollars.

Retired Mechanic Falls firefighter Dave Stimson was on hand to see the 1931 Chevy fire truck roll into town on Sunday. Stimson can remember driving the ladder truck in the 1960’s. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

On Friday, brothers Robert and Chris ‘Skeeter’ Arsenault, who are Mechanic Falls firefighters, traveled to Ontario, just past Niagara Falls, and towed the 1931 Chevrolet firetruck to where it all began, delivering the truck Sunday to the Mechanic Falls Fire Department.

At the town meeting in 1931, $3,750.00 was raised to buy the truck.

“The town now has a 1931 Chevy ladder truck, ladder to carry is 40ft, a 32ft ladder, also some smaller ladders,” reads the department’s history, compiled by former Fire Chief Don Patterson.

Former Firemen Dave Stimson and Gary Purington were on hand to greet the truck’s homecoming.

Stimson had joined the department in 1956, Purington a decade later. Purington said he and Stimson had driven “to many a fires on this truck.”

“Never thought I would see it again,” Purington said.

Stimson said the truck was decommissioned in the 1970s.

After testing the siren, which worked, Robert Arsenault said, “The brakes are a bit sticky.”

Added Sturtevant, “We’ll get a crew together tomorrow night” to begin changing the truck’s role into a show piece at parades and fairs.

Retired Mechanic Falls firefighter Dave Stimson, center, talks with firefighter Robert Arsenault, after Arsenault and his brother, Chris, drove to Ontario to pick up and bring the 1931 Chevy fire truck back to Mechanic Falls on Sunday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo


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