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News Community Bell from 1915 fire truck restored to FFD

Ringing the bell is Randolph Bulgin; (Front row, L-R) Tim Chavis, Chloe Baty, Mackenzie Baty and Payton Baty; (Middle row, L-R) Joe Suminski, Jimmy Baty, Alan McWilliams and Pete Haithcock; (Back row) Greg Day. Photo by Bob ScottThe local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution organized a bell ringing to commemorate Constitution Day. The Franklin Fire Department was able to participate in the bell ringing having just acquired a bell that was once a part of the FFD fleet.

Randolph Bulgin brought the bell to Franklin Fire about three weeks ago and presented it to the fire department on behalf of his father. The bell was believed to have been used on a fire truck as early as 1915. He later mounted it on the 1937 fire truck.

Bulgin’s earliest actual memory of the bell would have been when the children of the firemen were taken for a ride around town during the annual firemen’s picnic, siren and bell included, on the fire truck. This could have been as early as 1945 but he was not sure if the picnic was held during WWII. At that time the firehouse was located in the little building off Iotla Street, near the Baptist Church.

The stories that have been told about the bell were that the bell came to the Town of Franklin in 1915 on a 1915 Dodge fire truck. Bulgin didn’t know if that truck came to town as a real “fire truck” or if it was just a truck designated as the fire truck and equipped to carry a hose and the requisite axes.

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