David King climbed into the seat of a 1941 Ford fire truck with a lot of joy. Halls Fire Department Chief Lamar Brewer joined in the passenger seat at the Sampson County History Museum.
With more than 30 years of experience as a firefighter, Brewer was happy to contribute to the area’s history by restoring it for the public to see at 313 Lisbon St. in Clinton. King, a museum board member, felt the same way about the truck once used to put out fires and rescue people in Roseboro. He was surprised that it only had 4,000 miles on it.
It’s been about 20 years in the making and has been in the hands of the museum for many years. A building behind the main entrance was built just for it. With pieces and parts sitting around, King contacted the Sampson County Fireman’s Association to assist with the restoration.
“I give all the credit that I can to the Fire Association for what they’ve done for turning out something as beautiful as this here,” King said.
Brewer picked it up a few weeks prior to the arrival at the museum on Tuesday.
“It was all in here, sitting on the floor in boxes,” Brewer said about sorting out the pieces at home.
He makes repairs on antique trucks, but it’s the first fire truck he worked on. Some improvements included painting, sandblasting, shining the chrome and putting in a missing radiator. In the future, local historians will add words and decals to the truck.
“It’s an honor to do this,” Brewer said. “I’ve been in the fire service for 33 years and it was an honor to restore something for the museum.”
Another goal is to open the shed to give museum visitors an up-close look. In the meantime, they can see it through a window. The truck is a big hit with many children and when it left, many asked where it went.
“The kids love it,” King said. “It’s like the two-headed pig we have here. They always come back and say ‘where’s the fire truck?’”
Before it arrived, King held the original title in his hands which was issued in 1942 and signed by Freddie Butler, who served as mayor during that time.
“I know Roseboro would be proud to see this truck after all those years,” King said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.