OWEGO, NY – Owego’s local championship firematic racing team is working to restore one of the village’s historic jewels.
The Owego Fire Department’s 1866 Steam Fire Pumper is going to be restored by Owego Hose Teams, making it by far the oldest firefighting vehicle in fighting shape today.
The vehicle will also have its own “steamer house” on North Avenue next to Owego Fire Station number 2 at the former Lloyd’s Barbershop site.
The steamer will also be brought out for demonstrations at events like the Strawberry Festival.
Early Owego Antique Center Owner Jim Mead says he is thankful to have so many different kinds of people behind this project.
“Now, to see this new effort, and the amount of money and time, and also expertise, because I want to point out too, that these younger members of the hose team have agreed to take the very particular training to learn how to operate steam boilers and the steam pumpers in particular,” says Mead.
The steamer, originally in use from 1866 to 1926, remained operational until the late 80’s.
It’s going to a restoration conservation firm to be fitted with a new boiler.
Hypothetically, the unit could be used to fight fires once it is restored, but it will be used mostly as a memento of the history of the village.
Between the restoration and the small house for the steamer, the entire project is expected to cost upwards of $100,000.