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Fire truck history pulling into library


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Andrew Laker | The Republic  The first diesel-powered fire truck in the United States - a 1937 Stutz -  was the centerpiece for Saturday's third annual Columbus Historic Celebration Day at Donner Park Shelter House. Other displays included displays products once made in Columbus, such as furniture from Orinoco Furniture Factory and radios from Arvin Industries.
Andrew Laker | The Republic The first diesel-powered fire truck in the United States - a 1937 Stutz - was the centerpiece for Saturday's third annual Columbus Historic Celebration Day at Donner Park Shelter House. Other displays included displays products once made in Columbus, such as furniture from Orinoco Furniture Factory and radios from Arvin Industries.


The private collections of 11 local history buffs will be on display Saturday when Bartholomew County Public Library hosts a Local History Day.

Collection highlights include more than 30 local business signs, which collectors Jim and Gayle Loesch will display along the library’s back fence, and two circa 1920s engines — one from Reeves and one from Cummins — displayed by Bill Stahl.

The first diesel fire engine in the United States, a 1937 Stutz diesel engine, courtesy of the Columbus Fire Department, will be parked in the library plaza. Other memorabilia can be viewed throughout the library, and collectors will be on hand to share stories and answer questions.

Hands-on toys and games, supplied by the Bartholomew County Historical Society, will be set up in the children’s area.

“These collections are really incredible,” reference librarian Michele Bottorff said. “You don’t get to see these things unless you get invited into their homes.”

The event was organized by Historic Columbus, an informal group of local historians who gather periodically to reminisce and maintain a message board on the library’s website so out-of-towners can stay connected.

The group hosted a similar event four years ago at Donner Center.

“We all ‘geek’ out on different things,” said Bottorff, referencing the library’s recent campaign that encourages library-goers to learn more about their favorite topics. “We decided it was time to ‘geek’ history.”

Local History Day

WHERE: Bartholomew County Public Library, 536 Fifth St.

WHEN: Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Admission: Free.

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