The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

February 1, 2013

Clinton Fire Department: A walk through time

CLINTON — In a few years the Clinton Fire Department will celebrate 125 years in existence with little to show for it in the way of artifacts. It’s a deficiency Fire Chief Mike Brown and Battalion Chief Creighton Regenwether hope to end with the help of the community.

Brown and Regenwether plan to turn the former secretary area at Central Fire into a room filled with historic memorabilia. Regenwether even created a two-tier wooden display case to exhibit the fire department’s relics. The space would become the starting point for tours, but would also fulfill a need within the fire department.

“Unless you understand where you’ve been, how can you move forward?” Brown asked.  

A number of fire department items are on the display at the Clinton County Historical Society, and the department has a few items such as an old alarm box that used to alert the department of a fire before the days of 911 and the record book of every firefighter that has ever served in the department. Beyond these items, department officials believe an abundance of artifacts could be floating somewhere in the community unbeknownst to them.

Even the fire department’s original charter has eluded the department’s officials.

Brown asks residents who have an artifact or know someone who does to help support the mission to create a historical display by donating or lending them to the fire department.

Specifically Brown said he would like to see old helmets, coats, uniforms, badges and old nozzles, but would appreciate any historical item. He would also like to see old photos that highlight the department’s past and potentially get a computer running that would display videos and other written artifacts during tours.

While Brown and Creighton can remember the past based on stories from former firefighters, they would like to have the physical remnants.

“The badges used to have a one, two, three or a four on them depending on the station. We don’t have any of those,” Brown said.

They hope to learn about the past too far removed for Brown’s 26 years of experience or Regenwether’s 33 such as the time when horses were still vital to ferrying the firefighters to a scene.  

“We have to remember,” Regenwether said. “There’s probably stuff out there that I wouldn’t even know.”

Currently all the firefighters are making trips to the historical society to see the items that exist and get a sense of how far firefighting in Clinton has come. Soon department officials hope they will be able to reflect on the history within their own four walls, but advise they won’t be able to without the help of the community.

“I just think it’s only fair for somebody to get this stuff together,” Brown said. “It’s part of the department’s history.  It’s part of Clinton’s history.”

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Taylorville couple wins $20M lotto jackpot

    A Taylorville couple has celebrated winning a more than $20 million Illinois Lottery drawing.

    Steve and Wilma Durbin were presented with their winning check Thursday afternoon at a grocery store in the central Illinois city where they purchased the ticket. The couple took a lump sum payment of $8.1 million after taxes.

    The Taylorville Breeze-Courier reports the Durbins hit the jackpot in the April 10 Illinois Lotto drawing. That was just two weeks after they were married.

    April 17, 2014

  • Branstad signs school radon bill into law

    The Iowa Department of Education must gather information from schools about whether they are testing for radon gas under a bill Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law.

    Branstad signed the bill Thursday to require school districts to tell the department about radon testing by the end of this year. The department must then report to the Legislature by January.

    April 17, 2014

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

    Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

    April 17, 2014

  • Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say

    With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections.

    Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," the GOP's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread.

    April 17, 2014

  • Search for Chicago site for George Lucas museum

    As Yoda might say: A site for a museum you must find.

    Those are the marching orders Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving a dozen civic leaders as the city searches for a potential location for an interactive museum to house filmmaker George Lucas' collection of art and filmmaking memorabilia.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video