Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

Ahrens-Fox Fire Apparatus Preservation

Red Wing's restored 1925 fire apparatus

Red Wing's restored 1925 fire apparatus brings a
sense of pride to the community.

Red Wing Fire Department
Red Wing, Goodhue County

Mechanical repairs were made to preserve the historical integrity of Red Wing's 1925 Ahrens-Fox M-S-4 fire apparatus. This apparatus (Serial #1707) was purchased new by the city on November 18, 1925, just before the fire department became fully motorized, and Mike, the last horse, sent out to pasture. The apparatus was delivered from Cincinnati by rail, sharing the same train with a similar apparatus built for the St. Paul Fire Department.

Upon completion of the project, “the Fox” has returned to parade status. Its first event was River City Days parade on August 2, 2015. The fire apparatus is available for public education activities as well as all city promotions and events. Fire station tours are scheduled throughout the calendar year. An annual open house takes place every Ahrens-Fox Fire Apparatus Preservation Red Wing Fire Department Red Wing, Goodhue County October. It brings a sense of pride to the public when they see shiny red fire trucks, outfitted with polished chrome, parked neatly on the apparatus floor. This especially holds true for antique fire apparatus. It lets the public see firsthand the community’s sense of commitment to preserving history, and brings back memories for the dozen retired firefighters who worked at the fire department when the Fox was still in service.

Probationary firefighters learn the importance of fire service history in their probationary training. When hired with the Red Wing Fire Department, every attempt is made to instill in them a sense of pride and commitment to Red Wing history. The Fox proves to be a useful tool to accomplish this goal.