Morris-Baker Makes Donation to Help Save the Seagrave
Morris-Baker recently donated $800 to match the Johnson City Noon Rotary Club’s donation to help save the Johnson City Fire Department’s 1928 Seagrave City Service fire truck. Preston McKee, owner of Morris-Baker and secretary of the Rotary Club, wanted this donation to honor both Carson Baker and the Johnson City Fire Department.
Carson Baker is Preston’s grandfather and former owner of Morris-Baker. Carson had a lifelong interest in firefighting and counted many of Johnson City’s firefighters among his closest friends. He was a proud honorary fireman and an unofficial historian for the Johnson City Fire Department.
The Seagrave served the city for years and helped with many historic fires. In the 1970s, the fire truck was repurposed as a parade truck undergoing restoration. In the years since, due to several issues, the truck fell into a state of disrepair. For years, there was community interest in restoring the Seagrave, but it wasn’t until 2017 that efforts strongly took hold.
According to the website page dedicated to the Seagrave: “In January 2018, the Seagrave was towed from storage to Fleet Maintenance. Over the next several weeks a Fleet Maintenance crew led by Chris Whitaker performed engine work, changed fluids, and rebuilt a new battery box among other tasks. All this work culminated in the Seagrave rolling out of the bay under its own power.
“Today and almost 90 years later, the Seagrave 6.W.T is again being housed at station 3 where members are working to clean and repair the old wooden ladders. The Johnson City Firefighters Association L-1791 has partnered with the Johnson City Fire Department to raise funds to cover the costs of repainting and general reconditioning. Members want the project to be a community endeavor as the truck will be used for public education, parade details, and other special events. The goal is to have the Seagrave parade ready in time for the City of Johnson City’s Sesquicentennial celebration in 2019.”
We look forward to seeing the Seagrave out in the community. Thank you to all of those whose hard work and dedication are making the Seagrave’s restoration a reality.
Pictured (left to right): Fire Chief Jim Stables; Avery Knapp, firefighter; and Preston McKee