Sioux Falls, SD

3rd size Silsby Engine No. 717

Built in 1883 for Nyack, NY

 

According to existing information it appears that the City of Sioux Falls purchased this steamer in 1903 and used it for approximately 4 years until the city's water system was upgraded in 1907. The steamer was stored by the department until the 1970's when it was restored by the fire fighters. It is no longer in working condition but it is on display in our Central fire station. The restoration was not done for authenticity but to make it presentable for parades, hence the yellow wheels to match our apparatus at the time.

In 2000 our department celebrated it's 100th Anniversary as a paid fire
department and we arranged for a team of horses to pull it into the park
where we held a department picnic. We used one of our smoke machines to simulate steam and a photo of that is included.

I have included four photos, The first is the steamer with a number of other department photos in front of an old station. There is no date on the photo but the building it is in front of was only used as the fire station until 1912 so since our records show we purchased it in 1903 it would be of course between those dates. The second is a view of the steamer before it was restored, probably taken around 1956. The third shows the builders plate and the final view is the steamer as it is today.

Supplied by:
Cindy Konda
Technical Clerk

This engine appears to be one of the few remaining engines with the heavier leaf spring suspension introduced some time after 1874. It is the only example of this suspension I have seen with steel wheels.

 

 

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