I have a woeful tale to tell tonight. In the late 50's my great uncle Moey really wanted a model T fire truck. For well over a decade my grandfather helped find him most of the original parts for a model T Fire truck. The only thing fabricated was the wooden body boarding on the very back. They found original hoses, hose reels, water pumps, helmets, sirens, spare gas tank with fire emblems, axes, and accessory lights for a period correct fire truck. When they were done it looked beautiful. Well my uncle moey died awhile ago. His wife and him had a falling out. She stashed the truck in his barn when he died. The barn began to rot in around the truck, but it was still intact and there. When Moey died he said that the truck should go to my grandfather, since he helped build and supply most of it. Furthermore, moey had been a firefighter for his whole life. He had good friends that had long since left the squad, and the new guys were nothing but rude. He clarified: I do not want that truck going to them when i'm gone. Well to spite her husband she donated that fire truck to the company, under the condition that it not ever be sold, and that was in writing with the papers.
The memmbers of the squad had never dealt with a model T and quickly broke it. It sat around, and magically "disappeared" when an untold sum donation was given to the fire company. Furthermore, the accessory axes, hose, and other parts had been stripped off by members of the squad who wanted them.
My grandfather is livid about this, and we are currently trying to hunt down the current location of the truck and get it back since it was sold illegally. We may not be able to give the truck that is righfully his back to him, but that fire dept. should never had sold that truck and so it needs to go back there.
The fire dept that had it was I believe the Montgomery Fire Dept.
Last news was that the truck was in the Jersey area.
Anyone heard about this?
Nope, But if you set fire to the fire department and maybe they will regret losing a firetruck when they needed it most.
I haven't heard or seen anything of course, because I don't live in the area. I'm kind of old, but my health is pretty good and I'm more than willing to provide whatever muscle I've got to help you. Stories like yours really piss me off and the injustice is a terrible thing to have to bear. Tell your Dad to hang tough things could still work out.
My friend, Bill Killen, is on his way up here today with a proof copy of his revised Model T Fords in the Fire Service book for me to review.
There are a lot more photos added to this edition, and over 60 photos were provided by Roland Boulet who lives in Pembroke New Hampshire. He had been collecting these photos for many years. The current location of many of those trucks is not known and they may not exist anymore either.
Matthew, if you get real lucky, there may be a photo of the truck you are seeking in there.
A little more information, as to whether it was a TT or T truck and what year it was or another early photo might help.
Then too, many people have no idea where the Montgomery Fire Dept. is located or if it relates to the name of a town or the man that founded the fire dept.
Matt just a thought, I would ask around and find out how legally binding that paperwork you have is. Maybe talk to another fire dept on their donation policy's or a local mueseam about theirs. also how much weight is the the legal title owners have against your donation rights you may need to get the adivce of a lawyer on this. and to that fact be careful the other party's rights as they may also have a lawyer. I'm on your side on this one but I would be careful acting as a third party on this one. good luck.
Or go look in Paul Teutals collection.
Update: I gave the wrong name of the fire dept. It is the Melrose Fire Department, a hamlet town outside of schaghticoke ny.
When you donate something it becomes property of the group receiving it and they can do what ever they like with the donation, sell it, burn it, blow it up, etc. The only catch is was the person who donated it the rightful owner. If not then you may have some recourse but unlikely.
The catch with this one, according to the original post is that it was put in writing that it was to never be sold..... so that would make it a loaner to the fire department. The word donation should have never been used - because, as Dennis pointed out - if it was "donated", then they can do with it as they please.
We had a similar situation with a local museum here, and a bunch of vehicles suddenly were sold, but the families had no knowledge of it. Got ugly really quick......
Any museum worth it's salt will not take donations with stipulations. Usually when you donate to them, you donate with the understanding that you relinquish all property rights to the item. In the case of the museum I used to work for, we kept records of every donation ever made. When something was to be removed from the collection, usually the original donor would be contacted to see if they would like to have it back, if they were not living, the museum used established procedures to dispose of said items.
In the firetruck case above, just because it was written down not to be sold, is not legally binding. It appears that once the truck was donated to the firehouse, they would do with it want they wanted. And they did. You may not have any legal resources available to you.
Well I am curious as to how they legaly let the truck go for a "donation".Useally a fire department puts their surplus on bid.So it would have be "sold" if that were the case.
I am on the board of directors of the local fire department and we have a 1989 truck for sale.But it is out front with a sign on it.We will eventualy have to auction it off.
This day and time aint a good time to sell a single cab fire truck.Everybody wants fancy modern stuff.
In all honesty,there probably aint gona be much that can be done about it sadly.
Thanks for the responses guys. I got ahold of my grandfather and he updated me. He raised such hell about that truck being sold in such a shady manner. You see the money from the "donation" for the truck never even reached the department's coffers: someone pocketed it most likely. The fire chief is in an uproar because my grandfather threatened to report it. I guess the current owner has been tracked down in New Jersey, and informed that the fire truck he bought from the guy who bought it from the department is dealing with some underhanded and likely illicit activities. He said he would return it, but that was some time ago. He refuses to pay the shipping to bring it back (I really can't blame the poor guy), and that the department has to pay for that. Well.....they won't. Haven't done it yet, and it's been awhile I guess. If the fire truck does make it back though, and the paperwor of donation DOES mean that it can be sold, i'll see if maybe my grandfather and I can't get together and get it from them. Unfortunately even if this unlikely case even occurs it is even less likely that we will ever get back all of the period correct fire gear, equipment and accesories that the squad pilferred from it. I doubt the truck would sell for much because apparently they took such poor care of it that it doesn't even run anymore.
It just really gets me going to see my Grandfather so broken up about this. I know he may not have had any legal right to the truck since it was left to Moey's wife to deal with when he was gone, but it was intended for him. My Grandfather supplied most of the parts for that fire truck, and built a lot of it with Moey. It just seems right that it should be returned to one of the men that spent over a decade of their life building it. It makes me even more sad to see the fire crew disrespect this work by pretty much trashing the vehicle: whether it be through deliberate theft or just Model T knowhow ignorance I don't know, but it's still sad.
Not sure where some of these posters get their information, but stuff is loaned to museums all the time with specific stipulations. In fact, this is pretty standard operating procedure for everything from fossils to fine art.
If this loan was in writing, I'd say the law is clearly on the side your family, Matthew unless there is some odd statute of limitations at work in your state.
There is a BIG difference between being "on loan to a museum" and "donated to a museum" I may have misread the above text but I believe that the word donated was used not loaned.
Danial, I get my information directly from the source. I worked as a professional in the museum field for 10 years. The museum I worked for, in the NC Department of Cultural Resources would not allow ANY donations with stipulations, PERIOD!
When you DONATE something it becomes the museum's property. You don't even get to decide when it will be displayed or even if it will EVER be displayed. Museum's choice.
On loan is a different matter. In that case you still own the item. Donate it, and you are out of luck....
This is good info for me because a friend of mine has been thinking of donateing some of his collection of old stuff to a local museum.I tried to tell him,that he just as well auction it off himself as that is all the museum will do once they git it.Most are full and are clearing out anything offensive to a few people.Like confederate items for example.
A much-respected (now departed) automobilia dealer here often used to say - 'Never give anything to a museum, it will be sold, stolen or spoiled'. I have to say he's been proved right all too often.
The Enfield Club Museum had a vintage fire-truck engine wrecked when it overheated & the ignorant volunteer driver poured cold water into the radiator and cracked the blocks.
The highly respected Science Museum, London asked Neil Tuckett if they could borrow a T rolling chassis for display. Why? said Neil, you already have a beautifully sectioned display chassis that Ford donated to you in the '30s. Do we? they said. Neil went off to their storage depot with the curator and found it in a corner, all bent and buckled 'cos some idiot had dropped a heavy box onto it off a forklift.
People are more likely to take care of things if they personally own them.
A local HCCA guy gave a Metz to the Imperial Palace Collection, and they sold it.
Tried giving the local museum things. They did not want them because despite being in perfect condition & unopened sealed boxes from WW2 and so on they just turned their nose up at it.
"He clarified: I do not want that truck going to them when i'm gone."
It's a pity that Uncle Moey didn't mention this in a Will.
Unless there is someone to ensure the desires of the person that makes the donation his instructions and wishes will be lost or ignored after he passes.
I once helped work out the bylaws of a christian school that was being separated from a church.
It was a tedious process but we came up with approved and registered bylaws that made almost everyone happy.
The bylaws clearly stated that certain parts could not be changed or modified.
One of the sections that could not be changed was that that a board member's spouse could not be employed by the school.
A few years later I learned that the school had placed a teacher's husband on the board.
When I asked if they were aware of that section of the the bylaws they told me that they had decided to ignore that section.
I won't go into the details of what happened when I asked them to follow their bylaws but I am no longer associated with them.
In other words - as time passes people do whatever they want unless someone is watching and willing to hold them accountable.
I guess I'm old fashioned and expect people to exhibit integrity.
I AM a museum curator, and sad to say, much of what has been said here is true. While I might accept a donation with full intention to display it and keep in the collection permanently, my replacement might have completely different ideas.
One of our museums is a family home on a city-block large park--all the original lot donated by the family (whose name was Lott!)with a proviso in the will that the city can not sublet any of the block, not even to a Park District. The city is planning on turning all the city's museums over to a Cultural Foundation they are creating. I gave the city attorney a copy of the will. An hour later he told me that they can "work around that," It seems the law is not about the intention of the originator, but the current interpretation to benefit whatever the present administration wants to do.
Some very interesting artwork my grandfather produced in the early part of the 20th century is in a basement of the Smithsonian. Don't know if it was ever displayed, probably never will be. They won't consider returning it to his heirs though.
In 1937, Henry Ford donated land in Allen Park to build a veteran's hospital. The deed clearly stated that if not used for its intended purpose, the land should go back to Ford Motor Company.
The hospital was torn down in 2004 and Ford Land was able to reclaim the property. Sometimes these provisions work.