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posted: 8/19/2013 3:14 PM

Check out antique fire engine at Palmer House tour

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Submitted by McHenry County Historical Society

The McHenry County Historical Society is hitting the road this month with the help of the Crystal Lake Park District.

Rather than meeting in Union, the society's board of directors will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26 at the Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta Ave. in Crystal Lake.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., guests can tour the 1858 Palmer House -- named for its first occupants, Colonel Gustavus A. Palmer and his wife, Henrietta. Five acres, including the house and outbuildings, were donated to the city of Crystal Lake as part of an annexation agreement in 1979. It now is home to the Crystal Lake Historical Society.

Attendees also can view a 1928 chemical pumper fire truck before the meeting, which is part of the Northern Illinois Fire Museum in Union. The 1928 pumper, built by the Universal Fire Equipment Co. and owned by Roger Dreher of Crystal Lake, will be available for viewing a half-hour before the meeting.

Formerly owned by the Brownton Fire Department of Brownton, Minn., the fire truck a 500-gallon-per-minute pump, space to accommodate more than 1,000 feet of 2-inch hose and a built-in soda acid extinguisher for use if no water is available.

Fire museum president Scott Chamberlain will present a short overview of that nonprofit at the start of the board meeting. Its collection includes 20 antique fire vehicles that date back to 1856. They range from hand-powered models to those operated by horse and later by an internal-combustion engine.

For details, visit or call (815) 923-2267.