Mooresville Fire-Rescue has a long record of service and tradition in this community. A 100-year-old American LaFrance firetruck is the iconic centerpiece of the department’s history. The arrival of the $16,000 purchase was an exciting event for the Town of Mooresville and its organized fire department. The ‘21 (as the truck has become known) supplemented the fire department’s first motor-driven fire apparatus, a Denmo truck, that was purchased around 1916. The ‘21 remained in service until 1958.
A former fire department member, Henry Sink, gave the following account regarding the filling of the large reservoir at the Mooresville Golf Course. Mr. Sink said, “firemen took the truck to the river and ran a line from the truck to the golf course to fill the reservoir. The truck ran for a full week, day and night, and firemen took turns filling the truck with gas and keeping watch.”
The 1921 American LaFrance has been the start of the Mooresville Christmas Parade for decades. The ‘21 has appeared in eight movies. The truck has a hand crank and an electric assist starter. The seats are the original horsehair, covered in leather. The truck was professionally restored in January 2001 to its original grandeur.
The 1921 American LaFrance continues to spark pride, imagination, and interest for firefighters and citizens alike.