08/27/14 237 W, 1 I - + 8 - 4 Raleigh Ladder Truck with Shriners, Circa 1946

Here's a historical treat, a rare photo of Raleigh's old tiller at Memorial Auditorium. That was the location of Station 2 from 1932 to 1969. The ladder truck was housed there from 1941 to 1953. That's a 1939 American LaFrance 500 Series cab that pulled a 1916 American LaFrance Type 17 two-section, 75-foot, wooden aerial ladder. 

See, the truck was housed at Station 1 on Morgan Street until same was demolished in 1941. While Engine 1 moved to old Station 2 on South Salisbury Street, Truck 1 couldn't fit there. So it and the 1922 American LaFrance service truck were moved to the auditorium. Engine 2 was in turn relocated with Engine 1. Got that?

Things improved in 1949, with the opening of Station 6 on Oberlin Road. The service truck was moved there, and Engine 2 was moved back to Station 2. But the ladder truck remained at the auditorium until the completion of the new Station 1 on Dawson Street in 1953. And precious photos have been found showing Truck 1 at Station 2.

As for this photo, it was taken by Haynes Studio in Raleigh. The men on the truck are Shriners, and the occasion is a convention in Raleigh. Believe it was the state convention, but might've been a larger one. Date of said convention? The license plate of the car says 1946. Did car owners get new plates every year? Don't know. Maybe readers can help. At a minimum, we can date the photo as between 1946 and 1953. Click to enlarge:

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