The Courthouse Museum said it will open an exhibit Aug. 12 featuring the first fire engine, "Old Betsy," of the Merced City Fire Department.
Built in Rhode Island in 1859, it was shipped around Cape Horn and bought by Merced from Stockton Eureka Engine Company No. 2 in 1874. “Old Betsy” has been with the fire department since its beginning and has witnessed more than a century of changes and challenges.
The exhibit is a joint project of the Courthouse Museum and Merced City Fire Department. It will run through Oct. 31. During the opening reception at 6 p.m., there will be a city proclamation, antique fire engines display, activities for kids, ice cream social and a bucket brigade showdown between the city and county fire departments. For more information, call (209) 723-2401 or visit www.mercedmuseum.org.