An incredible opportunity has become available to help preserve a unique piece of Madison’s history – a rare 1921 Ahrens Fox Model P-4 fire engine, which had been originally purchased and given to the borough in 1920 by Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge after a fire destroyed several barns on the Dodge’s estate. Madison’s original fire engine, one of the two remaining Ahrens Fox Model P-4s, is now available for purchase from a private collector at a cost of $150,000.
It took years to locate the fire engine. After a lengthy search, the owner was located and has since graciously loaned our town the fire engine to allow the community time to raise funds for purchase and maintenance of the vehicle. Citizen volunteers have joined together and have affectionately renamed the fire engine “Geraldine” after the late Mrs. Dodge.
Mrs. Dodge repeatedly demonstrated her commitment to the people of Madison, and this fire engine is only one example of her generosity and philanthropy. Geraldine is temporarily housed and protected at the Madison Public Safety Building and will eventually be used for fire prevention education, community events, and school-based programs about community involvement and philanthropy, as a testimony to Mrs. Dodge’s example.
To learn more about this fascinating story contact Madison Fire Chief Lou DeRosa at DeRosaL@rosenet.org or at 973-593-3021 or James Blair at BlairJ@rosenet.org or 973-593- 3021. You may also refer to our website at www.BringGeraldineHome.org.