Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Saturday, October 22, 2016, Pages A1 & A2

Dedicated to service
MCFD welcomes back Central Station sculpture

by Molly Montag

MASON CITY -- A sculpture that survived the city's biggest flood during more than a decade in storage has returned to the lawn outside Mason City Fire Headquarters.

Approximately 100 people attended a rededication ceremony on Friday at the sculpture, which consists of stone slabs and other design features salvaged from the former Central Station.

"While we look at the history of the department as things, we gather today to remember that these buildings housed and these things were used by men that worked at the Mason City Fire Department," Mason City Fire Department Records Clerk Jo Beck told the crowd.

Originally placed at Headquarters' west lawn in 1980, the sculpture was taken down about a decade ago to make room for a new ambulance bay.

It was in storage - where it was submerged during the 2008 flood - until officials had it reassembled and placed near the facility's front doors this summer.

Delores Van Horn, of Mason City, made sure she attended Friday's rededication.

She attended the original ceremony in 1980 with her husband, former fire chief Ron Van Horn.

Van Horn, who died last year, served the department from 1956 [Page A2] to 1994. He served the last 14 years as chief.

"It means a lot because Ron was part of it," Delores Van Horn said.

Leota Chase, of Riceville, attended in honor of her late husband, Lt. Joel Chase.

He retired in 1994 after serving the department for 30 years. Like Van Horn, he served at both the old Central Station and the new fire headquarters on Fifth Street Southwest.

"It was a pretty cool place," Leota Chase said of Central Station. "It was pretty primitive basically, for what we have now, but they had a good time working there."

The sculpture is surrounded by commemorative bricks, which are to the 83 former firefighters who served for 22 years or retired with a work-related disability.

In addition to the sculpture, firefighters also installed an art-deco light and siren taken from the old South Station.

The South Station, 2020 S. Federal Ave., operated until 1973.

The light hangs on the front of the building above the truck runs.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2016



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