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Norwich Memories: Tercentenary Parade

The 1959 Norwich Tercentenary Parade. The Taftville Fire Department provided this parade float, which carried Taftville’s first piece of motorized fire-fighting apparatus. The vehicle was originally a 1915 Cadillac touring car owned by Ponemah Mills. Mill workers fabricated it into a motorized chemical engine by removing the roof and back seats, and added spaces for soda ash and water containers. In 1958 the mill sold it to the Taftville Fire Department for $1. The vehicle was primarily used for parades until it was sold in 1972. It spent the next 45 years deteriorating in a barn, until it was reacquired by the Taftville Fire Department, which is now restoring it.

Ken Keeley is the author of 13 pictorial books of Norwich history. To purchase any of his books, including his newest, “Norwich, Our Glorious Past,” he can be reached on Facebook or via e-mail at:


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