Hand-in-Hand Needs a Helping Hand!

Ken Soderbeck Restoration Fund Established

See September 2010 update from Ken below...

In the early morning hours of April 14, 2010 Ken Soderbeck’s famed “Hand-in-Hand” Fire Apparatus Restoration Shop in Jackson Michigan was heavily damaged by fire.

The good news is two steam fire engines and a hand-drawn hose reel located in the basement workshop suffered only minor damage.  The bad news is much of Ken’s rare fire service memorabilia, his extensive reference library, graphics shop, and business records were lost.  That big family-kitchen, scene of countless Jackson Fire Flea-Market open house gab-fests -- is a blackened hulk.  The upholstery room -- collapsed into the basement.   While the old schoolhouse portion at the front of the building may be restorable, the hard fact is that most of the building and its priceless contents have been lost.

Under the circumstances, Ken and Aggie are doing remarkably well.  The shock is beginning to wear off and the difficult task of cleaning and rebuilding has begun.  This is an unimaginable nightmare to all of us, and the America's foremost fire apparatus restorer and preservationist needs our help and support!

Lets “give a hand” and help Ken's Hand-in-Hand Restorations get back in business!

September 28, 2010

Dear Friends,

Agnes and I would like to thank all of you who have helped us during the last few months since the fire at my shop. All of the time, physical work and money that you have donated are appreciated more that you know. I am not sure I would have survived if not for you and your help. I spent three months tearing down and cleaning up the shop on South St. The Township allowed me to do it myself so I could salvage everything I could. They understood the history I had in the building. I will never know what I lost. I was able to save a lot of things and it will be months before I have gone through and sorted all the stuff. Without the help of so many of you, right after the fire, I would not have saved as much as I did. We are moving ahead and building new work space in The Long Barn at our farm. You can check out the farm at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~oats/ebarn/ebarn/home.html I am also attaching a few photos of the progress (see below). I think it will be at least 6 months before I am up and running at full speed again.  I am slowly moving machinery and rigs from the barn on South St. to our new shop as the space is ready. The Type 19 American LaFrance has been sold and is gone to California. Eldon Eby who handled the sale has been  injured in an accident at an antique boat show in Buffalo, NY. We hope for a complete recovery.

Again we would like to thank all of you for your help and concern. The weeks after the fire were a blur to me and I cannot begin to remember everyone who was there and helped. The fire departments that responded did a great job but as an old firefighter, I am still fighting that fire in my sleep sometimes.

Please pass this on to anyone you think would be interested

Ken and Agnes Soderbeck
Hand in Hand Restoration

New address:
1895 Fox Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201

Same phone:  (517) 789-6290

the "Long Barn" - the new home to Hand-in-Hand Restorations

Inside the "Long Barn" - the new home to Hand-in-Hand Restorations

this web page is created and maintained by the “Friends of Ken and Aggie Soderbeck”
e-mail: HandinHand.Restoration.Fund@gmail.com