Historians Seek Public's Help To Restore Original City Bus

  • 7/9/2018 2:15:05 PM
  • Jesse Smith
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - Mansfield Museum Curator Scott Schaut and several others have come forward to ask for help in restoring one of Mansfield's original city buses, which has been shuffled around through different storage facilities since being decommissioned. 

"What I'm standing next to is a Mansfield City Bus that actually ran on the Mansfield city streets," Schaut said as he put his hand on the vehicle's outer body. "It ran through the '60s. We've got photos of the color scheme and what it looked like and everything. This is a very distinctive style - it's not like your typical buses that we're used to today that are very square. This is kind of a deco-looking... this design was designed in 1938 and it was used until 1958."

The bus has seen better days - rust covers the framework of the vehicle's body and debris is cluttered around the interiors. Several entities have taken on restoration projects, but those either fell through or were abandoned part-way through. Scott says that the bus itself is still solidly constructed and that most - if not all - of the rust is surface rust and easy to remove. 

"RTA, about twelve years ago, started restoration work on it," Schaut said. "They did a lot of cleaning, paneling, and everything else. The bus was given to the National Transportation Museum in Toledo. They own it right now but once we raise the money to restore this, then the title will be transferred."

The fundraising goal for the project is $60,000. Schaut says once restored, the bus will be used for historical tours, educational displays, private rentals and entertainment rentals like films or television shows. All money donated for the project has the option of being reclaimed if the fundraising goal isn't reached. Donors will have a sheet they fill out where they can opt for their donation to be sent back if the goal isn't reached, or they can simply donate their money directly to the museum in that event. Schaut is also asking for retired bus drivers to come forward and send in pictures of their buses, uniforms, and more.

If you'd like to help with this project or send donations, contact Scott Schaut by phone at (419) 525-4291 or by email.

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