By Camille DeVaul and the Templeton Historical Society

The Templeton Museum is lucky to be home to several operating vehicles with generational ties to the small town. 

One of these vehicles is hard to miss when it has an outing on Main Street — the 1932 school bus. The completely refurbished bus served its local students until 1949. Transforming from a carrier of children to a hauler of irrigation pipes, it continued to contribute to the community’s needs, albeit in a different capacity.


Decades later, the bus’s destiny took a serendipitous turn when Ron Huebert and Gary Knoeppel rediscovered its body. Prompted by their find, Roy Radke, Curt Olson, and Gary Knoeppel initiated plans for its restoration, rekindling memories of its glory days. After the body and chassis had been united, the bus was used in the Pioneer Day and Homecoming parades.

At some point in time, the bus was surplus by the district, auctioned by the Boosters, and purchased by Mark Nellesen, where it was stored on the property of Ken and Susi Fuller. After approximately 10 years and suffering from deterioration, the Fullers were ready for the bus to find a new home. Nick Marquart Jr. was able to contact Bob Tullock, who agreed to remove the bus from the ranch and relocate it to the Blacksmith’s Shop at the museum.

The museum’s warehouse also houses an all-original Model T Ford car. The Model T was purchased in 1925 for $525 by John S. Anderson at the Ford dealership in Paso Robles. It was stored from 1925 until about 1956, and has an estimated 350 total miles. The Model T was graciously donated to the Templeton Historical Museum by John S. Anderson’s nieces and nephews.

The Ford Model T is a vehicle that Ford Motor Company produced from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927. It was generally regarded as the first affordable vehicle. The relatively low price was partly the result of Ford’s efficient fabrication, including assembly line production instead of individual handcrafting. The truck chassis had many configurations, including for fire trucks. 

Another vehicle that can be found on the premises is the 1925 Model “T” Chemical Fire Truck. It was purchased by Gene Miller Sr. from a seller in Utah about 2008. Gene took the truck apart and began to restore it at his residence in Independence Ranch in San Miguel

Unfortunately, Gene became ill and was unable to finish project. After his death, the truck was donated to the Central Coast Model “T” club where it was stored in a trailer. It was then put up for sale and Bob Tullock again came to the rescue and purchased the truck for $4,500. The Tullock family then donated the truck to the Templeton Museum in 2021.

The Templeton Museum is located at 309 S. Main St. and is open Friday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. with free admission. The museum offers a glimpse into the history of Templeton.


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