Something more than 100 years old was discovered in the north Valley: A Merced Fire Department badge from 1916.
It was recently discovered and turned over to the family of the the original owner.
This badge has great significance to the city of Merced. It belonged to a volunteer firefighter and on Thursday, it was returned to his family.
“One of my neighbors found a Merced fire badge that was dated 1916 and had the fella’s name on it,” says Lloyd Pareira, Merced County Supervisor for District 4.
Pareira says when he first saw this badge, he was puzzled because he didn’t know where to start looking for the owner.
“So, Sarah Lim at the county courthouse did research and figured out who it was and stayed on it and found out he still has family living in the area,” he explained.
Lim works for the Merced County Courthouse Museum. She says she never gave up and eventually was able to put the pieces together and contact a relative.
“He was so excited because he told me he heard stories from his grandma about his great grandfather being a fireman. A volunteer firefighter for the city of Merced,” Lim says.
Pareira adds, “The family member is Kory Billings who is a realtor around and really a giver to the community so it is really neat to bless him with something.”
Billing had no idea his great grandfather had a firefighter’s badge, and was even more shocked when Lim called him up to confirm his family history.
He says he never thought he would be gifted a piece of his history. “They have returned the badge to my family and my family is very excited to be here and receive the badge and be part of Merced history.”
The meaningful badge will be passed down for generation to generation.