The Jacksonville Fire Museum in Jacksonville, Florida serves as a link for past and present fire history for Jacksonville. The museum also serves as the State of Florida Fire Museum.
Exhibits include photos and information about the Great Fire of 1901, a fully restored 1902 American LaFrance horse-drawn fire engine (pictured) and a working 1926 American LaFrance fire engine.
The museum was destroyed during the Great Fire of 1901 in Jacksonville on May 3, 1901. In 1973, Fire Station No. 3 was placed on the National Registry of Historical Monuments. The building was declared unstable in 1993 and a restoration project began. Today, Fire Station No. 3 sits in the Jacksonville Metropolitan Park.
Heading to the Sunshine State this spring or summer? Click here and plan your visit to this storied fire museum.
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Photo credit: Jacksonville Fire Museum
One of the oldest fire museums in the country, the Houston Fire Museum is partially housed in the former Houston Fire Station No. 7. The downtown building was originally built in 1895, and served as the first home of the Houston Fire Department. The station remained active for over 70 years, until a new station was built in 1969. Years later, in 1980, the city began to renovate the building for use as a museum. As the museum expanded, an additional building was added to hold the various exhibits; however, the original building still remains a part of the facilities, today having been remodeled to look as it did in 1895 when it was first in use.
Today, the Fire Museum serves to house Houston’s rich fire fighting history, including the roots of the ten original fire companies, some of which still operate today. Some of the largest exhibits include a set of 19th century apparatus (complete with horse-drawn steamer), an interactive display detailing the 1950’s era firefighter, and a rotating collection of 20th century fire service artifacts. Guided tours through the city’s history are also available with prior scheduling.
*New* special exhibit for 2014, “Fire Houses of Houston”, will feature a short history of each fire station from the Greater Houston Metropolitan area. Each station will rotate throughout the year with a new station highlighted every other month.
Keep up with the growing Houston Fire Museum on their website and be sure to stop by if you find yourself nearby!
Photo credit: Houston Fire Museum Facebook Page
The Fire Museum of Memphis, located in downtown Memphis, TN, is dedicated to preserving the local fire fighting history and promoting fire safety. Established in 1998, the museum is housed inside the historic Fire Engine House No. 1.
Visitors to the museum can expect a truly unique experience. The many exhibits all tell the story of Memphis’ expansive fire fighting history… by allowing the viewers to experience a fire emergency as close to first hand as possible without joining the department! Visitors can explore an early 20th century firehouse, ride a snorkel basket and attempt to extinguish a virtual fire, and even step inside the Fire Room and see what it feels like to be inside a burning building. Other exhibits include a number of restored early apparatus, as well as several memorials to fallen fire fighters.
In addition to their large number of exhibits, the museum also holds fire safety workshops, aimed at teaching children how to prevent fire emergencies.
If you are stopping through Memphis you should definitely make a point to tour their fantastic fire museum. However, if you can’t make it right away, the museum offers several “virtual tours” so that you can explore a few of the exhibits right from your desk.
Photo credit: Ol’ Billy from The Fire Museum of Memphis.
“Ol’ Billy – A life-sized animatronic talking horse and the Fire Museum’s official greeter. By listening to Ol’ Billy and watching the accompanying video, children learn about the history of the Memphis Fire Department during the era of the horse drawn fire apparatus.”
The San Antonio Fire Museum, located in downtown San Antonio, Texas, was originally proposed in 1997 by a group of San Antonio fire fighters. This group aimed to create a museum that would preserve the rich history of the San Antonio Fire Department, as well as enhance local fire prevention education. However, lack of a site, as well as constant budgetary cutbacks put the project on hold for nearly 16 years! Construction and inspection was finally completed in May of 2013.
After many years of hard work, the museum is now open and ready for business. Members of the museum committee and many other volunteers have gathered a number of historic apparatus and other fire fighting related items. They have even managed to restore the beautiful 1927 American LaFrance Fire Engine to its original state.
The fire education portion of the museum is on track as well. Many educational displays are already available for children, as well as adults. Also, in conjunction with the Fire Prevention Division of the San Antonio Fire Department, the museum will host a variety of educational programs for students, businesses, and the public at large. These programs will cover diverse topics that should be useful for anyone attending.
The San Antonio Fire Museum is set to quickly become a prominent site in the Texas city. If you’re nearby, you’re definitely going to want to visit!
Photo credit: The San Antonio Fire Museum Facebook page.
To commemorate the events of September 11, 2001, countless memorials and parks have been constructed. The most notable of these is, of course, the beautiful 9/11 Memorial Park at Ground Zero in New York City. The beautifully designed grounds features artifacts, stories, and photos from the aftermath of the events. The memorial itself honors the nearly 3,000 people that lost their lives on September 11th; each person’s name is inscribed in bronze around one of the twin memorial pools.
Also in the memorial park is the famous “Survivor Tree”. This tree was found on Ground Zero during the aftermath of the attacks and transported to a nearby nursery. In December 2010 after reaching a height of over 30 feet the tree was returned to the memorial park to become a symbol of hope and renewal.
Another such memorial is in downtown Hilliard, Ohio. The First Responders Park is the largest of its kind besides the aforementioned one on Ground Zero. The theme of the park is “We Will Never Forget” and features a stainless steel sculpture that combines elements of light and shadow to cast images depicting the 9/11 attacks.
In addition to these large memorials many U.S. cities, and even cities around the world have established 9/11 memorials of their own, many including pieces of steel that were distributed from the rubble of the World Trade Center.