Americans can take great pride in their tradition of fire fighting and fire protection. More than a hundred years before Ben Franklin organized the first fire company in Philadelphia, the early settlers of Plymouth, New York and Jamestown had suffered devastating fires and had started a variety of fire protection activities. Night watchmen patrolled, looking for fire...chimneys were inspected...water supplies for firefighting were established... and Peter Stuyvesant organized the first volunteer firemen in America by 1648.
The history of the Connecticut fire service has been long, illustrious and exciting. To help preserve this heritage, the Connecticut Firemen's Historical Society established its museum in 1979. The location, a 1901 Manchester firehouse.
On display you'll find a wide variety of fire fighting equipment and memorabilia ranging from leather fire buckets used by the first settlers, to early-motorized fire apparatus.
You'll see a magnificently decorated four-wheel, hand-pulled hose reel, primarily used for parades and other occasions. This rare beauty reflects a time when local fire departments not only provided fire protection, but also served as a social and political force in the community.
There's a horse-drawn hose wagon-similar to one actually housed in the Museum when it was a firehouse and a steam-operated pumper that not only show the romance of yesteryear, but also demonstrate the development of fire prevention technology.
Many visitors are especially intrigued by the ancient leather hose and helmets...the wooden water main... night watchman's alarm rattles and bells... fire officers' speaking trumpets...old prints and lithographs of fires...fire alarm equipment...a rare 18th century fire warden's staff...and much, much, more.
A visit to the Fire Museum is a wonderful and unique experience for adults and children alike. The Fire Museum will bring the history and excitement of fire fighting in days gone by colorfully alive. Why not plan a visit, soon?
Fire Museum is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm, Fridays and Saturdays and from noon until 5:00pm on Sundays, from mid-April through mid-November. Admission is by donation.
A Museum the Entire Family Can Enjoy!
The Fire Museum is located at 230 Pine Street, Manchester, Connecticut, at the intersection with Hartford Road. It can be reached from Exit 59 off I-84 by driving east on I-384 taking Exit 2 or Exit 3 (route 83) to Hartford Road and Pine Street.
The CT Firemen's Historical Society, Inc.
230 Pine Street
Manchester, CT 06040
Telephone (860) 649-9436
Telephone (860) 649-9436