A marble plaque on the building is dedicated to the Board of Firemasters and mentions the mayor, John B. Goodwin, and the chief, W. R. Joyner.
The Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department became the Atlanta Fire Department in 1882, when the City Council voted to pay salaries to its firemen. The first motorized pumping engine was housed at Fire Station No. 12 in 1911 on DeKalb Avenue. In 1914, the city began purchasing uniforms, helmets, coats, and rubber boots for the firefighters. The last horses used to pull fire wagons were retired in 1918.
The first sixteen African-American firemen hired by the city began work at Station No. 16 on Simpson Road in 1963, but worked alone. A few years later, Fire Station No. 6 was the first in the city to be racially integrated; the station closed in 1991.
The museum now occupying Fire Station No. 6 includes an antique fire engine from 1927, an American LaFrance labeled A.F.D. No. 6. The fire engine, in use until the 1950s, was going to be scrapped but was salvaged. The museum tells the story of how early warnings of fire were transferred by telegraph from numbered call boxes distributed throughout the city. Exhibits on racial and gender integration of the city's firefighting forces also are displayed. The first female firefighters joined the Atlanta FD in 1977.
The National Park Service holds special events in January in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In 2020, Fire Station No. 6 was the site of special programs for children, including arts and crafts, games, a photo booth, and the Park's Junior Ranger Program.