Livery Barn at the Trails and Rails Museum
The Livery Barn at the Trails and Rails Museum holds many wagons and horse saddles donated by Buffalo County community members. It was built to shelter the donated wagons from the weather. Inside the barn you will find a fire wagon and a fuel wagon as well as several others. When you visit, can you spot the item most often used by the people traveling the Mormon Trial?
Backstory and Context
Each town had their own way of handling fires; fire departments as we know them today were not standard across the United States until recently; some were run by volunteers, some were managed by the city government, some were independently run. The Village of Poole, located Northeast of Kearney, Nebraska, used the fire wagon that can be found inside the Livery Barn to help put out fires in and around Poole. The wagon was pulled to the location of the fire, similar to fire engines being driven to the fire, although not as fast and efficient as a fire truck is today!
Bruce Hensler, Crucible of Fire: Nineteenth-Century Urban Fires and the Making of the Modern Fire Service (Washington, Potomac Books, 2011), Chapter 1: Origins of Organized Fire Service.