Texas Fire Museum
Backstory and Context
The Texas Fire Museum is located in Dallas at 400 Walnut Downtown Street Beaumont, and it was opened in the year 1984 in the historic Central Fire Headquarters Station. The premises of the museum originally belonged to the Beaumont Fire Department Headquarters Station which was initiated in the year 1927, and then became a historic landmark after it was designated a museum by the Texas Historical Commission (Fire Museum of Texas). The premises constitutes of a two-story mansion which is a rare design because it is a Renaissance Revival architecture; a type that is hard to find in the State and the US as well. In the year 1986, the museum was endorsed as the official Fire Museum of Texas by the Fire Marshals Association and State's firemen's of Texas (Fire Museum of Texas). The group has persistently been in the forefront in motivating the firefighters from the entire state to uplift the mission of the museum. The group has also been supporting the museum financially. The museum operates as a 501 (C) (3), and it is managed by a Board of Directors partnering with the City of Beaumont. In Texas, the museum is regarded as one of the "best free" destinations for families, friends, and individuals to tour.
The museum offers its services from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. without admission fee. The museum also provides rental facilities from private functions and after-hours tour, but the appointments are made via their phone number which is available on their main website (Fire Museum of Texas). All the information regarding the services offered and the location of the museum are available on the easily accessible website. The website has pictures and articles of some of the equipment available in the museum. The museum is in a spectaculars location because it is within a walking range of multiple restaurants, other museums and ten crucial sites on the National Registration of historic Sites (Fire Museum of Texas). The Edison museum which is two blocks away from the Crocket Street Entertainment District and near the Fire Museum of Texas provides its visitors with a chance to view the vintage fire equipment and engines as well as memorabilia which dates back to the late 16th century. Therefore, after having full pleasure and fore education from the Fire Museum of Texas, there are other adorable places that visitors can go to enjoy themselves. Therefore, tourists in Texas should not hesitate to visit Beaumont city because there are modern and cultural restaurants as well as other entertainment places surrounding the Fire Museum of Texas.
It is worth noting that this fire museum is home to an extensive collection of historical materials especially firefighting tools and fire engines which date back to the year 1856. Therefore, as tourists and local visitors go around viewing the exhibits, they will learn the advancements made and the achieved progress in firefighting as well as the history of fire services (Fire Museum of Texas). The museum encourages its visitors to view and add to their extensive collection of fire department patches and badges. Some of the most popular collections in the museum are found on the first floor of their building, and they include the Hand Drawn Tub Pumper from 1986 and the Aerial Ladder Truck from 1909. The 1931 Light Truck that was sent to the Texas City Disaster in 1947 and the New London School Explosion is also found on the same floor (Fire Museum of Texas). Moreover, the museum also has the Gamewell Call Box Alarm System that was being utilized before the invention of telephones.
One of the incentives of visiting the Fire Museum of Texas as a child is that one is provided with an opportunity to experience the feeling of being behind the wheel of firefighting truck and dressing in fire gear on an American LaFrance simulator (Fire Museum of Texas). Moreover, the children including other visitors are allowed to practice fire safety drills, see Pluggie the Robot in action and watch fire safety videos in the fire theatre. The visitors are also provided with an educational insight into fire prevention and safety in the Activity Center located upstairs in their building. Here, the visiting families are provided with an opportunity to exercise the escape drills, teach dialing 911 as well as practice stop, drop, cover the eyes and roll.
The visitors are also allowed to visit the sleeping premises of the firefighters and have a peek on the hole where the workers slid down when the alarm goes off (Fire Museum of Texas). The museum also holds international collections including patches and gears from all over the world. The museum has a life-size Smokey Bear which encourages the visitors to take photos. In addition to all the historical collections, the museum has a quiet and peaceful environment. The compound has a well-cut grass and medium-sized trees to provide shades to individuals who might want to rest in the ground. According to Theresia, the museum holds a fire event every first weeked of October.
Fire Museum of Texas. “FMOT Collections & Attractions." A major draw for visitors every day is the World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant. 2019. Accessed on 13th May 2019 from http://www.fmotassn.com/fmot-collections/
Fire Museum of Texas. “FMOT Events, Education & Rental Opportunities” 2019. Accessed on 13th May 2019 from: http://www.fmotassn.com/fmot-education-events/
Theresia, H. L. “Yearly Event at Fire Museum of Texas.” 2019. Accessed on 13th May 2019 from: http://www.firemuseumoftexas.org/yearly-event-at-fire-museum-of-texas/.