The Michigan Firehouse Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving firefighting history in a friendly atmosphere while also promoting fire safety.
Located in the historic district of Ypsilanti, this is considered one of the best fire museums in the country. The original firehouse was built in 1898 and was actively housing the Ypsilanti City Fire Department until the mid-1970s.
There are different levels to this unique local attraction established in 1998, which services a wide variety of groups. There is the old firehouse, restored bunk area, original brass pole and a new updated area added on in 2002 to house for the growing collection of exhibits. There is also a gift store with a variety of items for tourists and locals.
Steve Wilson, a tour guide at the museum shared a little-known story about the museum. The firehouse museum has its own residential ghost by the name of Alonzo Miller, who was a past firefighter and is still working on the premises.
The museum receives a wide variety of visitors throughout each year. Different senior groups tour the museum together and often, college students do as well. Sometimes people come bearing items to add to the showcases, such as the first fire extinguishers that have been found in older homes, which Wilson pointed out during the tour.
“The museum is about the equipment here, which is made to save people and property,” Wilson said.
The museum is very family-friendly with children groups from different elementary schools and Cub Scouts. They are always interested in the sirens and lights that are displayed in the many showcases. The museum boasts a Smokey the Bear exhibit and also provides Red Cross fire safety lessons for kids and specialized areas set up for them to explore.
This museum is only a short walk down Cross Street from campus, and it also offers the EMU student discount. This makes it even easier to go and explore the interesting attractions there with friends. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for 3 to16-year-olds and children under 3 have free admission.
There are many events in the city to attend that will showcase the amazing fire trucks out on display. One such event, the Fire Truck Muster, is a well-known community event during the summer months.
On Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m., the Firehouse Museum will be holding a benefit fundraiser with the Hope Clinic called “Evening of Hope” which will feature live and silent auctions, music from harpist Christa Grix and a dinner from Moveable Feast Catering.
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