Friday, August 30, 2013

Fire Museum recap

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the upcoming grand opening of the new Santa Ana Fire Museum. Well, the grand opening was last Saturday, and although I could only attend the last hour of the event, I did get to go on a tour. I thought I'd share some photos here.
Firefighter Luis Fernandez did a great job with the tour. The tour takes you through three floors of the building, as well as the garage and the basement. There are things to see pretty much everywhere. 

Personally, I saw two key facets to the tour: 1) The museum is still primarily a working firehouse (now for the Orange County Fire Authority) and it's fascinating to see how a firehouse works and how firefighters live; and 2) They have a lot of interesting old firefighting "stuff" all over the place, with the centerpiece being a 1926 Seagrave fire engine. Either facet could make an interesting tour all by itself, although the interpretation of the artifacts is still sort of in the beginning stages.
I have the feeling that more than a few of the older artifacts may have been from other fire departments, and simply depict the kinds of equipment that were used in different eras. But there was plenty of original local material as well.
Cold War buffs (is there such a thing?) will appreciate the various exhibits on Civil Defense. The largest collection of such materials are appropriately displayed in the old fallout shelter basement.
Keep an eye on the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society's website for information about hours when the Fire Museum will be open. The folks involved have a lot of enthusiasm and a willingness to work. They also have a lot of cool artifacts, which, as the museum develops,could definitely be displayed and interpreted to great effect. In short, they're off to a fine start and the future seems full of potential.

1 comment:

retrocounty said...

Wow, it's as if I was actually there. I learned that Fire departments care about structure preservation especially when counties take over.