Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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Indiana Museums - Aviation, Military, Automotive and Fire

Indianapolis Fire Museum
Indianapolis, IN
Visited:  10-9-2014

The Indianapolis Fire Museum is another historical gem within the city that is virtually unknown and not even on the Indianapolis tourism website.  This is really a shame in that the building itself is historic, having been built in 1872 and is now one the four oldest structures still standing in Indianapolis.  Inside the building for the vehicle enthusiast are two 90 year old pieces of fire apparatus that were built in Indianapolis.  And then, but not least, is the story of fire fighting in Indianapolis. 

I have lived in the area for over 40 years and was unaware of this museum's existence until I saw an online news article on it, referencing the fact that the museum was going to add some parking spaces.  As I was going to be in Indianapolis on October 9th anyway, I stopped by to visit the museum.  Located on Massachusetts Avenue at the intersection of St. Clair Street and North College Ave., it is at the northeast end of the now trendy "Mass Avenue".  While parking spaces in the evening and weekends are at a premium in the area, on the weekdays the when the museum is open, parking is not an issue.  If one is just visiting the museum itself, feeding the parking meter for a half hour to 45 minutes out in front is plenty of time.


The Museum is located in the original Station No. 2., which is one of four stations built by the city in 1872.  Mass Ave is on the right coming into North College at a 45 degree angle in the background.  The tower next to the door contains the firemen's pole and an area to hang and dry hoses.


St. Clair Street is behind the building on the left, which is where the entrance to the museum is located.  Station No. 2 is the oldest fire station still standing in Marion County.


Entrance into the building takes one down a hallway that used to be a narrow outside alley between the two buildings that make up the complex.


The museum has some displays in the entryway.


The main museum area contains three pieces of fire apparatus.


One piece of equipment is this1921 Hook and Ladder that the Indianapolis Fire Department purchased from the local Stutz Fire Engine Company.


The Stutz Fire Engine Company was formed in 1919 after Harry Stutz sold all of his stock in the Stutz Company, which he founded in 1911 in Indianapolis.  Until I visited this museum I was unaware that there was a Stutz Fire Engine Company. 
 It was one of 44 companies that have produced trucks or still continue to produce trucks in the state of Indiana.  The original Stutz Company was one of 38 companies to produce automobiles in the city of Indianapolis.

 


This is one of 24 Stutz Fire Engine Company pumpers built in Indianapolis specifically for the Indianapolis Fire Department between 1919 and 1921.


In 1924 Harry Stutz left the Fire Engine Company to concentrate his efforts on the HCS Motor Car Company that he also founded in 1919 after leaving the Stutz Company.  The fire engine operation continued but floundered without Stutz until 1929 when it shut down.  The assets were purchased and then the operation reopened in Hartford City, IN and continued operation until 1940.


 Pumper 15 was delivered in 1920 and could pump 600 gallons of water per minute.  It stayed in service with the Indianapolis Fire Department until 1945.


The original fire apparatus that was in service in 1872 in Station No. 2 when it opened was an American La France Steam pumper similar to the 1898 model on display in the museum.  It was drawn by two horses.


No visit to a fire station would be complete without looking at the pole the firemen would slide down when alerted in the second floor living area of a fire.  Also hanging in the tower, which is on the front of the building, are hoses that need to be dried after a fire.

If one is in downtown Indianapolis on a weekday the Indianapolis Fire Museum is a worth the time to visit and personally see the equipment and displays inside.

 

 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums    Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows    2015 Airshows  2016 Airshows  
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


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