Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum
Ernie Pyle WWII Museum
Five Points Fire Museum
Firefighters Museum Freeman
Army Airfield Museum
Hoosier Air Museum
Indianapolis Fire Museum McClain
Museum of the Soldier
Military History Center/Automotive and Carriage Museum National
Model Aviation Museum
Rolls-Royce Heritage Center, Allison Branch
Ropkey Armor Museum
- Aviation, Military, Automotive and Fire
Indianapolis Fire Museum
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
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.