Okanogan Firemen's Museum - Okanogan, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 48° 22.426 W 119° 34.158
11U E 309738 N 5361033
Quick Description: The town of Okanogan liked their 1910 fire hall so much that, 86 years later, they built another one, an exact replica of the original.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 7/23/2018 3:33:05 PM
Waymark Code: WMYTMF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member MikeGolfJ3
Views: 0

Long Description:
The 1910 fire hall was demolished several years ago to make way for a newer and more serviceable building. In 1996 a replica of that 1910 fire hall, complete with majestic bell tower, was completed to become the home of the Okanogan Firemen's Museum. Photos of the original indicat the replica to be very much a faithful reproduction.

Inside the museum is a plethora of exhibits of firefighting equipment and paraphernalia, including a chemical cart and a couple of hose reels. The fire department either managed to save a great deal of their old tools and equipment or they are pretty good scroungers.

The stars of the show, however, are the first three pieces of motorized equipment the department ever owned. The oldest is a 1918 Fire Wagon. Never having a water tank or a water pump, this old "Jimmy" was used only to haul the firemen and their equipment to the scene, thereafter not participating in the action. It was put into service well before (10 years, actually) the department had a real fire engine. Their major offensive weapon at the time was a hose reel, of which they possessed several, by all accounts.

The next oldest is a 1928 GMC T-40 Fire Engine, branded Engine #1. Unfortunately, old #1 is not totally the engine it was when first put into service. The firefighting equipment was stripped from the chassis and it was converted into an asphalt distributor in the early 1950s, then retired. In the 1970s it was again converted into a water tanker, then converted a third time (fourth actually, as the original fire engine body would have been a conversion) when a WWII fire engine body was mounted on the chassis.

The newest of the three stars is a 1945 Buffalo Aristocrat Fire Engine, branded Engine #2. Made by the Buffalo Fire Apparatus Corporation of Buffalo, NY, this unit was produced near the end of the company's production, and life. Established in 1895, the company began as the Buffalo Chemical Fire Extinguisher Company, beginning to produce engines on various chassis in 1922 and changing its name to the Buffalo Fire Appliance Corporation. This continued until 1927, the next year beginning to produce apparatus on a chassis built in house. In 1946 the company was bought by the Fyr-Fyter Company and the unprofitable apparatus manufacturing arm soon ceased to exist. Over their 26 years of production, the Buffalo Fire Appliance Corporation would complete approximately 2000 pieces of fire apparatus.

The folks here seem to be really nice people. As an example, when we visited the museums were not yet open for the season. While we were photographing the very photogenic Firemen's Museum one of the ladies from the Historical Society noticed us and asked if we would like to see the inside. WOULD WE EVER!! She unlocked the door, turned on the lights and proceeded to go on her way, saying as she left "Just turn out the lights and lock the door when you leave." When is the last time you received similar treatment in a big city museum?

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Firefighting history of Okanogan County, WA

Street Address:
1410 2nd Avenue North Okanogan, WA 98840

Food Court: no

Gift Shop: no

Hours of Operation:
Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend: 10 AM to 4 PM - 7 days per week

Cost: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Museum Size: Medium

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
In order to log this waymark in this category, you must be able to provide proof of your visit. Please post a picture of yourself or your GPSr in front some identifiable feature or point of interest either in the museum, or on the museum grounds.
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