The Museum, located at 56 Maple Street, was built in 1904 and was an active fire hall until 1990. Designed by Alexander and William Melville, it was one of five fire halls built in 1904 and eventually this plan was used for 14 of Winnipeg's fire stations. It is 2 1/2 story, brick building with a full basement.

56 Maple St.

There is a 1 1/2 story stable that originally housed 12 horses, a hay loft, oat bin and a harness room.

Apparatus Floor

Second Floor

     The second floor of the fire station accommodated 10 bedrooms, lavatory complete with bathtub and a sitting room where the men relaxed in their spare time. There were four strategically placed poles used to carry the fire fighters to the main floor upon receipt of a fire alarm. In the attic was a gymnasium and a locker room.

The 75 foot tower was used for drying hose.

Hose Tower

Steamer

     On display, we boast any or all of the following vehicles in excellent condition; 1882 Ronald Steamer, 1928 LaFrance, 1930 LaFrance, 1937 Diamond T hose wagon, 1958 Mack and a 1966 Mack. Both LaFrance vehicles are a Canadian built “Foamite-LaFrance”, and all were expressly built for the City of Winnipeg.

Diamond T

La France

These vehicles are complimented by a 1900 horse drawn hose wagon, a 1870 hand drawn hose reels and a 1880 hand drawn chemical wagon.

We also have, in storage, that we are able to display, a 1921 Seagrave Aerial front wheel drive and complete with tiller, 1946 Seagrave 100’ aerial (open cab), 1949 Seagrave Aerial, 1965 International Pump and a 1973 GMC.

     Our archive area consists of a 2000 book library, over 10,000 cataloged photos and slides of fire scenes, apparatus and personnel from Winnipeg history dating back to 1882. For research purposes, we have 125 years of newspaper clippings, chronologically preserved in binder form. For a unique and informative interest, we have a collection of interviews with senior retired fire fighters. All above statistics have been transcribed into a user friendly format on computer.

Reports and fire station daily journals are also stored and are a constant resource for research.

And we are still finding new items. This is part of a film just recently found in an old fire station taken in 1906 by Leo Lefebvre of Paris, France who was making a film of Canada at the time.

Our artifacts cover the entire scope of the fire service. From cast iron toys to fire extinguishers to hoses and life nets....

....and a variety of apparel from various eras, from dress wear to fire fighting outer wear.

There's the original fire station piano, various other furnishings....

Ticker

...and a totally restored call box fire alarm system, from street box to ticker tape and station gong.

     Some of our most prized artifacts are items belonging to Chief “Fighting Billy Code”.

He was the head of the department from 1889 to 1895, consisting of his speaking trumpet, diary Bible and numerous articles from his exciting career.

 

William (Billy) Code's Winnipeg Fire Service Record

Total Service - 39 Years 10 Months  
Volunteer Member of Fire Brigade
Joined the Fire Brigade Sept 24, 1874
Foreman of Hose & Engine Co. 1875
Chief of Brigade (Balance of year) 1876
Captain (Forman) of Hose Company 1877
Member of Hose Company 1878-1879
Captain (Forman) of Hose Company 1880
Member of Hose Company 1881-May 1882
New Winnipeg Fire Department
Brigade Re-Organized as a Full Time & Paid May 1882
Made Foreman in charge of Central Station May 1882
Made Assistant Chief Nov 29, 1882
Assistant Chief 1889
Chief of Fire Department 1889 to 1895
Captain of North (No. 3) Station 1895 to 1900
Captain of Central (No. 1) Station 1900 to 1904
Assistant Chief 1904 to 1914
Retired 1-Aug-14

There's so much more just waiting for you to discover. Come visit and relive our past, or maybe even your own. You won't be disappointed.


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