The Fire Fighters Museum of Winnipeg Fan Club

The Fire Fighters Museum of Winnipeg Fan club and its organizers created this site based on interests in firefighters and their activities in general and all that goes with it. This web resource focuses not only on the interests, courage and bravery of Winnipeg firefighters but also on the history of firefighters in the area, particularly the Firefighters Museum of Winnipeg.

Winnipeg is known for its rich history, its many museums, and one of the site’s main areas, the firefighter museum. It is a fantastic place with a vast history and various stories, a wealth of finds and preserved artifacts from past times that you can come and see for yourself at any time.

Museum of Winnipeg

The Fire Fighters Museum of Winnipeg

The Fire Fighters Museum is a museum that is dedicated to the legacy of firefighters in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Museum is located in a former fire station built in 1904; its armoury contains memorabilia dating back to the inception of the Winnipeg Fire Brigade in 1882. 

As for the history of the Winnipeg fire museum, it was built in 1904. And its creators and designers were Alexander and William Melville. It is believed that it was one of five fire pavilions built in 1904 and was later used as a fire station. 

What can you see on display at the Museum?

There is an extensive collection of various artifacts related to firefighters, antique fire apparatus, many photographs, and different information about firefighting history in and around the City of Winnipeg.

The collection includes fully serviceable fire apparatus such as a 1927 American LaFrance and a 1958 Mack truck. Also included are numerous firefighting equipment, rescue and medical equipment, articles and photographs of the department in action, and various other artifacts.

Everyone can see the various vehicles here, which, by the way, are in excellent condition: 1882 Ronald Steamer; 1928 LaFrance; 1930 LaFrance; 1937 Diamond T Hose Wagon; 1958 Mack; and, a 1966 Mack. It should be noted that the LaFrance trucks were built in Canada under the Foamite-LaFrance name, all purpose-built for the City of Winnipeg.

One of the most valuable vestiges of this museum’s history is “The Chief’s Struggle with Billy Code”. Here everyone can see his desk, talking pipe, as well as his diary, Bible, and outstanding articles from his exciting career on display. It is also an interesting fact that he devoted almost 40 years of service to the Winnipeg Fire Department. He was first a freelancer and then was appointed chief of the department from 1889 to 1895.

The Museum is maintained primarily by retired and current Winnipeg firefighters. 

History of The Fire Fighters Museum

Fire Station No. 3, which today looms at 56 Maple Street, was an active fire station in Winnipeg until 1990, and was built in 1904, making it one of only five fire stations built in Winnipeg that year. 

As for the history of building houses and structures, they were mostly built of wood, which was an unobstructed absorption of fire and fires. Especially when these buildings were built very close to each other. 

On September 24, 1874, the first volunteer fire department was formed in Winnipeg. Some of the members were prominent Winnipeg men: Thomas Ryan; a Winnipeg salesman who later became mayor, J. H. Ashdown; one of Winnipeg’s first millionaires, and William Code.

In April 1877, the volunteer fire department became full-time, it’s two teams of 20 men each. Then, in 1882, a full-time fire department consisting of paid firemen was finally introduced. Thirty-six firemen, a captain, his assistant, 17 horses, four steam pumps, three chemical wagons, three horse-drawn hose cars, one hooded and ladder car, and 8,700 feet of hose.

Fire halls were often built on busy streets; they attracted attention, but their purpose was functional, not aesthetic. For example, the length of the towers was such that fire hoses could be hung to dry.

Firehouse No. 3, now the Museum in question, was built in a historically fire-prone area to increase the likelihood of timely fire detection and suppression before then. In addition, it was located near Canada Pacific Railway Station, where it could easily be seen by new arrivals to Winnipeg from all over Canada and abroad. Fire Hall No. 3 cost almost twice as much as the other stations built in the same year because it was in a prominent location next to the emergency room station; much money was spent on the decorative decorations of Fire Hall No. 3.

The exterior of the building combines classical and Romanesque architecture. It is made of stone and costs $22,000 to build.

The bedrooms were located for the employees on the second floor, and space was allocated for the common area and offices. The first floor housed the horses and all the necessary equipment. The front part was reserved for pumps, wagons, which can now be seen in the exhibition of the museum, and the back part was reserved for the hayloft and placement of horses.

For four years the firehouse was empty after it was decommissioned in the 1990s. In 1999, it officially opened as the Winnipeg Firemen’s Museum.

Today it is a monument to the history of firefighting in Winnipeg. Firefighters Historical Society was founded in 1982 by firefighters and former firefighters, including William Code. 

Exhibit tours

As stated earlier, the Fire Fighters Museum of Winnipeg is open all the time. Consequently, the history of the Museum, the history of Winnipeg firefighters, and various written archives, photographs, artifacts, vehicles, costumes, uniforms – this and much more can be seen and explored in detail at the Winnipeg Firefighters Museum.

Today, the Museum offers school group tours where students are introduced to all the details of firefighter life, told a story based on historical Documents, where you can see artifacts of the past and get a new perspective on firefighter life and experience their valour and bravery through stories. It is a bright and exciting adventure into the past, which will remain in memory forever. 

Museum Tour

The Museum also invites the older group – college children students. They can also be introduced to the history of the Museum, the history of Winnipeg firefighters, their courage and bravery, see artifacts, learn about history, and much more offered in this Museum’s exhibition. 

Tours can also be booked by absolutely anyone who wants to visit the Museum and touch the history of the Museum itself. So many elements of the past, from the history of firefighters and cars, various documentary evidence, records and archives, as well as multiple stories and several helpful information, will be of interest even on an introductory basis to everyone.