Firefighting History Walking Tour
Saturday, October 10, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Mark Fire Prevention Week and explore Alexandria’s firefighting history on the “Blazing a Trail: Alexandria’s Firefighting History” tour. Participants learn about volunteer firefighting in early Alexandria, three devastating fires, and the five volunteer fire companies. The tour begins at the historic Friendship Firehouse, goes east on Prince Street, and returns to Friendship via King Street.
For age 10 and older. $6 for adults, $4 ages 10-17. Reservations are required, as space is limited. Telephone 703.746.4994, or see www.friendshipfirehouse.net.
The Friendship Fire Company, established in 1774, was the first fire company in Alexandria. Friendship members were volunteers motivated by their concern for the property and well-being of the community.
Today the Friendship Firehouse, built in 1855, is a museum open to the public. Buckets, hose, axes, Friendship’s mid-19th century suction engine – elaborately decorated with the company’s clasped-hands insignia – are on view. Visitors also see the company’s ornate hose reel carriage that was made in Alexandria, and learn how the organization played a larger role in the community. In addition to fighting fires, Friendship members participated in parades and performed ceremonial duties for civic events. In the firehouse Meeting Room ceremonial artifacts such as helmets, capes and other regalia, are exhibited alongside the room’s original furniture.
Friendship Firehouse Museum is located at 107 South Alfred Street in Old Town, Alexandria. The site is open from 1-4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays; closed on major holidays. The museum is owned and operated by the City of Alexandria, and managed by the City’s Office of Historic Alexandria. Special programming is offered throughout the year. For more information see www.friendshipfirehouse.net.; or contact the museum by calling 703.746.3891.