Our annual Austin Fire Museum San Jacinto Day Open House takes place this Sunday, April 17th, 2011 from 11AM to 4PM. This is a great opportunity to visit our quaint museum in our Central Fire Station #1 in downtown Austin. First time visitors will get to see our collection of Austin Fire Department memorabilia that dates back as far as the 1860′s. Recurring visitors will see some of our new acquisitions, including personal affects from 30 year Fire Chief John Woody (1927-1958).
The first question you might ask is what is San Jacinto Day? The Battle of San Jacinto occurred on April 21, 1836, and was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. When the Volunteer Austin Fire Department was created in 1857, one of the first traditions established was an annual San Jacinto Day Celebration. This tradition lasted well into the 1920′s, but started to decline as the Austin Fire Department transitioned into a paid, municipal fire department in 1916. Many of the Austin Fire Museum’s artifacts from the 1800′s are dated April 21st in honor of the Texas holiday. When the Austin Fire Museum opened in 2005, we decided to have our grand opening on San Jacinto Day to bring back the tradition. Each year, the Austin Fire Museum has its annual San Jacinto Day open house the weekend around April 21st.
This is a picture of North Austin Hose Co. No. 6 dressed in parade uniforms for a San Jacinto Day Celebration some time around 1900.