September 13th, 2009
On Sunday, September 20th, the Austin Fire Museum will be conducting its semi-annual open house for Austin Museum Day 2009. We’ll be open from about 1230PM to 5PM. This year we have a very special event planned. Several months ago friends and family of Shawnee, Kansas Fire Chief Verne McNatt approached the Austin Fire Museum wishing to honor his passing with a memorial in the Austin area. The Austin Fire Museum gratefully accepted donations to assist with the meticulous restoration of a unique treasure of Austin Fire Department history in memory of Chief McNatt’s dedicated commitment to his community and profession. Read the rest of this entry »
July 29th, 2009
Austin’s first permanent fire station was built in 1878, only to be burned down by an arsonist in 1879. The oldest standing building that used to be a fire station is the Washington fire hall from 1885. Since then, Austin has built many fire stations with very unique architecture. The older the fire station, arguably, the more character and better looking the structure. Is there any truth to the old saying that “they just don’t build ‘em like they used to?” The following are some pictures of Austin’s more visually impressive fire stations. Please feel free to leave any comments about why one in particular might be your favorite. Read the rest of this entry »
July 23rd, 2009
The AFD Museum recently purchased a little piece of history linked to the founding of the Austin Fire Department. John Bremond, Sr. (b. 1813) led the organization of Hook and Ladder 1, and thus the Austin Fire Department, in 1857. Bremond, Sr. moved his family out West from New York via Galveston in the 1840′s in pursuit of the American dream. His brother, Paul, had already moved to Houston and later became a major railroad man, eventually leading to a city, Bremond, TX, named in his honor. In 1847, John Bremond opened a dry goods store at the corner of 6th St. and Congress Ave. in Austin. In 1865, a year before his death, he brought on his two sons, John, Jr. and Eugene, and created John Bremond and Company. John Jr. and Eugene were major leaders in the Austin Fire Department during the volunteer years of the mid-late 1800′s. Read the rest of this entry »
July 17th, 2009
Retired Lt. Hoyet Toliver passed away on July 9, 2009 at his home in Dickinson, TX. He was born in 1925 and served over 35 years with the Austin Fire Department upon his retirement in 1987. He is survived by his wife, Doris Toliver, of 63 years. Hoyet Toliver was hired in 1952 and appointed to Engine 4. He promoted to driver in 1957 and was assigned to Engine 17 when it was stationed at Station 6. When Station 17 was built in 1960, Toliver remained at Station 6 as the driver on Engine 6. In 1962 he promoted to Captain I (Modern-day Lieutenant) and was assigned to Engine 5. He then transferred to be in charge of Engine 16 in 1963, where he remained throughout the rest of his career until his retirement in 1987.