July 22nd, 2008
West Austin Fire Co. #7 Leather Helmet
One of the main features of this museum blog will be to make a post each time we acquire a new piece of our history. Since this is a new aspect of our website, everything we have acquired over the past several years is technically new to you. Therefore, I’ll post the best things we have attained over the past several years throughout the summer so everyone can see how many pictures, artifacts, and documents we have collected since opening our museum in 2005.
One of our most important artifacts we have ever collected was donated to us just this past April. This is a leather fire helmet from a firefighter with the West Austin Fire Co. #7. Their station was located at 1000 Blanco St. in Old West Austin, which still stands today as the only current Austin fire station in operation that dates back to the horse-drawn days. Today, the building is named Fire Station #4 and it is listed as a city of Austin historical structure. West Austin Fire Company #7 was organized between 1904-5 and transitioned from volunteer to paid in 1916. This helmet is from that volunteer period.
We received this helmet from the president of the Houston Firefighter’s Union back in April during our annual San Jacinto Day Celebration. A Houston Firefighter was given this helmet by a family friend and was gracious enough to donate it to the Austin Fire Museum for display. We can’t thank the HFD Local #341 enough for their gift. We also need to thank Austin firefighter Kregg Phillips (Engine 28 C-Shift) for facilitating the exchange.
June 18th, 2008
Welcome to the new version of the website for the Austin Fire Museum. We’ll be under construction for a while, but new stuff (along with much of the old content) should be posted on a weekly basis. The vision of the new website is to be an opportunity for you to experience the history of the Austin Fire Department through many old photographs, documents, videos, and pictures of our artifacts in the museum.
The main portion of the website will be much like an historical archive featuring the history of fires in Austin, firefighters, apparatus, stations, and disasters that have occured in the city over the past 150 plus years. The “news and events” section will contain updated information about new acquisitions, events such as San Jacinto Day, and even stories about current historical fires, such as the June 16th Texas Governor’s Mansion Fire.
Therefore, this summer you’ll see a lot of changes to our website as we rebuild our online archive. Our archive of pictures, documents, and memorabilia has increased ten-fold since we started organizing the Austin Fire Museum in 2003. Thank you very much to all of our donors and supporters who have contributed over the past five years.
Jerry Cohen, Archivist/Treasurer
Austin Fire Department Historical Society and Museum
June 7th, 2008
Although this portion of the site still looks a little spare, we will be placing more and more updates both in information and look to this area very soon.
Please keep checking back to stay up to date, and we thank you for your continued support of our museum.