If you love exploring the history of our great city (or if you have a kid obsessed with fire trucks), definitely check out the Jacksonville Fire Museum. The Jacksonville Fire Museum is located in an open field adjacent to Metropolitan Park, right across from Everbank Stadium. The red brick building holds over a hundred years of artifacts, detailing the history of fire fighting in Florida and highlighting the efforts of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department in particular.
The Fire Museum is housed in what was originally Station 3. It was constructed out of bricks salvaged from buildings destroyed in The Great Fire of Jacksonville in 1901. The building was originally located just up the road at 12 Catherine Street. Station 3 was deactivated from active service in 1933 and the crew was called into action at the new Station 14. After years of use as a shop and storage facility for the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Station 3 was moved to its current location at Metropolitan Park. Today, it is listed on the National Registry of Historical Monuments and attracts thousands of visitors a year.
We love it because it’s free, educational, and super interesting. While the background of the building itself is fascinating, inside the museum is crammed full of thousands of artifacts detailing not only the history of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, but fire fighting all over the state of Florida. Included in the Jacksonville Fire Museum are old fire helmets and uniforms, fire fighting equipment, photos, and a diorama showing what the city looked like after the Great Fire of 1901. For firetruck-loving kids (and adults) there are also restored rescue vehicles, including an ambulance and a 1902 horse-drawn fire engine. There is certainly a lot to take in at the museum. One could easily spend a couple of hours looking at all the exhibits and taking in all the information in the museum.
So if you’re in the neighborhood, the museum is a great place to stop in for a quick visit or to stay a while and peruse the exhibits a little more thoroughly. The Jacksonville Fire Museum is an amazing gem hidden right in plain sight. The museum is open Tuesday thruSaturday from 9am until 4pm. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the information and history packed into the museum, the curator is incredibly friendly and more than happy to answer questions and maybe put up with your fire-truck loving kid for a while. And did I mention that the Jacksonville Fire Museum is free? Of course that makes it a favorite of ours. Hopefully it will become a favorite of yours too.