Colchester Fire Company turning old firehouse into museum - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Colchester Fire Company turning old firehouse into museum


A volunteer fire company has started preserving its history as the firefighters work to build a museum.

The Colchester Hayward Volunteer Fire Company was started nearly 165 years and to commemorate its history, officials with the department have turned the original fire house in the center of town into a museum.

There are plenty of pictures and memorabilia from the company including a restored 1936 federal fire truck and a hand pumper from 1855 that they're planning to move into the bay this weekend.

"They used it up until 1924," said Art Standish, who is museum chairman. "I mean people were driving around town in cars and we were still using a hand pumper."

For the past year and a half, organizers said they've been working on turning what was an empty and gutted building into reality.

"A local contractor came in and taped the sheet rock, worked two weeks here for free," Standish said. "It's just been phenomenal. The Lions Club gives us money every year. We've seem to hit a home run with this place. Everybody likes it."

The firefighters at the fire house said this museum has really been a community effort. They have received a lot of donations and people have offered their time, supplies and skills to help renovate the firehouse.

However, they said there is one more thing they could use.

"We're hoping if there is anybody out there who has relatives, grandfathers, fathers, who were members of this organizations who have pictures of the station, this area back to the 30s, it would be great," Dan Rowland, who is with the Colchester Hayward Volunteer Fire Company.

The hope is to have everything in place in time for a grand opening this spring.

"As you get older and generations die off and all of the stories that go with them are lost," Standish said. "This is one way that we can preserve some of those stories."

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