Vintage Fire Museum set to open in Jeffersonville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Vintage Fire Museum set to open in Jeffersonville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Organizers say no amount of rain, sleet, or snow will stop the Vintage Fire Museum from opening in Jeffersonville on Saturday.

The museum marks a much larger beginning for the city.

Museum volunteer Curtis Peters says of one display, "People had to have a bucket at their front door and when there was an alarm everybody had to rush in and help. It was great for community building.  Just one problem -- not very good for putting out fires."

Peters is getting the hand pumpers ready again before the Vintage Fire Museum opens its doors in Jeffersonville on Saturday.

The museum moved from New Albany when its old building went up for sale.  The new home is just off Spring Street in the old Bales car lot.

Curtis explains, "This collection is nationally-known and described as one of the five best collections of antique fire equipment in the nation.  We tell a story of firefighting in the nation all the way from the colonial period to the present."

The fire museum becomes the launching point for Jeffersonville's new arts and cultural district designed to attract visitors off the Big Four walking bridge.

Meanwhile, across the street, Jeanne Burke works on what will be the new Clark County History Museum:  "There will be vignettes about the 200-year history of Clark County with the U.S. Army. Clark is one of the most important historic counties in Indy because it had General George Rogers Clark of Revolutionary War fame."

These properties had been vacant -- purchased by the city, then left in flux after new Mayor Mike Moore canceled the canal project.  The mayor says, "I'd love to see some glass blowing come into there.  It's an area that has lacked attention for some time, but this will bring a new focus to it....That basically is going to allow us to pursue more grants." 

The mayor continued, "We are delighted to see that sort of mix that will enable visitors to stay here longer, to spend money in the community, and then that benefits everybody."

Curtis agrees, saying of one fire truck, "Can you imagine this coming down the street, bells clanging, horses racing, smoke billowing out that stack.  There is nothing in Disney World that would match this for excitement....It's a spectacular thing. We're very pleased, very pleased to be here."

The Vintage Fire Museum will be open from 10-5 Saturday.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News.  All rights reserved.

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