Encompassing both an original and historic firehouse that was constructed in 1898 and a modern 10,000 square foot addition, this museum has something for everyone. View the horse drawn vehicles, original brass pole as well as an extensive collection of fire trucks, extinguishers, hats, helmets, toys, ladders, breathing apparatus, clothing, hose carts, nozzles, photographs, newspaper clippings and fire truck bells. For the toy enthusiast there is a large collection of vintage toy and model fire engines. There are changing exhibits of fire fighting vehicles and equipment. Some of the oldest pieces date back to the late 1800's, including a Gleason and Bailey hand pulled hand pumper from Arlington, Ohio, representing how fires were fought in the a century or so ago. Before the advent of the Model T's which replaced this truck in 1920, firefighters pulled the water pump by hand or horse to the scene of the fire. They then would lower a leather covered water pump into a body of water.
Most of the equipment is from Ypsilanti and surrounding cities in Washtenaw County and Detroit though some comes from other countries including a firemen's hat from France. The hat, while not as old as other artifacts, shows how differently fire fighters uniforms can vary around the globe.
For visitors, the museum recreates the thrill of firefighting and also traces its noble history.
This building was last used as a fire station in 1975 and was purchased by Howard and Norma Weaver in March 1999. Since then it has been directed as the Michigan Firehouse Museum by the Michigan Antique Fire Equipment Preservation Group.