Last Resort Fire Department Museum
Located in Seattle Fire Department Headquarters
301-2nd Ave South
at the corner of 2nd Ave South & South Main Street in Pioneer Square
Summer hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays - 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Winter hours: open Wednesdays only - 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
ADMISSION IS FREE
On July 12th, 2008, in conjunction with the 2008 Pioneer Square Fire Festival, a new fire museum was created in Seattle when the Last Resort Fire Department moved a portion of its collection of apparatus and artifacts into Seattle Fire Department Headquarters in the heart of Seattle's Pioneer Square. The station, built in 1928, is a four-story, ten-bay facility, that for eighty years, had been the home of both Seattle Fire Department Headquarters and Fire Station #10.
Although Engine 10, Ladder 1, HazMat-1 and Aid Car 5 have moved into their new facility just three blocks away, the old station remains Seattle Fire Department Headquarters and home for the on-duty deputy chief, his staffing assistant, and the office of the Chief of the Department, as well as the rest of the administrative staff. They remain on the upper floors and share a portion of the apparatus bays with the Last Resort Fire Department.
In addition to two LRFD rigs, the display consists of six historic rigs belonging to the SFD. Included is the "Sacramento" - an 1834 Hunneman end-stroke hand pumper, an 1899 American "Metropolitan" 1st size horse-drawn steamer, and a 1907 American LaFrance Metropolitan 2nd size steam pumper attached to a 1916 Seagrave 2-wheeled front-drive "K-tractor". Among the more "modern" rigs is a 1950 Kenworth 1500-GPM pumper and a 1958 Mack 1500-GPM pumper, each powered by a Hall-Scott engine. Rounding out the SFD's apparatus display is a 1940 Ford 500-GPM pumper that was acquired from a neighboring volunteer fire district through a 1954 annexation.
The LRFD plans to "rotate" its display of apparatus from time to time, so several rigs from the collection can be seen on display in the museum at various times. There are dozens of historic photographs along with several pieces of vintage firefighting equipment, historic books, alarm journals, uniforms and badges of the Seattle Fire Department, as well as an array of vintage nozzles, extinguishers, helmets, first-aid equipment, uniforms, station furnishings, alarm boxes and several pieces of equipment, unique to the SFD. In addition, soon there will be an on-going slide show, displaying many of the SFD's historic fire stations, fire apparatus, both old and new, and historic fire scenes. Future plans also include re-mastering several of the LRFD's archival 8-milimeter films of Seattle fire scenes and making them available for viewing.
Although much has been done to create this long-awaited fire museum in Seattle, like most museums, ours is a "work in progress". Future displays will include photos of the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 and the Frye Packing Plant fire of 1943, as well as those of other historic fires. One of the most significant fires in Seattle occurred on the night of May 20th, 1958, when the Seattle Cedar Lumber Manufacturing plant in Ballard went up in flames. Newspaper clippings, personal accounts and the official preliminary report of the fire, prepared by the Seattle Fire Chief, including alarm information and drawings of the fire scene are on display, as well as the actual alarm box #4316 that sat at the intersection of the fire location.
Last Resort Fire Department Museum (8 rigs on display)
301-2nd Ave South (at S. Main St in Pioneer Square)
Seattle Fire Department apparatus currently on display:
1834 Hunneman end-stroke hand pumper (The "Sacramento")
1899 American "Metropolitan" 1st-size horse-drawn steam pumper (Steamer #6)
1907 American LaFrance 2nd size steamer w/1916 Seagrave tractor (App. #30)
1950 Kenworth 1500-gpm pumper (Apparatus #194)
1958 Mack 1500-gpm pumper (Apparatus #247)
Last Resort Fire Department apparatus currently on display:
1920 Seagrave 800-gpm pumper (Apparatus #12)
1937 Seagrave 100' tractor-drawn tillered aerial (Apparatus #131)
1924 Seagrave 800-gpm "Educational Chassis" (Apparatus #72)
A look inside the Last Resort Fire Dept Museum . . .
Seattle Fire Department Headquarters and LRFD Museum
Last Resort Fire Department Museum
LRFD Museum with bay doors open
Last Resort Fire Department Apparatus 131 "back home" after 47 years
Last Resort Fire Department Apparatus 12 on display at LRFD Museum
App. 131 sat in this bay at Station #10 as "Truck 1" from 1937 to 1961 (Company designation was changed to "Ladder 1" in 1950)
Another view of Apparatus 12
Last Resort Fire Department Apparatus 72 (1924 Seagrave "Educational Chassis")
1834 Hunneman hand pumper - the "Sacramento"
1899 American "Metropolitan" 1st-size horse-drawn Steamer #6
1907 ALF 2nd size steamer w/1916 Seagrave tractor (Apparatus 30)
1950 Kenworth 1500-gpm pumper (Apparatus 194)
1958 Mack 1500-gpm pumper (Apparatus 247)
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Some scenes of the "watch office" on Opening Day - July 12, 2008
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Other artifacts and photos on display on a rotating basis at the LRFD Museum
"Apparatus 131 returns home"
Seattle Fire Department Headquarters / Station 10 - built in 1928
One of the most significant events in Last Resort Fire Department history occurred on June 21st 2008, when our 1937 Seagrave 100-foot tillered aerial (Apparatus 131) "returned home" to Seattle Fire Department Headquarters Station 10, in preparation for the opening of the LRFD Museum. Our Apparatus 12 had already been moved to the Museum on June 1st, and it, along with six historic rigs belonging to the S.F.D. were repositioned on the apparatus floor to accommodate the 53-foot long aerial.
Apparatus 131 was the first all-steel aerial in Seattle, and the first rig with an enclosed cab. It's streamlined appearance, along with its powerful V-12 engine, made it the showcase of the Seattle Fire Department for many years. It first rolled into the bay designated for "Truck Co. No. 1" in 1937, and remained in service there until it was replaced in 1961. After being absent from Truck 1's bay for 47 years, it was quite a sight watching it back into its old stall.
The 20-minute trip from the L.R.F.D. Shop Facility to the Museum was captured on video and can be seen by clicking on the above title - "Apparatus 131 Returns Home".
App 131 spends its last night in the LRFD Shop Facility - June 20, 2008
App 131 in its new home - the LRFD Museum . . .
. . . in the bay it first occupied in 1937
With App. 12 and 131 now in the museum, no time is wasted. The very
next day, App. 316, which has been sitting outside since 2000, is given
a thorough cleaning in preparation for its "new home" indoors.
After repositioning four of the other rigs, App 316 and 319 are moved
into the LRFD Shop for the very first time.
The last major modification to the rig placement was in 1992. The front
of the Shop now has a different appearance for the first time in 16 years.
It's a squeeze, but 316 & 319 are finally inside, out of the elements.
~ Don't forget to check out the video - "Apparatus 131 Returns Home" ~
~ Click here for historical profile of Apparatus 131 ~