Dallas Fire Fighter’s Museum Facts

Facts About the Museum

  • The Fire Station at Fair Park, which now houses the Dallas Firefighter’s Museum, was built in 1907. It originally held a hose wagon, five horse stalls and a hook and ladder truck.  Originally working out of the Station were 12 firefighters and 5 horses.  It was the first horse hospital for the Department.  The Fire Department phased out horses in 1926.  
  • All materials for the Station came from Dallas or surrounding areas in Texas.
  • The Station and its firefighters operated with distinction from 1907 to 1975, playing a vital role in the fabric of the neighborhood and the City of Dallas.
  • In 1968 the City of Dallas Fire Counsel, made up of 30 citizens interested in the fire service, met to discuss the idea of a Museum.  A feasibility study justified the creation of a Museum and soon thereafter, the Fire Counsel recommended the establishment of a Museum.
  • In 1970, the Dallas Firefighter’s Museum was incorporated as a non-profit organization and a 50-year charter was granted by the State of Texas
  • In 1972, prior to the opening of the State Fair of Texas, the City declared the Museum a City of Dallas Historic Landmark. It operated as a Fire Station and a part-time Museum for three years.
  • The Museum opened in May 1975.
  • Through donations, Museum leaders have amassed a collection of over 2,000 artifacts including collections of helmets, badges, hats, nozzles, historic photographs, films and apparatus.  Of the 11 trucks, engines and carts in the Museum’s collection one stands out:  Old Tige, an 1884 horse-drawn steam pumper named after then Mayor W. L. Cabell. It is one of only three left in the United States.
  • There is over 100 years of firefighting history in the Museum.  Firefighters come from all over the world to visit.  The Museum hosts between 3,000 – 4,000 visitors annually, on average.
  • The Museum has retained the historic dormitory that was part of the firehouse, including the brass pole used by firefighters to give them an advantage by sliding down to their bunker gear and onto the trucks.  
  • The Dallas Firefighter’s Museum is associated with the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Dallas Historical Society and Fair Park.
  • Funding for the Museum has been provided through the generosity of firefighters’ donations and admission fees.  Of the 1,857 firefighters that make up Dallas Fire Rescue, over 65% contribute monthly to the Museum.
  • In 2009, the Museum Board and the City of Dallas agreed to a 30-year, long term lease of the fire station as the home of the Dallas Firefighter’s Museum.
  • The Museum Board has quietly launched a capital campaign to create an interactive Fire and Life Safety Education Center within the Museum.  Restoring the exterior of the 1907 ‘Old Tige” Fair Park fire station is paramount.  Plans identify a need of $5.6 million for building upgrades, restoration and renovations. The Board will seek an additional $4.4 million in endowment funding, over time, to insure the mission of the Museum. To date $1.1M has been raised toward the Phase1 goal of $5.6 million.
  • Through a partnership with Dallas Independent School District, once the Museum is renovated, each year 13,000+ second graders will include a fire and life safety field trip to the Dallas Firefighter’s Museum, creating a new generation of children trained how to keep themselves safe.