Members Larry Grace and John Olson recently visited a firefighters museum that many people probably don’t realize is right in Northeast Minneapolis. It is called the Bill and Bonnie Daniels Firefighters Hall and Museum and it’s located at 664 22nd Ave NE, about midway between University and Central Avenues.
The Firefighters Hall and Museum was made possible by a generous gift from retired Minneapolis Fire Captain Bill Daniels and his wife Bonnie, many private donations, and thousands of hours of volunteer time. Volunteers continue to donate their time to ensure these critical historical artifacts are not lost.
The Museum showcases and preserves a significant part of firefighting history. It contains a variety of vehicles, equipment, literature, and photographs related to firefighting and firefighters. Some of the items on permanent display are an 1894 steam fire engine, a 1919 American LaFrance ladder truck from Mankato, and a 1932 FWD pumper built by the Minneapolis Fire Department shop. There is also an established and rotating display of area fire collector vehicles.
The exhibits that the museum is most proud of are the ones built for the museums youngest visitors. There is a real fire pole to slide down and till trucks for the kids to drive! Together with other hands-on exhibits, Kids can experience what is like to be a real firefighter.
There is also an extensive library available for research on the subject of firefighting. It contains information on former Minneapolis and St. Paul firefighters and historical items dating back as far as the 1860′s, as well as, an extensive collection of firefighting literature.
Submitted by Member Larry Grace