Saturday, 19 August, 2017
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LaFrance Steamer
LaFrance Steamer Print
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If sirens, flashing lights, and seeing fire fighters and engines rushing to an emergency
make your head turn, you need to visit the Fire Fighters Historical Museum. Located
at Fifth and Chestnut Streets in a 1903 two-bay fire station, the museum is full of fire
fighting artifacts from a hand carried 1823 fire pump to a 1920 American LaFrance
motorized fire engine. This year, the museum also has on view a third-class 1891
LaFrance steam fire engine on loan from the Hope Fire Company No. 2 in Philipsburg.
The steamer is in such excellent condition it could even be fired up if needed. It's the
second steam fire engine in Philipsburg and fought its last fire in 1934 when the village
school caught fire. Besides the steamer, the museum also has a working fire alarm
system where visitors can turn in a fire alarm (hopefully, without getting arrested), hose
carts, ladder wagon, and a hand-pulled 1830 pumper that was used in Erie. And that's
nothing to say about all the uniforms, helmets, badges, fire extinguishers, fire marks,
and foreign items on display. In all, there are more than 2,000 items to view. Museum
hours: May 1 through October, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5 p.m. Tours can be arranged by
calling (814) 456-5969 or (814) 864-2156. Admission is $2, $1.50 for fire fighters and
seniors, $1 for children 8-12 years old.