In 1876 the Liberty Fire Company built the firehouse that houses our museum. It is one of the most important and best preserved architectural and historic landmarks in the City of Reading and Berks County. In 1895 a third floor was added to the building. It was the first privately owned volunteer fire company building to be constructed in the City of Reading. This building still contains the original furnishings from 1876 which were supplied by the Philadelphia department store mogul John Wanamaker following a display of these items at the Centennial Exhibition of the United States at Fairmont Park in Philadelphia. During those early days, the firehouse was considered the center of social activity in every neighborhood. The South Fifth Street area was inhabited by many people of high social and professional standing who were friends of Wanamaker.
The Museum is primarily an educational facility with the preservation and exhibition of hundreds of artifacts as a means to that end. Our educational programs are both interactive and static, and designed to “tell the story” of firefighting to both children and adults. As visitors tour the Museum, they will learn the history of firefighting, and discover how communications and firefighting techniques have changed and improved over the past two hundred plus years. Children’s groups have the opportunity to view and experience a different type of tour plus participate in a “Home Safety Awareness” presentation.
Hours of Operation
Thursday 9:00AM – 12:00PM
Saturday 10:00AM – 2:00PM