Friendship Firehouse Museum

The Friendship Fire Company was established in 1774, as the first volunteer fire company in Alexandria. The current firehouse was built in 1855, was substantially remodeled in 1871, and was restored by the City of Alexandria in 1992.

Page updated on Aug 11, 2020 at 11:21 AM

Friendship Firehouse Museum

Friendship Firehouse Building PhotographIn a town of mostly wooden buildings, where open flames provided heat, light and cooking on a daily basis, fire was a constant danger. The Friendship, Sun, Relief, Hydraulion and other local volunteer fire companies served the community faithfully, particularly during enormous blazes in 1827, 1855, 1871, and 1922. Some of their stories and equipment are preserved today in the Friendship Firehouse Museum.


The museums are closed and public programs are cancelled until further notice. 

Activities and Events

Join us for events and activities throughout the year.  Children visiting the museum are invited to go on our history hunt and explore firefighting history through hands-on objects.  For adults and youth, special guided firefighting history tours are offered in the spring and fall.  Visit us during one of our annual Open House days on Presidents' Day,  Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day. The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association holds its Firehouse Festival on the first Saturday in August. This popular family event celebrates the founding of the Friendship Fire Company and features antique and modern fire apparatus, public safety exhibitors, craft booths, and displays by Alexandria artists. We also offer Birthday Parties by reservation. We look forward to seeing you soon!


Follow the Alexandria History Museum on social media and sign up for eNews and join the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association.
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Virtual Tour

Visit the  Friendship Firehouse Museum on a Google 360 virtual tour.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the August 8, 2020 City-wide remembrance in memory of Benjamin Thomas, who was lynched in Alexandria on this day in 1899, is being conducted virtually on this In Memoriam page.


Build your social justice muscles this summer! As our nation and city come to terms with their legacies of racial injustice, take the 30-Day Challenge to learn, listen, explore, and act to make positive change. Learn about our city’s important African American history to build your base of knowledge. Listen and explore to understand the struggles, triumphs, and legacies of African Americans across the nation and throughout the centuries. Act to bring equity in America and in Alexandria.


Museums are beginning to reopen in accordance with the Commonwealth’s Forward Virginia Plan. The Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum and Gadsby's Tavern Museum are now open. Public programs are cancelled until further notice. Refer to the Calendar for the status of Commission and other departmental associated meetings. For additional information about the City of Alexandria’s actions, visit


The vehicles and exhibits at Friendship Firehouse Museum illuminate the history of firefighting in Alexandria. Years of hard use took their toll on the suction hand engine and hose-reel carriage, but when they are fully conserved, the apparatus’ paint history will be stabilized and preserved for future generations to enjoy.   


Help Historic Alexandria chart a new path for the summer and fall as we seek to bring history to you in new and different ways! Please take a few minutes to take the survey!


Peaceful vigils, protests and other events took place in Alexandria during the first week in June, following the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. Recognizing the importance of this moment in history, the Office of Historic Alexandria invites the community to share signs, t-shirts, flyers, photographs, journals, personal stories, and artifacts that document local vigils and protests. 


As we experience this unprecedented time in the history of our town and the world, the Office of Historic Alexandria is embarking on a project to record our City’s response by conducting oral histories and collecting select memories, objects and documents from across the Alexandria community.


Location, hours, directions, and everything you need to know to visit Friendship Firehouse Museum.
Parking and Trolley Map 


"Citizen Firefighters in Early Alexandria" explores how community volunteers fought fires in colonial and early nineteenth-century Alexandria. Participants see historic equipment which was actually used for fighting fires by the Friendship Fire Company and, through role play, learn colonial firefighting techniques.  


Does your child love fire engines? Then experience the historic Friendship Firehouse and become the newest “member” of the fire brigade. Kids will take part in role-playing games and activities to help them earn their fire hat and badge. Wrap up the party with a parade using a banner the kids designed themselves! Download this informational flyer.

Museum Hours

Note: the museums and offices are closed and public programs are cancelled until further notice.    
New Year's Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day

Email the Museum

Email the Friendship Firehouse Museum

Event Tickets

To purchase tickets to events at the Friendship Firehouse Museum, and to shop online, visit  The Alexandria Shop

American Alliance of Museums logo 

American Alliance of Museums
Accredited Museum