On View at Friendship Firehouse Museum

Exhibits in the historic Friendship Firehouse tell the story of the Friendship Fire Company’s role in serving the Alexandria community.

Page updated on Feb 17, 2020 at 4:59 PM

On View at Friendship Firehouse Museum

The Friendship, Sun, Relief, Hydraulion and other local volunteer fire companies served the community, and some of their stories and equipment are preserved today in the Friendship Firehouse Museum. The Engine Room houses fire-fighting equipment, while the Meeting Room displays ceremonial objects used by these community organizations.

The Engine Room Friendship, The Engine Room image

The Engine Room on the first floor houses hand-drawn fire engines, leather water buckets, a locally-made hose reel, axes, sections of early rubber hose and other historic fire-fighting equipment. Exhibits explore the development of fire-fighting technology, and other fire companies that have served the citizens of Alexandria.

Friendship, Axes  Fire Bucket   Friendship, Speaking Horn 
Axes Fire Bucket Speaking Horn

The Suction Engine Friendship, Rogers Pumper image

A highlight of the Friendship Firehouse collection is the suction engine, or suction pumper, built by John Rodgers of Baltimore and purchased by the Friendship Fire Company in 1851. Learn more about the pumper from “ The Friendship Pumper” by Kris Lloyd, Antiques in Alexandria 1999.

Friendship, Rogers Pumper, detail  Friendship, Rogers Pumper, detail 2  Friendship, Rogers Pumper, detail 3 

The Hose Carriage  Friendship, Hand Pump

Suction engines used hose to draw water from a water source such as wells or rivers.  Only a few pieces of hose could be carried on a pumper itself, so carriages were made to carry extra hose.  Friendship’s hose carriage was made locally in coachmaker, and Friendship member, Robert F. Prettyman’s shop on North Pitt Street.  Its two large bells sounded  the alarm as it was pulled along Alexandria’s streets. 

The Meeting Room Friendship, Meeting Room

The second floor Meeting Room is furnished reminiscent of how it was during the late 19th century, the real heyday of Friendship as a community organization. A focal point is the original furniture used by members for their meetings. Various ceremonial objects are exhibited here such as parade uniforms, capes, banners and other regalia. Also, a bust of George Washington in the Meeting Room represents the Friendship Fire Company’s tradition of honoring the nation’s first president.