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
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.
|Axes||Fire Bucket||Speaking Horn|
The Suction Engine
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.
The Hose Carriage
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
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.