This small but rich museum and community meeting hall is tucked between sprawling blocks of residential homes and the looming brick of Edison High School.
Humble in size but chocked with interesting artifacts and history tidbits, the Firefighter’s Hall & Museum is a must-see for heroism buffs.The museum’s collection includes such memorabilia as a Thief River Falls steam pumper, a 1919 Mankato aerial ladder, a Minneapolis FWD engine, and other various firefighter paraphernalia.
Among the most interesting and prized items is the “smoke extractor” designed by a Minneapolis Fire Chief in 1926. Forerunner of today’s exhaust fans, it was a massive fan driven by a Model A Ford engine and designed to suck the smoke out of burning buildings. Though tweaked over the years, the Extractor stayed in use by the Minneapolis fire department until the late 1970s,
While you’re there, pop in the library to check out department histories and records, periodicals, and other related literature.
The most recent exhibit at the museum is “81 Minutes: After the Bridge Collapse” which documents the Fire Department’s heroic response to the 35W bridge collapse, five years after the tragedy.