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.
In 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.
Events at the Friendship Firehouse Museum
- Friendship Firehouse Museum Offers Walking Tours. The Friendship Firehouse Museum is offering special firefighting history walking tours this spring. The tours are on Saturday April 13, April 27, May 11, and May 25, and begin at 1:00 pm. Advance reservations for each tour are required, as space is limited. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4.00 for youth ages 10 to 17. (The tours will not interest small children, but may be of interest to youth 10 and older.) To make a reservation visit our online museum store or call 703.746.4994. A different tour is offered each month. They are:
May 11 and 25: Firefighting in Civil War Alexandria, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
When Virginia joined the Confederacy, Union troops occupied Alexandria and it became a center for transportation, supplies and medicine. Most municipal functions were assumed by the U.S. Army under the authority of the military governor. The “We’ve Been Burned: Alexandria Firefighters During the Civil War” tour will explore firefighting during the Union occupation. How were volunteer fire companies treated by Federal authorities? Were firefighters allowed out after curfew? What happened to the firehouses and equipment? These questions will be answered as tour participants visit the sites of four of the five fire houses, and learn what happened if there was a fire in the occupied city.
- The Friendship Firehouse Festival. The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association holds its annual Firehouse Festival each year on the first Saturday in August. The popular family event features antique fire apparatus, craft booths, displays by Alexandria merchants, and live music.
- Spotlight on History Newsletter. Download the fall issue of our newly-launched digital newsletter for The Lyceum and Friendship Firehouse Museum here.
American Alliance of Museums