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
- Firefighting History Walking Tours
- Blazing a Trail: Alexandria’s Firefighting History. Saturday, April 12 and April 26, 1 – 2:30 p.m. Explore Alexandria’s firefighting history on the “Blazing a Trail: Alexandria’s Firefighting History” tour. Participants learn about volunteer firefighting in early Alexandria, three major fires, and the five volunteer fire companies. The tour begins at the historic Friendship Firehouse, goes east on Prince Street, and returns to Friendship via King Street. For age 10 and older. $6 for adults, $4 ages 10-17. Reservations are required, as space is limited. Telephone 703.746.4994, or visit the online shop.
- We’ve Been Burned: Alexandria Firefighters During the Civil War. Saturday, May 17 and May 31, 1 – 3 p.m. 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” walking 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. For age 10 and older. $6 for adults, $4 ages 10-17. Reservations are required, as space is limited. Telephone 703.746.4994, or visit the online shop.
- Mother’s Day Open House. Sunday, May 11, 1 - 4 p.m. The Friendship Firehouse Museum is free for mothers and their families on Mother’s Day. Mothers can take home a complimentary photograph. The firehouse photographer will be on hand to take portraits of families as they stand alongside the historic equipment that fought fires in early 19th – century Alexandria. Come see the suction pumper, and find out about artifacts such as parade hats and speaking trumpets. Youngsters will also receive a fire hat of their very own.
- Father’s Day Open House. Sunday, June 15, 1 – 4 p.m. The Friendship Firehouse Museum is free for fathers and their families on Father’s Day. The firehouse photographer will be on hand, so dads can take home a complimentary photograph. Come have a family portrait taken as you stand alongside the historic equipment that fought fires in early 19th – century Alexandria. See the suction pumper, and find out about artifacts such as parade hats and speaking trumpets. Youngsters will also receive a fire hat of their very own.
- 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. Free admission!
News and Information
- On Sunday, April 27 we will be closed from 2 - 3:30 p.m. for a private event.
- Spotlight on History Newsletter. Download the latest issue of our digital newsletter for The Lyceum and Friendship Firehouse Museum here.
American Alliance of Museums