Jefferson City Fire Department celebrates 175th birthday with fundraiser
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Fire Department celebrated its 175th birthday on Wednesday with an open house and fundraiser at the Fire Museum.
The museum is located inside the historic Fire Station No. 2, which was one of Jefferson City’s main stations for 37 years.
Steve Holtmeier, Jefferson City Fire Department captain and president of the Fire Museum Board, hopes people of all ages will pay a visit.
“We’ve got some very neat equipment displays and we’ve been working for about three years now, trying to renovate it and turn it into something the kids can come see and learn the history of this fire department,” Holtmeier said.
This is the first phase of the museum’s development. The board is planning to expand the building into an interactive education center where children can use games and computers and learn more about fire safety.
The open house marked the start of a new fundraising campaign with all proceeds going directly into improving and expanding the Fire Museum.
“We have the commemorative coins for 175 years, retired patches from our past uniforms, centennial flags from our centennial anniversary that were flown in the streets and then all the funds of Tim Young’s book will go to the Museum,” Holtmeier said.
Young, a retired captain in the department, is the author of “The Life and Times of The Jefferson City, Missouri Fire Department"
He said the Fire Department is one of the main reasons the capital is still located in Jefferson City.
“In 1911, when the Capitol burned the second time, Sedalia was trying to take the state capital away from Jefferson City. The Fire Department was one of the big cogs in the wheel of keeping the capital in Jefferson City, because we had a professional fire department.”
Thursday marks the anniversary of the department’s first mission, which was volunteer-based.
“The first time the Capitol burned, there was no fire department," Young said. "That’s what caused them to establish a volunteer-based fire department. Their first mission was to establish a line of passing buckets from the river up to the city.”
Those who wish to purchase commemorative coins can go to Samuel’s Tuxedo or Kerri’s Hallmark. Contact JeffersonCityFireMuseum@gmail.com to purchase any other items.