Superior WI Old Firehouse and Police Museum

A recent weekend excursion took us to the far northwestern corner of the state of Wisconsin to visit the city of Superior. Superior, WI is nestled on the western edge of Lake Superior and shares one of the busiest shipping ports on the Great Lakes with its neighbor across the bay: Duluth, MN. In our travels we visited one of the unique museums in the city, the Old Firehouse and Police Museum.

Superior-Fire-Museum-ExteriorThis museum, set in the last of the 1890’s firehouses in the city of Superior holds of plethora of historical fire apparatus and police artifacts including a 1919 La France ladder truck, a 1906 Ahrens horse drawn steam pumper and a 1944 Mack Model L engine with a Hale pump. But the meat of the museum is on the second floor among the firemen’s quarters with an exhibit of police and fire memorabilia, historic fire fighting equipment, a 1960’s era dispatch console and fire extinguishers galore. The museum also houses the State of Wisconsin police and fire fighters Hall of Fame.

Superior-Fire-Museum-Engine

A 1944 Mack Model L engine with Hale pump. In the background is the 1919 LaFrance ladder truck.

I’m a big fan of old fire equipment. As an avid scanner listener I’m also interested in the historical aspect of firefighting, so this museum is a fun trip through time. If you go, plan to spend about 45 minutes to see all the displays. Admission is free and museum hours change based on the season. Full details can be found on the Old Firehouse and Police Museum website.

See and hear the collection of antique fire call boxes. Before the days of 911, these boxes would signal to the firehouse the location of an alarm pull.

See and hear the collection of antique fire call boxes. Before the days of 911, these boxes would signal to the firehouse the location of an alarm pull.

The alarm boxes were replaced in the 1960's by a more modern dispatch system. This console is a precursor to the modern 911 consoles you'll find in today's dispatch centers.

The alarm boxes were replaced in the 1960’s by a more modern dispatch system. This console is a precursor to the modern 911 consoles you’ll find in today’s dispatch centers.

I love those old Motorola microphones

I love those old Motorola microphones

Nowadays an actual pole in a fire station is as rare as hen's teeth. But considering the steep and narrow stairs it took to get to the 2nd floor of this station, this pole would make getting downstairs much faster

Nowadays an actual pole in a fire station is as rare as hen’s teeth. But considering the steep and narrow stairs it took to get to the 2nd floor of this station, this pole would make getting downstairs much faster

Helmets, boots, and turnout gear abounds in this museum, along with a fascinating display of old fire extinguishers.

Helmets, boots, and turnout gear abounds in this museum, along with a fascinating display of old fire extinguishers.