Badin Firehouse Museum

firetruck
1937 Ford American LaFrance fire truck
Laurence Mckinney (on knee)
Boyce Hooks (standing)
Joe Kirk, Sr. (on ladder)

A Firehouse Museum for Badin

By
Bridget Huckabee

(From an article in the Stanly News and Press Best of Badin Festival Supplement)

Hidden behind the gleaming state of the art fire engines at Badin Fire Station sits a small 1937 Ford American LaFrance fire truck. Its working days are over, but once in awhile the volunteer firemen who care for it wash down its silver painted exterior and trundle it through the automatic doors for an outing. After a trip around the corner to the Best of Badin Festival, or down the road to a Fourth of July parade, it’s retired once again to its dark corner.

Badin Historic Museum committee members, working with the Badin Fire Department, have plans to take it out of obscurity and give it a well deserved home in a museum of its own.

In July, 2003, Badin Historic Museum, Inc., purchased a small lot on Falls Road directly across from the Museum. Here, with help from donations and grants, they plan to build a Fire House Museum to honor and preserve the history of Badin’s Volunteer Fire Department.

The building will provide exhibit space for the old fire truck, for a hose reel, and for the many fire department artifacts currently on display in the Badin Museum. At approximately 40’ X 60’ in size, the building will also provide room for storage.

“We’re sorely in need of storage space,” festival chairman David Summerlin, says. “Better Badin’s festival equipment is stored temporarily on the edge of town and Badin Museum has had to turn down artifacts for lack of space.”

Although plans are still on the drawing board, the building will be a close facsimile of a one-bay brick firehouse. Its close proximity to the Badin Museum will allow it to be manned more easily.

“One set of volunteers can take care of both places during the hours we’re open,” Volunteer Coordinator Betty Beach says.

Badin Fire Chief, Dale Ward is also happy with the museum’s plans.
“We are proud of Badin Fire Department’s history,” Ward says. “It’s nice to know it will be preserved.”

Donations for the Firehouse Museum are welcomed and may be sent to Badin Firehouse Museum Fund