Operated by the Portland Veteran Firemen's Association
Since 1891

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Portland Fire Museum 
  Portland Veteran Firemen's Association

The Portland Fire Museum, 157 Spring St, is operated by the Portland Veteran Firemen's Association (PVFA). The PFVA has as much history as the building where the museum is located. Currently the PVFA has 20 active members consisting of retired and current Portland Firefighters. The history below was written by Don Whitney, a Retired Portland Firefighter, who has written three books on Portland's Fire History.

On June 12th, 1872, a group of fireman from Steam Fire Engine 3, the Portland Fire Department, departed their Brackett Street Engine House and struck out for a day of games, food, contests and fire stories. Fire stories that would make any fish story pale. The outing was a huge success and continued for years. Known as the June 12th Association. It grew to include members of other fire departments and retired fireman. It was rather loosely organized but always well done.

This band of firemen, both active and retired, organized themselves on November 19, 1891, into the Portland Veteran's Firemen's Association. Meeting first in an office building downtown, they obtained the former quarters of Casco Engine 1 at 19 South Street, for their meetings, suppers and a modest collection of fire related art and mementos. 

The club swelled to over four hundred members who met weekly and held regular drills with the 1848 hand engine Atlantic 2 which the fire department had presented to them. Not a parade was scheduled in the city without the members of the PVFA in full regalia, uniform, helmets, speaking trumpets, hand engine, hose reel, and marching band in attendance. Yes they had their own band.

As the nineteenth century closed and the twentieth century progressed, the PVFA continued their musters, parades, and through donations, their collection broadened. These men who fought fires in the days of hand tubs, then steam engines, then motorized apparatus. They were attracted to the life of a firefighter and enjoyed the camaraderie.

19 South Street was in the way of the construction of the Spring Street Arterial in the early seventies which caused the move to a new address. The members agreed with the city of Portland to accept the former fire quarters of Engine 4 at 157 Spring St, and the collection was moved to the present location. Up until then, for eight three years, the firemen's vestige was under played. 

With the new house, the collection was displayed under the banner of the Portland Fire Museum. Displays are continually being changed and improved and cosmetic improvements to the interior of the building to present this world class fire museum in the best light.

What is in the museum? [click for items]

The Portland Fire Museum in actually the PVFA collection which has been accrued over the last one hundred-eleven years. Firefighters, preserving their past.







Buy DVD or VHS films on Portland's Fire History
(Including 1912 Film)











Portland Fire Museum 2002 [Home]
The Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Portland Veteran Firemen's Association. Tax Exempt Non Profit Organization  501 (c) 3