Raleigh Fire Museum
Preserving yesterday for tomorrow

Learn About Our History

Virtual Exhibits & Online Resources

Last update August 23, 2017

Welcome to a page with hand-picked resources about the history of the Raleigh Fire Department. These represent just a few of the many sites and pages about our history. Use this page as starting point on your journey!

Contents

  • Read
  • Look
  • Watch
  • Research
  • Help & Feedback

Read

  • The Fire of 1851 (pdf)
    About the city's great conflagration, the volunteer firemen and their hand engines, and the improvements that resulted. 33 pages.
  • Birth of a Fire Department (pdf)
    The story of the transition from Raleigh's volunteer firefighting force to the career fire department in 1912. 37 pages.

  • Raleigh Fire Department History - 1792 to 1925 (pdf)
    Color chart of the fire department's history and its milestones, both volunteer and career eras.Two pages.

  • Rules and Regulations Booklet (pdf)
    Undated booklet of fire department rules and regulations, likely circa 1920s or 1930s. 18 pages.

For more detailed reading, consider our Centennial History (117 pages), Great Fires of Raleigh (61 pages), and Raleigh FD 1880-1899 (PDF, 37 pages).

For stories of famous fires, read about Martin Street in 1915 (new!), Dorothea Dix in 1926, The Yarborough House in 1928 (new!), The Mangel Building in 1981 (63 pages), IGA Grocery Store in 1992 (new!), Pine Knoll Townes in 2007, and the Metropolitan in 2017.


Look

  • Photos from 1900 to 1984
    Gallery of 85 images, including a few from the volunteer era.
  • Photos from 1910 to 1999
    Gallery of 473 images from the North Carolina State Archives, with 1939 and later images courtesy of the News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C. Used with permission.

  • 100 Years of Fire Apparatus
    Gallery of 119 images, showing Raleigh fire apparatus from the 1900s to the 2010s.

  • Faces of the Past
    Gallery of 337 retired members, and those who died on- or off-duty, through 2012.

  • Our Antiques
    Gallery of 111 images, with detailed photos of the antiques owned by the city and the museum.

For more galleries, see our photos page.


Watch

For more videos, see our videos page.


Research

We recommend three primary resources for researchers:


Help & Feedback

Have questions about these sites, or recommendations to improve this page? Send us a message!

 


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