" I hate unique pieces in storage, I want to get them out there to share with everyone!"
Steve Heaver, Director
The mission of the Fire Museum of Maryland is to educate the public about the history, technology, and innovation of the fire service through a unique collection of operating apparatus, memorabilia, and programs.
The Fire Museum of Maryland is one of the largest fire museums in America. Located in Lutherville, MD (Baltimore County), the Museum is a leading institution in preserving, restoring and interpreting the history of the urban fire service in the U.S.
The Museum was founded in 1971 and houses a world-class collection of historic hand engines, horse-drawn, steam-powered and motorized vehicles. Exhibits include firefighting tools, antique toys, Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, a working Fire Alarm Office, and a Children's Discovery Room. We feature curriculum-based educational tours in science, history, and technology. Meeting rooms, party rentals, and antique vehicle rentals are available.
The apparatus provides an immersive visual setting to tell the story of urban firefighting in America from 1806 to the present. Many of our restored apparatus are working road vehicles. The crown jewels in our firefighting history tour are an 1856 Agnew hand engine, an 1899 American steamer, a 1905 Hale water tower, a 1918 Mack “Bulldog” ladder truck, a 1922 Ahrens -Fox pumping engine, and a 1947 Mack Floodlight Wagon.
One of our newest exhibits features a large collection of fire-themed prints and early twentieth-century toys donated as a gift from the McLaughlin Company Insurance Agency of Rockville, Maryland. This collection has been photographed and cataloged, and the exhibit is now open to the public.
In 2005, the Museum restored and installed a cast-iron building facade from Baltimore's Engine Co. #8 built in 1871. The facade serves as the entry into the “Life of the Fireman” exhibit. Special thanks to Grants from the 1772 Foundation, Preservation Maryland, and significant gifts from private donors that enabled the construction of this exhibit.
Our firefighting tools, patches, helmets, and memorabilia engage children and adults and tell the story of firefighting. The antique Watch Desk and Fire Alarm Office educate on the history and technology of emergency communications from 1860 to the present.
Our Jasper & Anna Peabody Marsh Research Center houses over 13,000 documents, catalogs, photographs, negatives, and books. These materials are used for research to help tell a more complete story of the history of the fire service. We feature exhibits dedicated to local, regional, and national firefighters and a Wall of Honor for Baltimore County Volunteer Firefighters. Our Museum staff is available to assist with custom research and historical documentation of local firefighters.
The Special Exhibits Room is a multi-purpose space containing our collection of fire-related toys, scale models, medical service items, and fire boat exhibit. The Rare Prints Gallery allows the Museum to display special collections in a climate controlled atmosphere.
The Children’s Discovery Room is a child-friendly place to play with hands-on activities, child-sized turnout gear, and engine children can “drive” as they are inspired in a role as a future firefighter. Adults will enjoy this “downtime” as the children endlessly play.
The museum is open year-round on Saturdays 10-4, During the summer months (June-August) we are open Wed.-Sat. 10-4. Tours for children, adults, seniors and special needs adults can be arranged by appointment 7 days a week (dates subject to availability). Meeting Rentals are available.
The non-profit 501(c)(3) Fire Museum of Maryland grew from a collection that had been amassed over more than 40 years by the Heaver Family. It now exists to share the complete story of the history of the urban fire service in America.
Since its founding in 1971, the Museum has expanded the depth of its collections to become a professionally run institution that is open to the public. The Fire Museum receives funding from Baltimore County, donors, members, planned giving, admissions, and visitors like you.