Fire Memories Museum
Fire Memories, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(C) (3), fire museum established in Indio, California in January, 1998. In 2006, founder and then CEO, Robert A. Green and his wife, Carolyn moved themselves and the museum from Indio, California to Cheney, Washington. In 2009 Mr. Green passed away unexpectedly. His widow and the museum’s Board of Directors, has requested that directors Doug Hammer and Monte Hammer locate a new home for the museum, preferably returning it to Southern California and making the museum accessible to the general public in a permanent home with the opportunity to expand. Currently the Museum is open in a temporary location (Old Banning Fire Station 2) provided by the City of Banning CA until a new facility is completed in Beaumont CA.
The Collection contains more than two-thousand, two-hundred (2200) historical fire related and memorabilia items. Some items that are contained in the museum include but not limited to: seven motorized fire apparatus, seventeen hand or horse drawn wagons and hose carts, including an American built hand pumper dating back to 1830, pompier scaling ladders, a very rare leather Vajen smoke mask and a complete 30 foot section of leather fire hose dating back to the 1800’s. There are station gongs, a large collection of Gamewell fire alarm call boxes, including a complete early telegraph fire alarm call box system dating from the early 1900’s, fire hose, fire extinguishers, fire hydrants, fire helmets, including one leather fire helmet dating to the early 1800’s. We also have over 2,013 fire department patches, a variety of fire nozzles and playpipes, dating back to the mid 1700’s, airport fire extinguishers, and many more items, too many to list individually.
An extensive research library is also part of the museum, consisting of old fire equipment catalogs, apparatus and equipment manuals, non-fiction books, factual, well known historical fire investigations and reports along with books related to fire station development, construction and history. Other books related to collections of fire toys, fire collectibles and fire lore are also in the library.
Portions of the Fire Memories collection are also currently being exhibited at the Historical Society of Palm Desert in an old “fire house” and in the Beaumont Women’s Club/Pass Historical Society museum, as well as small displays in Applebee’s Restaurant in Beaumont and in Applebee’s Restaurant in Palm Desert.