FASNY Museum of Firefighting
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is one of the hidden cultural treasures in the Hudson Valley. It includes one of the largest collections of firefighting objects in the world with artifacts dating back to 1731. If Vassar students are looking for a quirky blend of art and history—or just a place to bring parents and younger siblings on a visiting day—this is the attraction you’ve been hoping for.
The Museum began in the early 1920s, when local firefighters decided that they needed a place to store several old English fire trucks. As plans were drawn up, the size increased to house other aging equipment. Soon, it turned into a full museum—a repository of firefighting tools and images for the country, specializing in New York State. It was dedicated on Memorial Day of 1926, and has been undergoing continued expansions ever since.
While students’ young siblings will love the collections of old fire trucks and fire suits, adults will be drawn to the Museum’s extensive collection of paintings and lithographs, depicting New York’s Bravest for over 300 years. Of particular note is “Firemen Past and Present,” an 1895 lithograph by the noted Buchanan & Lyall, depicting firefighters with old hand engines and new steam engines working together to stop the burning of Barnum’s Museum in New York City, July 13, 1865.
Younger kids will also enjoy the gift shop, complete with firefighting toys, posters and action figures. Educational programs are available for the little ones, while Vassar students and their parents take more advanced tours of the collection with the Museum’s guides, many of whom are former firefighters themselves.