Caswell No. 1 Fire Station Museum in Kinston, NC

By Braxton Shoop on February 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm EST
Caswell No. 1 Fire Station Museum


The structure that now houses the Caswell No. 1 Fire Station Museum was constructed in 1895 after a widespread conflagration destroyed nearly all the structures in downtown Kinston.

This building is the oldest brick structure in Kinston and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The oldest remaining municipal building in Lenoir County, it has served Kinston for more than a century.

Over the years, the building has been used as a stable, a fire station, a county jail, a city hall and, since 1993, a museum. This museum showcases a range of artifacts, photographs and exhibits that demonstrate the heritage of the firefighting profession and the development of firefighting technologies since the late 19th century.

Among these artifacts are firefighter helmets, fire-hose nozzles, ladders, fire extinguishers, fire hydrants and other historic memorabilia that spans more than a century. The museum maintains part of Kinston’s fire alarm box system that is operational to this day, but its centerpiece is its 1922 LaFrance Pumper.

The Pumper is an early model firetruck made by the American LaFrance Fire Engine Company, one of the oldest fire-device manufacturers in America.

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