Reliance Fire Museum To Host Free Open House Sept. 17th
The Reliance Fire Museum has been a gently guarded secret in the Estes Park community for many years. It is the place where old fire engines come to get a breath of new life, as they are restored to new condition for their owners: collectors, cities and fire fighter associations. It is also a place that a fine collection of old trucks now make their permanent homes.
Beginning this month, the Reliance Fire Museum will offer public tour hours on the third Saturday of each month (more during the summer) from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. You could always call ahead and schedule a private tour, but you would have had to have been a fire truck collector or fire buff to even know the Museum existed. Visitors from around the world come in small groups or as individuals, sometimes to check out the place that will restore their beloved antique fire engine, or just to see the world class collection of apparatus. Over the last year a television pilot has visited several times to capture the painstaking job of bringing a classic Ahrens Fox truck back to life- that truck is on display, and still being worked on.
Visitors will have the chance to see fire engines and equipment as old as 1901. Running displays include a tiller ladder truck from Beverly Hills, CA; a one-of-a-kind wooden body sedan pumper from Detroit; and an actual ‘life-net’ used to catch victims that might jump from a burning building- among many other trucks and fire fighting tools. Bring the kids, but be forewarned, these trucks are not toys- with several being valued at over $100,000. (There is a fire truck parked outside that is OK to climb on!) As an added bonus, the Stanley Hotel will be offering free firetruck rides at the Open House. All ages will enjoy the tour, and will be among the first local residents to see and appreciate this local treasure.
Saturday, Sept 17th is the first public tour, and is free of charge. Donations to help operate the Museum are always welcome, but not required. Take Moraine Avenue West from downtown Estes Park to Elm Road, then about 1 mile up Elm Road to the Museum- it’s the building with a fire truck in the driveway at 460 Elm Road. Parking is available behind the shop if necessary- where you can also check out some classic trucks awaiting their turn in the restoration shop.
To take a preview of the Museum, or for contact information, visit the Reliance Fire Museum website at www.reliancefiremuseum.org.