Committee aims to transform former Epping fire station into museum

Union Leader Correspondent
June 25. 2018 10:57PM
Epping Historical Society curator Joy True and Epping fire Capt. Cliff Cray stand next to the 1860 vintage hand engine inside the old fire station on Main Street. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

Epping's abandoned fire station on Main Street will become a new fire and brick museum if a local committee can raise enough money. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

EPPING — A newly formed committee is hoping to raise enough money to turn the town’s 83-year-old fire station on Main Street into a museum for fire and brickyard memorabilia.

The Friends of the Epping Fire and Brick Museum needs to raise $8,000 to $10,000 to install two new bay doors with windows, repair the ceiling, repaint the floor, build shelves, install a museum sign, and make other improvements.

The project was given the green light by voters in March, but the approval came with no funding.

The fire station built in 1935 is owned by the town and was used until 2001 when a new public safety complex opened. The building sits next to the town library.

The plan is to turn the first floor into a museum for fire equipment and other items related to the fire department while the downstairs portion will be used to display memorabilia from the brickyards that once operated in town.

According to Joy True, curator of the Epping Historical Society, the old fire station is believed to be the only town-owned building made with bricks that are known to have come from the former W.S. Goodrich Inc. brickyard, which began operating in the late 1800s.

A 1934 REO Speedwagon fire truck and an 1860 vintage hand engine are two antiques that were housed at the West Epping station but have been moved to the Main Street station to become the centerpieces of the museum.

The equipment is often used for parades and other special occasions.

“They have been stored for numerous years in West Epping. The locals don’t know we have these and these are very important pieces of equipment,” said True, who is heading up the committee with fire Capt. Cliff Cray.

Cray said the hope is to install new bay doors with windows and lights that could shine on the equipment to showcase them for drivers and other passersby.

To save on labor costs, Cray said he hopes the committee will be able to get inmates from the Rockingham County jail who are in the trusty program to help with some of the work, including the painting and cleaning.

Cray said he had some antique hose reels given to him last week that he also hopes could be redone and placed on the display in the museum.

True said the committee would like to be able to get the museum up and running by next Memorial Day if enough money is raised.

Anyone who would like to contribute can mail a donation to the Friends of the Epping Fire and Brick Museum, 37 Pleasant St., Epping, N.H., 03042.

General NewsPublic SafetyEpping

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