Hoboken, N.J. – March 14, 2016 – The Hoboken Historical Museum is pleased to announce an expansion of its popular Storytime program to include a monthly “Fire Department Museum Storytime,” on the first Sunday of each month from April through November. In addition, the Museum’s Education Curator, Dr. Razel Solow, has designed two age-appropriate “Learn About” sessions at the Fire Department Museum on the third Sunday of every month through November, led by Maria Lara. Both programs are made possible through the generous support of two local organizations: The Hoboken Family Alliance and Party with Purpose.
The Fire Department Museum Storytime presents stories and sing-alongs for children ages 2 – 5 years old. It will take place at noon on the first Sunday of each month, starting April 3, and continuing on May 1, June 5, July 3, August 7, September 4, October 2, and November 6. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and strollers must be parked outside the Museum.
The “Learn About” series will offer two sessions on the third Sunday of each month. At 3:00 – 3:20 pm, children ages 2 – 3 years old are invited to learn all about the Fire Department Museum, and older children ages 4 – 6 years old are invited at 3:30 – 4:00 pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult and registration for these sessions is required. A link to the registration form will be posted on the Museum’s website, www.hobokenmuseum.org on March 16 – 18 for the first session, March 20.
Visit the Fire Department Museum
There’s something for everyone at the Hoboken Fire Department Museum. For kids, the star attraction at the former fire station at 213 Bloomfield St. is the shiny red Ahrens Fox fire engine, circa 1932; this “Cadillac” of fire trucks has been meticulously restored and occasionally stars in civic parades. Kids can get a boost into the driver’s seat for a photo op. Parents are welcome to climb up as well. You can even ring the big brass bell.
For grownups, the Fire Department Museum is a treasure trove of fire gear and memorabilia documenting the evolution of tools and techniques used by Hoboken’s bravest in battling fires that spread quickly in a city of connected row houses, working piers and active factories. One of the highlights is the framed 1947 photo of fire captain Marty Sinatra posing on a fire truck with his son, Frank, who at the time was the most popular singer in the country.
Visitors can now drop by the Fire Department Museum any weekend between noon and 5 p.m., thanks to support from the Hoboken Historical Museum. Admission is just $3 for adults (children under 12 admitted free), and you can spend as much time as you like exploring the displays of photographs and news clippings documenting the fires—large and small—that tested the mettle of generations of Hoboken’s firefighters.
In its early days, Hoboken, like many towns, had an all-volunteer force. In exchange for their service, the men were “exempt” from certain civic duties, including certain taxes and street repair. That’s why the building bears a sign reading “Association of Exempt Firemen.” The spacious second-floor room is still used for meetings by firefighters. The city established a paid professional fire department in 1891. The building at 213 Bloomfield briefly served as a firehouse in the 1880s, and was converted to a Museum through the leadership and sweat equity of former fireman Bill Bergin and a crew of Hoboken firefighters. This building and several other firehouses in Hoboken are on the National Register of Historic Places.
About the Hoboken Historical Museum
Founded 1986, the Museum’s mission is to educate the public about Hoboken’s history, diverse culture, architecture and historic landmarks. In 2001, the Museum moved into one of the oldest buildings on the waterfront, in the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard, at 1301 Hudson St., Hoboken, where it maintains a series of rotating exhibits. The Museum is open six days a week, 2 – 7 pm on Tues. – Thurs., 1 – 5 pm on Fridays, and noon – 5 pm on weekends. It offers special exhibits, tours, events and lectures, as well as educational programs for adults and children on a weekly basis. An updated schedule of events and an online catalog of many items in its collections are available at www.hobokenmuseum.org. The Hoboken Historical Museum provides staffing for the Hoboken Fire Department Museum, 213 Bloomfield St., on weekends, from 12 – 5 pm. The Museum is a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)3 entity.