Ti firefighters to open museum

"The fire department has a rich history," Burns said. "It goes back to 1873 when the (Defiance) hose company formed. We tried to start (exhibits) at the beginning and work our way through the years. I think it came out great.

"It's still a work in progress - and will be for a long time," he added. "We still have some photos and things we're having trouble dating and getting information on."

Ticonderoga had three fire companies in three different stations until the 1970s. At that time the present fire house was constructed and all three companies moved in, sharing space but remaining separate departments.

"There was actually quite a rivalry between departments," Burns said. "They all responded to fires, but they all had their own leadership. They had three separate meeting rooms in the fire house. They were definitely separate departments. In 1990 the village decided to form a fire district and created Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Company No. 1. We merged in 1991."

Cunningham said the museum is a window to the past and inspiration for the future.

"We want to look to the past and the future," she said. "We don't want to forget where we came from as we plan for the future."

The museum project cost $80,000. Nearly half that money, $37,000, came from the sale of the "Fireman's Field." The rest came from bingo proceeds, donations from the ladies auxiliary and local businesses, and the fire commission. Fort Ticonderoga donated cabinets and display shelves.

"It would have cost a lot more if not for the labor of our members and the donations of local businesses and the auxiliary," Burns said.

The 20 x 60 foot structure was built by the company's 52 firefighters.

"I think every member had a hand in this at one point or another," Burns said.

He noted the department's two longest-servicing members, Larry Crammond and Dick Clark, were instrumental in the museum project. Both have been Ti firefighters more than 50 years.

The museum will be open on Tuesday nights during the department's drills and Thursday nights during bingo. People can also make arrangements to see the museum by calling the fire station at 585-7771 or Burns at 586-1674.

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