Peabody Fire Museum, April 2016

The Peabody Fire Department was officially recognized in 1860. Engine 3, located in the Endicott Street neighborhood, protected the lives and property of people in that area for more than one hundred and fifty years with courage and dedication.

Torrent No. 3, circa 1890

Torrent No. 3, circa 1900

Torrent No. 3, 1960. Courtesy of the Ray Wallman Collection.

In the 1980s, the City of Peabody decided to close the Engine 3 Station. Before arranging for demolition of the building, the City offered it to the Peabody Historical Society. The Society’s Board of Directors, led by their President Rose Tierney Drysdale, voted to take possession of the Engine 3 building, which was originally built in 1875. The plan was to move it to the Society’s Brooksby properties on Felton Street and establish it as the Peabody Historical Fire Museum, where the Society’s extensive collection of fire fighting memorabilia could be displayed.

In the fall of 1991, the building was dismantled and brought in numbered pieces to the Society’s Smith Barn for storage. In June of 1992, ground was broken with work on the foundation conducted over the ensuing months under the direction of Joseph Donlon, Chairman of the project. The spring of 1993 saw the start of reconstruction work under the direction of Mark Phillips, and by July of that year, the framework of the future fire museum was nearly complete. Since then, with the help of volunteers and the generosity of local tradesmen who often donated their time and expertise to the project, work steadily progressed. Through individual donations and the proceeds of fundraisers, the Engine 3 building and the Peabody Historical Fire Museum found a home in Brooksby at the Felton-Smith Historic Site.

Torrent No. 3, 1993

The Peabody Historical Fire Museum is a place where present and future generations may view fire fighting artifacts of a bygone time and appreciate what these courageous individuals have done and continue to do to protect the lives and property of us all.