This summer, the Salem Museum is featuring a special exhibit to celebrate Salem’s firefighters. Up in Flames: Fighting Fire in Salem will showcase both the Salem Fire-EMS Department and the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Salem office. The exhibit will open at the Salem Museum with a special event on Saturday, June 1, and run through August 31. The Museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays.  Admission is free.


Salem’s firefighters have long struggled to save life and property from structural fires and wildfires. This interactive, family-friendly exhibit will explore the history of the Salem Fire Department—from the first bucket brigades to today’s modern fire trucks—along with some of the homes and other structures that have caught fire throughout Salem’s history. Aspiring firefighters can try on the gear that firefighters wear to keep them safe in the worst situations.


The Salem Fire-EMS Department dates back to 1854. The exhibit will share the department’s history as well as the advances in fire-fighting equipment technology. Significant fires from Salem’s past, such as Longwood Mansion and Salem High School, will be included.


The exhibit also documents the changes that the Virginia Department of Forestry, with its office in Salem, has undergone over the years. Rangers no longer wait in towers scanning the horizon for smoke in the forests surrounding Salem. Techniques and technology to detect and battle wildfires have become increasingly sophisticated. Smokey Bear, the national mascot for wildfire prevention, is celebrating his 75th birthday this year, and is also featured.


Special Firefighter Event on Opening Day!

Saturday, June 1, from 10 am to 4 pm, is Firefighter Day at the Salem Museum! Tour a fire truck, meet firefighters, and learn how to prevent fires. Smokey Bear and Sparky will be on hand, too! The exhibit and opening day event are made possible by the City of Salem Fire-EMS Department; the Virginia Department of Forestry; Firehouse Subs, W. Main St, Salem; and Roger Rakes: Allstate Insurance. The Salem Museum is located next to Longwood Park at 801 E. Main Street. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated!


Note: The Salem Museum’s entrance has changed. Turn off Main Street at Oakey Field, across from the Berglund Ford service entrance. Then turn left to drive up to the Museum’s parking lot and entrance.


About the Salem Museum & Historical Society

The Salem Museum & Historical Society is an independent, nonprofit organization preserving and celebrating the history of Salem, Virginia, which was founded in 1802. The Salem Museum is located next to Longwood Park in the historic 1845 Williams-Brown House at 801 East Main Street, Salem, VA 24153. Open Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Museum admission is free, but donations are appreciated. The Museum has free parking. 540-389-6760.

Past dates

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  • Starting Saturday, June 1st, 2019, repeated every day until Saturday, August 31, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Salem Museum

801 E Main St
Salem, VA 24153

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