The Historical Museum of Benicia acquires the Benicia Fire Museum

BENICIA – Over the past few months, the Benicia Historical Museum has been working alongside Benicia Fire Volunteer Firemen Inc. to acquire the Benicia Fire Museum’s collection, physical assets, and more.

Museums are not often acquired and the two organizations are aware that these are bold and unprecedented actions.

“It is with immense gratitude and appreciation for the trust that the Volunteer Firefighters of Benicia Inc. have placed in us that we look forward to the next chapter of our mission. We would like to publicly thank the Volunteer Firefighters of Benicia Inc. for their 175 years of selfless volunteer service in our community. We know this is a moving closure to their institutional heritage and we want to assure their Board of Directors, their members and the community at large that the story of the Benicia Fire Service will not will not go unnoticed as we move forward,” said Jen Roger, Director. director of the historical museum of Benicia.

The collection has found a new home with the Historical Museum of Benicia, and as custodians of its collective heritage they look to the future, while diligently interpreting the past.

The collection of artifacts from the Historical Museum of Benicia began in 1975, the objects were stored in several locations until the current site of the Arsenal became available. The Benicia City Council inaugurated the Camel Barn complex on December 7, 1982. The museum was officially opened on May 19, 1985 and has been open continuously since then.

The museum complex consists of four original Benicia Arsenal buildings dating to 1850. All buildings are constructed of native Californian sandstone quarried near the museum site. The rustic and austere style set a precedent that was used in most of the buildings of the Arsenal of Benicia built in the 19th century.

The foundation of the organization of volunteer firefighters coincided with the arrival of the Phoenix, Benicia’s first fire truck. The Phoenix was built in 1820 and served its first 27 years with the New York Volunteer Fire Department. In 1847 it was purchased by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and became the first fire engine to go to California. He was brought to Benicia in 1849.

The move and the opening of the Benicia Fire Museum will be announced in the coming months. For more information on the Benicia Historical Museum and the Benicia Fire Museum, please contact Roger, 707-745-5435, or go to

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Patrick F. Williams