Fire Fighters Association of Missouri

Museum Update and News – September 2019

The saying from the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” was mentioned more than once as we planned for a phased museum project and raising the funds for the interior finish. An encouraging development at least for now is we have seen an up-tic in donations and offers of assistance in-kind. I was also humbled by one very generous gift from Alan Braun during the August board meeting in Sedalia. A tornado took his family business this spring, but Alan donated half of a raffle winnings to the Foundation and the balance to another very deserving organization. The fire service has and remains one of the most gracious groups of people on the planet.

Morton has finished their portion of the construction and we are now waiting to finalize the EIFS project with a Masonry Contractor out of Columbia. The Foundation has presented the design we are looking for, in the visual effect of the large front face and plan to wrap that back to the North entrance. Aside from the underground drain system that will finish phase-I or essentially the exterior element of the museum for now.

We are actively fund-raising for the next phase in finishing the interior which involves nearly everything except wall insulation. As you read through the newsletter, you will notice some promising opportunities to assist. So please keep us in mind. Some of you have used a birthday fund-raiser on Facebook to benefit the museum and thank you for doing that.

With a building now in place, the Foundation has received some interest in donating fire service items, equipment and apparatus. We are not actually ready for that next step, but due to a timing situation we just accepted a very large private collection with the agreement it can remain on display for now. On July 19, Gail Hagans and I took the first steps in securing the Jim and Linda Coleberd Fire Service Collection which involves nearly 275 items. This involved an individual cataloging and picture process of each item. This collection can be seen in the Winery building at the Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal. Linda has graciously agreed to keep it there until needed in Kingdom City or something changes in storage arrangements. With this collection also came a 1938 open cab American LaFrance Fire Truck previously owned by Joe Jackson which Jim had purchased. Sorry, the truck is not on display but is being stored by a foundation member next to his 1937 open cab American LaFrance.

For those of you who have made some generous offers either by donation or on loan, please be patient with the Foundation. We have to finish the interior and until then, cannot offer optimum storage and security for this important history.  Please hold on, until we can finish the second phase of the museum project, hopefully very quickly!