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Established in 1955, the New Bern Firemen’s Museum is a unique experience. Our mission is to preserve the history of firefighting in New Bern, which boasts the first chartered fire company in the state of North Carolina.


Visit the New Bern Firemen’s Museum for the history of the Atlantic Hook & Ladder Company and the New Bern Steam Fire Engine Company No. 1 (which later became the Button Company). Experience the Great Fire of 1922 which destroyed over 1,000 buildings, and left much of the city in ruin. Talk to New Bern’s famous fire horse “Fred” and bring the kids (or an entire class of children) for an educational and fun day of learning. With hands-on exhibits and an impressive collection of authentic memorabilia, this is a museum you don’t want to miss. It’s fun for the whole family!

Quick Facts


  • Organized May 14, 1845

  • Incorporated January 5, 1847

  • Oldest chartered fire department in North Carolina

  • One of the oldest fire departments in the United States

  • Fire Station was originally located behind the Chelsea Restaurant

  • Held World Record for quick steam until Button Company took it

  • First to use drop harnesses for horses

  • Reel racing championship three times


  • Organized January 1, 1865

  • Incorporated December 20, 1865

  • Formed by Union troops who remained in New Bern after the Civil War

  • First Steam Fire Engine was named “Amoskeag”

  • Fire Station was the old City Hall building on Craven Street,

  • across from Mitchell’s Hardware

  • Holds 3 world records in hose wagon competitions in early

  • 1900s that remain unbroken today


  • Atlantic and Button Companies merged in 1928

  • Both companies housed together at central station on Broad Street in 1928

  • Opened Station 3 located on National Avenue

  • Opened Station 4 located on Elizabeth Avenue

  • Moved into current Headquarters Station (Station 1) located on Neuse Boulevard in June 2000

  • Opened Station 2 located at West Thurman Road in 2003

  • Closed Station 3 on National Avenue in 2003

  • Combination department with 52 career personnel and 25 volunteers


  • Received Fire-Rescue accreditation and officially became known as “New Bern Fire-Rescue” in 2004

  • Training Academy opened in Spring, 2005

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