Fire Department Walking Tour

Fire Department Walking Tour

Madison, Indiana 47250, United States

Created By: Visit Madison, Inc.

Tour Information

Organized fire protection in the old city of Madison, Indiana can first be traced back to 1821, just twelve years after the city’s founding in 1809. Since the beginning, its fire companies have taken the business of firefighting very seriously. The equipment used by the firefighters here has always been of the most advanced design and model. By 1840 the city could boast several hand pumpers, some of which were the same design as being used in New York City and New Orleans, an unheard of feat for a small town like Madison,

By 1859, the first steam fire engine was delivered. It was built in Philadelphia by the firm of Reanie & Neafie, and it was among the first steam fire engines west of Ohio and among only about one hundred in the entire country at the time. Madison operated a total of seven steam fire engines from 1859 to 1920.

In the years that followed, Madison’s fire department has grown to include six independent fire companies, all of whom contract with the city for municipal fire protection. Today the fire department is unique in the fact that each company operates different colored apparatus which are yellow, red, white, green, red & white, and blue & white.

Tour Map

Loading Tour


What You'll See on the Tour

Main & Walnut St. Corner. The first fire house was built in 1830. It was a simple two story frame engine house which measured just 16 x 20 and cost $13.82 plus a 2% commission for the builder. It was originally occupied by the United Vo... Read more
405 East Main St. Established on Sept 15, 1841, the Fair Play F.C. No. 1 was organized by members of the old United Volunteer Fire Co. Their motto since 1841 has been “Help One Another”, which is still boldly proclaimed on their present... Read more
104 W 3rd St. It was built just three years after the Two’s formation in 1845. When built, it was one of two nearly identical firehouses constructed by local builder John Harrington. It is a fine example of a Greek Revival firehouse cons... Read more
821 West Main St. May of 1853 saw the birth of this company which has been located on West Main Street since the beginning. The original 1851 firehouse stood in the front of Lydia Middleton School on W. Main St. In the 1920’s, the new sta... Read more
808 Walnut St. The original Walnut St Fire Company No. 4 was established in 1873. The Fours have been located on Walnut Street since their inception. This brick firehouse was completed in 1875. Madison’s Hook & Ladder Company occupie... Read more
424 Walnut St. For the first time since 1874, a 1,000 pound civil war fire bell can be viewed by the public at the “new” station for Walnut St. Fire Co. 4. Although this bell rung out countless fire alarms in its history, it was never m... Read more
Vaughn Drive & Jefferson St. Corner This one acre park is dedicated to the volunteers of the MFD. The Washington Fire Co. No. 2 has a fine granite tablet in the park which was erected upon the company’s 150th anniversary in 1996. ...


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to