ABOUT The Fire Museum Network
• • • • • • • • • •
 About the FMN      The Fire Museum Seminar      Organizational History      Our Goals      Join Us
Click below to view
 that year's program

2019 - Los Angeles, CA
2018 - Cleveland , OH
2017 - Tampa, FL
2016 - San Antonio, TX
2015 - Buffalo, NY
2014 - Jeffersonville, IN
2013 - New York, NY
2012 - Los Angeles, CA
2011 - Ypsilanti, MI
2010 - Baltimore, MD 
2009 - Phoenix,AZ
2008 - Aurora, IL
2007 - Denver, CO
2006 - Columbus, OH
2005 - Indianapolis, IN
2004 - no seminar held
2003 - Dallas, TX
2002 - Kansas City, KS
2001 - New Orleans, LA 
2000 - Dallas, TX
1999 - Kansas City, MO
1998 - Louisville, KY
1997 - Dallas TX
1996 - Kansas City MO
1995 - Louisville, KY
1994 - St. Louis, MO
1993 - Dallas, TX
1992 - Anaheim, CA
1991 - Toronto, ONT.
1990 - Orlando, FL
1989 - Indianapolis, IN

  PAST Fire Museum Seminars
Preliminary ScheduleHotel InfoDownload the Seminar Registration Form
  21st Annual Fire Museum Seminar
  Baltimore, Maryland • October 29 – November 1, 2010 

Attendees of the 2010 Fire Museum Network Seminar in Baltimore MD
Click photo to go to Flicker and see more photos

Join your fellow museum colleagues as we learn, share and network. The Fire Museum Network is proud to announce its 2010 Fire Museum Seminar to be hosted by the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville, Maryland. Commencing on Friday night (October 29) with registration and Show & Tell, followed by a full day of presentations on Saturday, and a full day (or two) of visiting other local fire museums.

The Fire Museum Seminar is a mix of formal presentations, informal discussions, and tours of local fire (and sometimes non-fire) museums. It is educational sessions address both operating a museum and firefighting history…. It’s for those who are just starting a fire museum, and those who have been around a while…. It is a time to learn, and a place to see and hear what other museums are doing (or perhaps what they should be doing)…. It is a chance to share problems and solutions, exchange ideas and information, and compare your organization with others…. It’s an opportunity to network. It is late nights spent discussing how many steam fire engines are left in the country; new exhibit techniques; or the merits of the latest museum collections database program. In short, it's… great friends, great food, and a great fun!

The Fire Museum of Maryland (FMM) is pleased to host this meeting so that they can show off their stellar collection of more than forty pieces of fire apparatus. In addition to being open for visitation on Friday and Saturday, this year's Fire Museum Seminar has been scheduled to coincide with the FMM's "Lantern Night" -- a public special during which the museum's overhead fluorescent lights are turned off, the candles, and kerosene lanterns, and etched glass signal lamps are lit, and the public is invited to mingle with costumed interpreters and "see fire apparatus in a new light."
Eager to get started? -- Sign up for the optional early-bird fund raising workshop being offered from 1:30 to 4:30pm on Friday afternoon.

While this year's seminar is based in (and organized by) the Fire Museum of Maryland, a motor-coach trip to the Fireman’s Hall Museum in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum in Harrisburg on Sunday will provide seminar attendees an opportunity to examine two more first-class fire museums. Lunch, snacks and on-bus narration will be included. On Monday attendees will have the option of visiting a few more local fire museums -- the Friendship Firehouse Museum in Alexandria VA, the Friendship Fire Association Museum in the District of Columbia, or the Baltimore City F.D. Museum in Baltimore, MD. While the trips on monday are optional (and for an additional fee) all of the curators and directors of these museums are looking forward to sharing their extraordinary collections with you, and we hope that you will join us for a long weekend!

Metropolitan Baltimore in late October is beautiful and the weather moderate. and as always, regional food delights have been planned. The BWI airport is easy to navigate and although you’ll have to arrange for ground transportation from the airport, once you get to the Crowne Plaza you won’t need a car.

We encourage you to review the registration materials and

Schedule of Events

Friday, October 29th

On Friday everyone is invited to drop by the Fire Museum of Maryland to look at exhibits at your own speed. If you need a ride from the hotel, call the FMM at 410-321-7500. The Museum is located straight down (south)York Road 2.1 miles. Please come to the Office door and buzz! There is a Subway and a Friendly’s restaurants within walking distance.

The optional workshop starts at 1:30 in the Discovery Room where Mary Ellen Hern will talk about the basic pyramid of donors until about 3:00 and then delve into how to raise funds for a special project. She is a very experienced and successful fund raiser in New York State as well as a good presenter. Her resume also includes curatorial and directorial concerns and I promise a valuable workshop. Museum staff and those attendees with cars will shuttle folks back to the hotel. Dinner is on your own. The Plaza has a restaurant and there are chain restaurants nearby (car is preferred).

Friday evening starts with registration from 6 to 8:30 at the Crowne Plaza. At 7:00 in the Chesapeake Room President Tom McDonald will chair the annual Membership Meeting. Bring your concerns, or better yet, email him in advance. tmcfire@aol.com Starting at 7:30 we’ll watch a DVD of our museums. Each fire museum is urged to put together a 2-3 minute DVD introducing their museum, as it were, giving highlights as you choose. No more than three minutes per museum! Send it to FMM and we’ll compile them onto a master file and make copies for all registrants to take home. A slide show, a video, sound narration or background track are all possible. Use your imagination! Be sure to make a title at the beginning. Send your DVD to the Fire Museum of Maryland by slow mail by 28 September.

There will be snacks, sodas and water. The hotel has a bar in the restaurant that will be open until 11. After we see the Museum Intro. DVD, we’ll open the floor for show & tell. Power point and slide projectors will be provided.


Saturday, October 30th

On Saturday late registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. The workshops will be held in the Dulaney Valley Ballroom of the hotel starting with announcements and introductions at 9:00. Frank McKelvey will lead off with “Telling the Story”. Frank has been teaching museum studies and consulting on museum design and interpretation for 44 years, including the New Jersey Fire Museum. He’s going to talk about how to tell a good story. Next will be Tim Winkle discussing the CIGNA Collection: arguably the finest of the private insurance company collections. Tim is on the curatorial staff of the Smithsonian and oversaw the incoming CIGNA Collection and the dispersal of a small portion of same, to many of our museums last year.

At noon we’ll take a lunch break in the Chesapeake Room and you should make a choice of dishes on the registration form. If you are a vegetarian or have other dietary concerns, for any of the meals, please note them on the form and we’ll make the appropriate arrangements.

One o’clock will see us back in the Ballroom for an illustrated talk on the United Kingdom’s fire service heritage. Mick Kernan is a retired fire fighter of 30 years, and working on a grant, completed a survey of American fire museums last year which he will integrate into his talk on British museums. Then at 2:00 Melissa Marsh Heaver will talk about collections care of 2D objects. Attending to these flat materials is critical if we expect them to last a few more hundred years. Melissa is the registrar and archivist for the FMM, and served at the National Trust as senior collections manager for 13 years. There will be a cookie break afterwards.

At 3:00 David Steinitz, board member of the FMM and lighting engineer who owns a lighting specialties company will demonstrate techniques for punching up our displays but that are available on a low budget. There will be a thirty minute break before dinner will be served in the Chesapeake Room, 4:30-6:00. After dinner, please be prepared to depart for the FMM. There will be one bus making two trips: first departure will be about 5:20; second departure will be about 6:00.

The Fire Museum of Maryland presents its annual “Lantern Night” from 6 until 8. (The FMN Board decided to come here this weekend to coincide with this event.) Seminar attendees will mingle with the public to explore the museum under subdued lighting, hidden spots, and twenty or more candle and kerosene lanterns. There will also be interpreters in period attire from many different periods. Some years we’ve had as many as 16. The Discovery Room will be closed while staff sets up for the dessert party. At 8:00 when we boot out the public, Classic Catering and FMM staff will serve dessert and turn on the regular lights. FMM staff will be positioned throughout to discuss their favorite projects…the archives and library will also be open to you. At 9:45 the first bus will be available for boarding to return to the hotel.

Sunday, October 31st

Sunday will be a full day so have a sturdy breakfast at 7:30 in the Ballroom and board one of two coaches between 8:15 and 8:30. Our first stop will be the Fireman’s Hall (about a 1 3/4 hour drive). A representative of the FH will be on each coach to talk about their mission, their collections and to orientate you while en route. Harry Magee and his staff are chaffing at the bit to show off their wonderful facility! They will also serve us a Philadelphia lunch packed with things of local taste such as the Hoagie, soft pretzel, Tasty Kake and root beer.

Then we’re back onto the coaches for Harrisburg and a visit to the Penna. Nat’l Fire Museum (PNFM) and its fine collection. Both museums reside in retired fire houses. Representatives of PNFM will introduce us to their mission and collections en route. John Wagoner and his team are all steamed up over having such an august group visit. We’ll enjoy a light snack and board for the trip back to the hotel at 5:00. This will be your "quiet time" for the day!

Have dinner on your own. There is a restaurant in the Crowne Plaza or local (causual) restaurants nearby. There are also several nice pubs or seafood restaurants that will require a car and some extra time.

At 8:00 we will meet again in the Chesapeake Room to hear Matt Lee talk about the fire at Hand-in-Hand Graphics. Because Matt is a good friend of Ken’s and because he was the coordinator of the relief effort, I’ve asked him to address what he would have done differently and to also make suggestions for our own preparedness. There is a second presentation pending on disaster planning. The hotel bar will be open until 11 and of course, we’ll have snacks, water and soda for our delectation.

Monday, November 1st -- Optional Day Trips

Monday the 1st of November is an optional day and I hope that you will consider staying for one of the two bus trips. This area is blessed with many fire sites but they require some driving.

OPTION No. 1 is to go to Alexandria and work our way back north. Leaving at 8:30 we will visit the fire house built in 1855 which is now the museum. Bill Kehoe will be our host for the Friendship Veteran’s Fire Engine Ass’n. A few blocks away is an in-service house built in 1901 which displays a steamer. In between are historic buildings from 1759 and plenty of good pubs and restaurants. About 1:00 we will depart for Washington, D.C. and the Friendship Fire Ass’n Museum on the second floor of E-31 and Res.4. Chief Jim Embry, ret., will be our host. There may be an extra rig brought up on the apron. Water and snacks will be provided. We expect to be back to the Crowne Plaza by 6 or 7pm.

OPTION No. 2 is to bus into Baltimore City. Boarding at 9:00, this will be a more leisurely trip as there will be less road time. First stop will be the world-renown Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum partially housed in a spectacular 1888 passenger car round house. We’ll lunch at the Bay Café in newly re-vitalized Canton. About 1:00 we will visit the Steadman fire station housing multiple engines, the rescue squad, a medic and chief. It is at the base of another landmark, the Bromo Seltzer Tower. The 1972 H.P. Pumping Station, now O.O.S., will be open to us. A short easterly ride will take us to the Baltimore City F.D. Museum operated by the Box 414 Association (think coffee wagon) and our host will be Bob Brown, curator. This is a one-bay 1853 building with 117’ Italianate bell tower. Helmets of the fire fighters killed in the line of duty are on display. Baltimore was the first city to introduce a modular ambulance and a Swab prototype is on display. Back to the hotel about 4:30.

Tuesday, November 2nd-- Optional-Optional Day Trips

If you are prepared to stay another day, (and ask with rapturous enthusiasm!) I think we could do a car trip to the Royal Fire Co. ca.1880 fire house in York, Pa. This is without doubt one of the most ornate Victorian fire houses extant. (It is not as imposing as the onion-domed Aurora, IL museum and more like a Queen Anne style.) It contains many collections, both public and private, but has been closed as a museum. Collections are being dispersed. Its future is unsure and it could be put up for development by next year. This is a two-bay, three story monstrosity with etched glass horse stall doors, furier’s bench, exercise paddock, and much more. York is a 45 minute car trip from the hotel. The York County Heritage Trust, which manages the fire house, also operates a house museum and a handsome industrial museum complex.

Your Host -- the Fire Museum of Maryland, in Lutherville, Maryland

The Fire Museum of Maryland has forty wheeled vehicles dating from 1806 to 1957, an estimated 12,000 images in the photo archives and a basic research library of about 3,000 books. Some of the hand-drawn, horse-drawn and motorized rigs are used as part of the educational mission, so the two outside musters held annually and the Lantern Night are significant operations. Our newest exhibit is the on-going fabrication of an 1871 fire house with cast-iron facade salvaged from Baltimore's old Engine 8.

For those who are driving in, the Fire Museum of Maryland is located at the interchange of Balto. Beltway 695 and Exit 26B

The Host Hotel -- Crowne Plaza, Baltimore North

The host hotel for the Fire Museum Seminar is the newly renovated "Crowne Plaza Baltimore North." They will be offering a special FMN rate of $89/per night (single or double occupancy). The hotel is located 2.1 miles north of the Fire Museum of Maryland at the Timonium Road (East) Exit of the Harrisburg Expressway (Route 83).
The Crowne Plaza has a restaurant and there are fast-food places within walking distance. For those who are driving in, the FMM is located at the interchange of Balto. Beltway 695 and Exit 26B, and the hotel is on the Harrisburg Exwy. 83 and the Timonium Rd. East exit, 2.1miles north of the FMM.

For more information about the hotel, visit their website:
Crowne Plaza Baltimore North

The "Crowne Plaza Baltimore North." is about a thirty minute drive from the Baltimore-Washington Airport to the hotel/fire museum. We recomend using the Airport Super-Suttle shuttle bus -- they are offering $35 one way or $68 round trip pre-paid for the first person, then $12 per additional persons. (you can book your reservations online at - www.supershuttle.com)

Now What?

Registration for this year's Fire Museum Seminar, is $205 and includes all the seminars, handouts, admission and transportation to area museums, and lunch and dinner on both Saturday and Sunday. If you are a current member (or become a member) of the Fire Museum Network, and if you register BEFORE AUGUST 30, we will offer a DISCOUNTED REGISTRATION rate of $160.

  • Before August 30 -- Download and print the registration information.
    We have saved this year's Fire Museum Seminar Registration Form as a "pdf" document. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open this file. 2010 Fire Museum Seminar Registration Form.pdf Download, fill out, and return this registration form
    (with a check payable to the Fire Museum of Maryland) to: Fire Museum of Maryland
    1301 York Road
    Lutherville, MD 21093

    Want more information, download:

    • the seminar's day-by-day narrative
    (as seen above)

    • a brief one-page schedule at-a-glance agenda for the seminar

    • one-page map with directions to the FMM and the seminar's hotel

  • Before October 5 -- Make your hotel reservations at the
Crowne Plaza Hotel -- Baltimore North
2004 Greenspring Dr.
Timonium, MD 21093
Ph: (410) 252-7373 Crowne Plaza Baltimore North

Mention the Fire Museum Network Seminar for the special $89 rate.
  • Make Air Reservations to BWI (Baltimore-Washington-Marshall Airport).

  • Make your SuperShuttle reservation to get from BWI to Crowne Plaza
    Book your advance reservations online at - www.supershuttle.com
    the special prepaid rate is $68 round trip for the first person
    and $12 per each additional person
  • Before September 28
    Make a short (no more than three minutes) CD/DVD/Powerpoint presentation introducing your museum, and send to to the Fire Museum of Maryland for inclusing in the Friday Night "show-and-tell."

Still Have Questions?

Contact your seminar hosts at the

Fire Museum of Maryland
1301 York Road
Lutherville, MD 21093

Ph: (410) 321-7500