Stockton’s fire fighters’ legacy of service and distinction—from the earliest volunteer brigades to today’s modern Class 1 department—is preserved in the museum’s collection of historic engines, equipment, and photographs on display in our Vehicle Gallery. The helmets, coats, and other gear on display personalize the heroism of the City’s fire fighters, both past and present.
One of the most popular elements of this gallery is the antique steam fire engine affectionately known as “Old Betsy.” It became only the second steam fire engine in California when it was purchased by the Stockton’s Weber Engine Company in 1862. In addition to battling blazes throughout the city, “Old Betsy” was featured in various celebrations such as the completion of the trans-continental railroad in 1869 and the Nation’s Centennial in 1876. It came to the museum in 1931 after being cared for over the years by an association of former volunteer firemen.