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April 26, 2012

Fire museum extending hours, hosting car club Saturday

New Albany museum looking for name, growing exhibits

NEW ALBANY — Looking for a name, considering longer touring hours and still accepting donations — the founders of the New Albany Vintage Fire Museum and Safety Education Center are not satisfied with merely opening exhibits.

On Saturday, the museum — located at 411 E. Spring St. — will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be receiving a visit from the Hoosier Knobs Antique Car Club.

Visitors to the museum that day will get to see more than antique fire engines dating back to 1756, as they will also get to see the vintage cars in the parking lot.

“We’ve had a number of groups that have come in, we just had a very nice night with the Floyd County Historical Society and we’ve had a number of organizations that have come in for special tours,” said Curt Peters, president and chairman of the Friends of the New Albany Fire Museum board.

As of late, the museum has been open for public tours from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Though the museum will be closed for the Kentucky Derby on May 5, Peters said the board is considering extending hours to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays throughout the spring and summer.

“We’re happy with how things are coming,” Peters said.

The board is finalizing arrangements for the purchase of the museum property, and the fundraising goal that launched in 2009 continues for the organization. Including in-kind contributions, the museum has garnered about $800,000 in donations toward the goal of $2.5 million.

Peters said the organization wants to pay off all debt associated with the property and the purchase of the historic Fred Conway fire engine collection.

The museum recently garnered a 1937 fire engine from the New Albany Fire Department, and Peters said the board continues to look for ways to expand its exhibits.

To date, more than 200 people have either paid to be members of the organization or donated to the cause, according to Peters.

He added the organization is also excepting name ideas for the museum.

Admission to the museum is free for members, $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 3 to 15. Admission proceeds are used for the upkeep of the museum, Peters said.

For information on membership or to submit a museum name suggestion, call Peters at 502-599-2522, or e-mail curtandpam@earthlink.net.

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