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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Commemorate first 150 years of the Naperville Fire Department now on display at Naper Settlement


Hats off to a new exhibit at Naper Settlement that honors the 150th anniversary of the Naperville Fire Department from now through December 2024. Naper Settlement is located in the heart of the city at 523 S. Webster Street. (Naper Settlement Photo)

Naper Settlement commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Naperville Fire Department with the new sitewide exhibit, “A Strong Back and A Strong Mind: 150 Years of the Naperville Fire Department.”

Now on view at Naper Settlement through December 2024, the exhibit highlights the evolution of the Naperville Fire Department and the unique ways it serves the community while recognizing the courage, physical strength, and extensive knowledge firefighters must have to perform the job.

Featured in the exhibit are artifacts, archival materials, and oral histories from Naper Settlement’s collection as well as loans from retired firefighters. Firefighter equipment, firefighter uniforms, fire prevention materials, and many other artifacts are on display in four of the exhibit galleries inside the museum’s Pre-Emption House.

Ever wonder why fire hydrants were designed to look as they do? (Naper Settlement Photo)

The exhibit is located throughout the museum’s grounds. Visitors can stroll through Naper Settlement’s Murray House to see a temporary gallery highlighting Naperville’s civil defense during the Cold War, which ultimately evolved into the Naperville Fire Department’s emergency management department. The role that competition and sport had in the early years of the fire service is highlighted in the Firehouse. There are also child-friendly trivia facts about fire and firefighting located around the museum grounds for visitors to explore.

“This exhibit is very artifact-driven, and it really puts an emphasis on the depth, complexity, and impact of the fire service on the community,” said Christine McNulty, chief curator at Naper Settlement. “Firefighting is a highly skilled profession, as it requires a thorough understanding of policies and procedures, medical training, technical expertise, and attention to detail. It’s important for visitors to understand how multifaceted the fire service is, how it grows and evolves with the community to best serve its needs, and how it is grounded in education, science, and innovation.”

“A Strong Back and A Strong Mind” is included in general museum admission.

Hours / Admission at Naper Settlement, May-September

With the exception of May 19, 2024, when hours will be shortened to 2 to 4 PM, museum hours are 10AM to 4PM Tuesday through Saturday; 1 to 4PM Sunday and closed Monday.

Admission for Adults (13+) is $12; Seniors (62+), $10; Youth (4-12), $8.

Admission for Museum Members & Naperville Residents (with proof of residency) is free.

For more information about the exhibit and to purchase admission tickets, visit NaperSettlement.org/Exhibits.

Located in the heart of the City along Aurora Avenue across from the Naperville Municipal Center, the entrance to Naper Settlement is around the corner at Webster Street.

Naper Settlement since 1969

Naper Settlement is a nationally accredited, award-winning outdoor living history museum set on 13 magnificent acres in the heart of Naperville. Located 30 miles from Chicago, the museum is home to thirty-one historical structures dating back as early as the 1830s. Featuring exhibits, special events, educational programming and more, Naper Settlement is where history comes alive and the community comes to connect.

For more information, visit www.napersettlement.org or call (630) 420-6010.


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