314 N. Commercial Street, Trinidad, CO 719-846-8220 or 719-846-2024 contact Mary Newnam, Open, 11AM- 3PM, Monday - Friday, June-August, Available for special tours and can be booked for Old Classroom reinactments for up to 30 children - by appointment.
The Children's Museum invites both children and adults to explore Trinidad's "Old Fire House No. 1", built in 1889. From the early 1900s classroom to the vintage fire truck, the Children's Museum is a delightful adventure into the past. The exciting hands-on exhibits and activities will make imaginations soar and history come alive. Experience Victorian Trinidad from a child's perspective.
The designers did not skimp on architectural features. Their use of arches and locally-quarried limestone add gracefulness and definitive lines to the front of the two-story, red brick structure. Above the carriage-style doors, is a large arched window with leaded glass in the upper section. Smaller arches grace the entry door's transom and the tall, narrow second-story window above it. On top of the building rests a cupola, which houses the fire bell. The room behind the big window was the original City Council Chambers. There, they shared dreams for their booming town.
The illustration is the original architectural drawing of Old Firehouse No. 1, by Bulger and Rapp, well known local architects who also designed the First National Bank Building and the Temple Arron.
Firemen's sleeping quarters were located at the rear fo the building. On the first floor, the fire truck waited silently for the bell to toll and the firemen to slide down the fire pole. Today, the City's old 1947 American La France fire truck still waits patiently for both young and old "firefighters" to climb in the cab. The "young at heart" can also try on well -worn coats, boots and other apparel. An early rescue net leans against the wall, old fire hoses dangle from the hose shaft, and other equipment is displayed. There is even the early fire alarm system used in Trinidad. After the present City Hall was built, the Council room in Firehouse NO. 1 was converted to a kitchen and lounge. Office work was probably conducted there and today this area still displays early kitchen and office facilities.
A "dress-up" area for young visitors, as well as a doll collection have been added. The old sleeping area has been converted to a replica schoolroom, complete with student' and teacher's desks, black boards, wainscoting and other school equipment. These items were saved when the old Santa Fe School was torn down. School programs for elementary classes are conducted in the museum's schoolroom by appointment. On the first floor of the museum is a large model train diorama. The train passes through villages and towns, and winds through tunnels and around mountains. Coal mines and wildlife dot the diorama's countryside. In the dungeon-like basement are two original jail cells. Those who dare may enter them and close the heavy iron doors. These were Trinidad's original jail cells that housed dozens of well-known desperados.