Greensburg VFD Museum plans interactive exhibit
The Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum will soon house a replica firehouse from last century, complete with a 1949 fire truck and uniformed mannequins playing checkers near a pot-bellied stove.
Renovations are under way on the new wing, which adjoins the museum’s longtime home behind the city offices on Main Street. The City of Greensburg formerly used the space as a garage and storage area, but gifted it to the museum several years ago.
Since then, museum director Bill Rudolph and treasurer Thomas Niggel have been working together to decide what to do with the new space.
“Bill and I decided together and presented to the board what we thought that wing would like,” Niggel said.
They decided an interactive fire hall would be the best addition to the museum’s many displays of uniforms, vehicles and memorabilia.
“Since that time we’ve been painting and fixing it up,” Rudolph said.
The pair have done most of the work themselves.
Once the section is completed, visitors will have the chance to try out old-fashioned, telegraph-based fire alarm boxes and other bits of firefighting history.
The most extensive part of the work, a tile ceiling painted to look like an old-fashioned tin roof, was completed last month.
Vince Mirigliano, 17, of Greensburg, and his friends installed the roof for Vince’s Eagle Scout project.
“I was looking for an Eagle project, and my uncle (P.J. Zimmerlink of Greensburg) said he knew the guys in the fire museum needed help on it,” Mirigliano said.
About 17 people helped as Mirigliano supervised the project.
“They saved us a lot of money and they saved us a lot of headache,” Niggel said.
The museum raised more than $2,000 last year to pay for the project materials.
The new wing will probably feature some kind of tribute to Thomas “Bugs” Everett, who served as president of the museum board until his death in August, Niggel said. The details of this tribute have not yet been finalized.
“That was his whole life, here at the museum,” Niggel said.
There is still plenty of work to do.
The new wing will probably be ready by late 2015 or early 2016, according to Rudolph.
Jacob Tierney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6646 or [email protected].