New Exhibit Explores 150 Years Of The Merced Fire Department

‘Old Betsy’ — Merced’s first fire engine — can be seen on display at the Courthouse Museum.

The Merced County Courthouse Museum will open the “150 Years Later: Old Betsy’s Legacy Continued” exhibit on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 5 p.m.

The Merced Fire Department’s story is intertwined with the story of Merced as it is the oldest city government agency. For the past 150 years, the Fire Department has evolved from a volunteer fire-fighting fraternity to a modern fire and rescue organization. This anniversary exhibit presents the entire 150 years of history in a concise timeline, with “Old Betsy” (the first fire engine) leading the way.

During the exhibit opening, there will be a community celebration, featuring the newly polished and restored “Old Besty,” a bucket brigade showdown, an antique fire engine display, an ice cream social, a haunted Blacksmith Shop, and activities for kids.

The exhibit and community celebration are free to the public. The exhibit will run through Feb. 18.

For more information about the exhibit, please contact the Museum office at (209) 723-2401, or visit online at:

The Merced County Courthouse Museum is located at N and 21st streets in downtown Merced.

MercedMerced CountyMerced County Courthouse MuseumMerced Fire Department
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