Help Us Preserve Our History
While Educating Our Community
Build a museum to preserve the rich history of the Blue Island Fire Department for future generations.
The City of Blue Island, the Blue Island Historical Society, and the Blue Island Fire Fighters Club are joining together to raise funds to build a museum that aims to preserve and maintain the city’s historic fire truck, “Old Bess”, a 1925 Seagrave pumper, as well as other apparatus, equipment, and artifacts pertaining to the history of the Blue Island Fire Department.
The museum, which will be built on Vermont Street directly across from Fire Station 1, will bring Blue Island’s Fire Department’s history to life for its visitors while also providing education about fire safety, firefighters, firefighting, and emergency services. In addition, museum staff will be available to conduct continuing fire prevention, fire safety, and life safety education programs in the community.
It’s time to build “Old Bess” a proper, permanent residence and showcase Blue Island’s Fire Department’s rich history.
Please join the City of Blue Island, the Blue Island Historical Society, and the Blue Island Fire Fighters Club as they raise funds to build the museum.
Your financial support of this project will have a direct impact on preserving history. All money raised will help build and furnish the museum and help maintain it once it is open to the public.
Support the construction of the Blue Island Fire Museum & Education Center by attending our fundraising events.
Our Donation Goal
CADET if your donation is $100-$499
FIRE FIGHTER if your donation is $500-$999
LIEUTENANT if your donation is $1000-$4999
CAPTAIN if your donation is $5000-$9999
DEPUTY CHIEF if your donation is $10,000 or more
In addition, the donor who contributes the largest amount, through either money or materials, will be declared Chief.
All donations will be tax deductible through the Blue Island Historical Society’s 501(c )(3) status.
Also, please attend our fundraisers. For questions or further information call 708.772.1111.
Old Bess History
About Old Bess
As time moved on, Old Bess’s engine fell into disrepair. In 2012-2013, after much searching, the Fire Firefighters Club found someone who was qualified to restore antique fire equipment. The engine parts were cleaned, repaired or replaced, and reassembled. New tires were also donated.
Old Bess is truly an iconic piece of Blue Island’s history. Unfortunately, Blue Island has never had a convenient, permanent place to store her. As a result, she has not been maintained and given the proper attention she deserves. Last year, the city acquired a piece of property directly across the street from Fire Station 1 on Vermont Street. Soon after, the City of Blue Island, the Blue Island Historical Society and the Blue Island Fire Fighters Club joined together to discuss plans to build the Blue Island Fire Museum on that site. The funds needed to build, furnish, and maintain the museum will be raised entirely through fundraising efforts. We would greatly appreciate your support of this project and feel that it would be an informative and educational addition to the Blue Island community.
Blue Island Fire Museum and Education Center
Blue Island, IL 60406