The Aurora Regional Fire Museum is located in Aurora’s old Central Fire Station. Open to the public regular hours, the museum features a variety of interactive exhibits designed to educate and inspire.
The museum’s primary exhibit, “Getting There, Getting Water, Getting Rescued ” traces the evolution of the tools and technology used by firefighters. Visitors can pass a leather fire bucket from the early 1800s. See the horse stalls and the “real” fire horses. Discover what was found under the floor boards of the old central fire station. Marvel at the strange looking Vajen-Bader smoke mask. See and hear how modern fire apparatus clears the streets with sirens, air horns and devices that change traffic lights green. Watch vintage film clips of firefighters and fire engines on one of five video touch-screens. All this in addition to five pieces of fire apparatus on display in a fully restored 1894 fire station.
The fire museum is a perfect day out with the family. Admission is $5 per person ages 3 and up. Children ages 2 and younger are free. Donations are appreciated.
One of the oldest buildings in downtown Aurora is home to both the Aurora Historical Society and the Aurora Public Art Commission. The David L. Pierce Art and History Center at 20 E. Downer Pl. is a three-story limestone-faced structure that was restored and reopened to the public as a museum in 1996; it was renamed in honor of the former mayor in 2003.
Each floor is filled with art and history. The first floor houses a gift shop with plenty of Aurora-themed items; the second floor is home to “Aurora Story,” an eclectic look at Aurora’s past through vintage, iconic relics; and the third floor features rotating exhibits hosted by Aurora Public Art.
It is free to visit the museum. Donations are appreciated.
Hours are Wed-Sat, Noon to 4 p.m. and most First Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m.
The house has proudly been the home of the Aurora Historical Society since it was given to us by the family in 1936. The house was a gift to the Society from William Tanner’s children, Mary Tanner Hopkins and Martha Tanner Thornton, affectionately referred to as the Tanner twins. It was placed on the national register of historic places in 1976. The Aurora Historical Society is also housed in the David L. Pierce Art and History Center at 20 E. Downer Pl. in downtown Aurora.