It is a one of a kind collection with museum quality pieces in it. And it is open to the public by appointment. It started off as the hobby of Bill Taylor of Taylor Machinery, and is now the Big Red Fire Museum.
Bill Taylor had a varied interest in a number of subjects. And was able to collect items from a number of those interests that are now housed in downtown Louisville. Mainly in here are antique fire trucks of all types.
"We have a collection of horse drawn fire apparatus, man drawn apparatus, which includes water towers which are operational by mechanical means" said Big Red Fire Museum Curator William Knighton.
The oldest piece of fire fighting equipment in the collection was used in Plymouth, Massachusetts way back before Mississippi was even a state.
"It would be a 1797 hand pumper, which is equipped with leather hoses, a bucket brigade system which is manually pumped by man power and pulled by man power" said Knighton.
There's more than antique fire equipment here. Bill Taylor's interest were varied and his curiosity was keen.
"We have an Indian artifacts collection" added Knighton. "We have an extensive ship model collection in the back."
While Mr. Taylor was living, many people managed to see his extensive collection of rarities, but not as many as SOON will be able to see them. Lex Taylor is Mr. Bill's son, and has plans to share his dad's collection with all of us.
"He had it and used the facility as his office in his later years, received his guests, did his business" said Lex Taylor. "But as time has passed on and HE has passed on, we really wanted to remember him and cherish his love and his activities that went on in here, to put this in a touring, self touring museum kind of quality that EVERYBODY could enjoy."
And although there are some finishing touches and some fine tuning that still needs to be done to make the museum the way they all want it to be, it is ready for touring now. And the simplest way to tell you how to make an appointment to do so is to tell you to call Taylor Machine Works in Louisville.
Here is another of those little gems we have tucked away in various places in Mississippi that you won't find just everywhere. The Big Red Fire Museum in Louisville; a memorial to one man's extensive curiosity and interests.
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