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Antique Firefighting Equipment and Old Fashioned Skills at Columbia Muster

Published on: April 15, 2013

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One of the oldest muster events in the Western U.S. takes place each year in the old-fashioned town of Columbia, California. The 54th Annual Fireman’s Muster sponsored by the Columbia Volunteer Fire Department takes place on May 3 & 4, 2013. Described as a firefighter’s Antique Olympics, ¬†firefighting equipment and techniques are used in competition for trophies and Championships. “Muster”, as defined in the dictionary, means “Gathering” or to “bring together.” These gatherings have been taking place since the 1800’s when New England fire departments mustered to compete and show off their various skills and ornate fire apparatus.

Firefighter’s musters in California probably date back to the Gold Rush days of the 49ers when the fire companies of the diggin’s would gather to have something to do during holiday celebrations and when things were dull at the mines. ¬†This exciting event is anything but dull as you watch and learn how they used to put out fires by hand–all the way down to hand pumping water into a hose! Read more…>

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