About the Historical Room
The Larkspur Fire Department Historical Room, situated on the second floor of the main firehouse on Magnolia Avenue, is a tiny room filled with historical artifacts that document the history of the department from the early 1900s to the present.
People wishing to visit may do so free of charge by coming to the Larkspur Fire Department, located at 420 Magnolia Avenue, on any day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. On-duty firefighters will open the room for your visit, provided they have not been summoned to fight a fire.
What Will You See?
Exhibits include pictures of the 1929 Mount Tamalpais fire that devastated Marin and of our first turn-of-the-century fire truck and fire station when it was located in an old garage at the corner of Doherty and Magnolia. The original 1916 fire truck is being restored, and while it will never fit in the tiny museum, it may be seen in local parades and open houses.
The Larkspur Historical Room contains original items used by the Larkspur Fire Department from its volunteer days to the present. One can see an original fire helmet from 1916 under a black and white photo of the fire truck of the same era. The 1916 fire truck is still in the possession of the Fire Department and is being restored, but not on display.
Rose Bowl Dance
Many visitors to the exhibits reminisce about the annual Rose Bowl Dance, a fundraiser for the volunteer department, when they gaze at black and white photos of the crowds. Amidst the old fire hoses, helmets, alarms, pictures, and pails is the lighted moon, complete with a wink and a smile, which used to shine above the dance floor at the Rose Bowl dances.
These dances were sponsored by the Volunteer Fire Department to raise money, and the Rose Bowl pictures have proved to be one of the museum's most popular exhibits. Come and see if you can spot yourself or your friends dancing the night away.
The Rose Bowl moon was suspended above the dance floor and romantically lit the couples as they danced on the open-air dance floor.
Emergency Call Light
The emergency call light used to light up the south tower of City Hall to let the police know a call was pending. This was the city's way to alert police cars there was trouble before the days of two-way radios.
Fire Department Posters
Original posters of the Larkspur Volunteer Fire Department's Rose Bowl Dance are on display with many pictures of the happy couples dancing the night away.
The Rose Bowl Dance, started in 1913, was considered an important social event, drawing people from as far away as San Francisco. The funds generated by this event built the main firehouse and purchased fire equipment.