About Station Three
Fire Station No. 3 was originally opened in 1886 on the south side of the 500 block of East Bay Street in Downtown Jacksonville.
Station No. 3 was destroyed during the great fire of Jacksonville on May 3rd, 1901. Following the fire, a temporary shed was constructed on the old location while a new station was built for firefighters at 12 Catherine St. Bricks salvaged from buildings destroyed by the great fire were used to build the north, south, and west walls of the new firehouse. Ten months after the Great Jacksonville Fire of 1901, the new Fire Station 3 was opened.
The new fire station was equipped with a new 1902 LaFrance Steam Engine, which was accepted by Chief Thomas Haney.
In 1920, the Jacksonville Fire Department shop facilities were moved to the rear of Fire Station 3 and remained there until 1952.
In 1933, Fire Station No. 3 was de-activated and the crew was sent to open Fire Station 14 on Herschel Street in the Avondale section of Jacksonville.
From 1952 until 1973, Fire Station No. 3 was used only as a storage facility for the Jacksonville Fire Department.
Fire Station No. 3’s fortune began to change in 1973. Through the efforts of Jacksonville Fire Lieutenant Paul Galloway and Engineer Wayne Doolittle, along with the assistance of the Jacksonville Historical and Cultural Conservation Commission and the Jacksonville Mayor’s Office, Fire Station No. 3 was placed on the National Registry of Historical Monuments.
Renovations soon began on the old station, and with the assistance of the State of Florida Historical trust, funds were available to help open Fire Station No. 3 as the Jacksonville Fire Museum.
In 1993, Engineering studies revealed deterioration of the foundation and large cracks in the bricks which posed a threat of collapse. Stabilization of the structure could not be guaranteed.
With the assistance of the Mayor’s Office and the Department of State, Division of Historical Preservation, funding was made available for the restoration of Fire Station No. 3 at its new home in Jacksonville’s Metropolitan Park, where it sits today.