This site is part of the Black Springs tour, a partnership with Our Story, Inc. Visit the Tours page for the tour introduction and complete list of sites.
This modest building was constructed in 1970 to serve the Black Springs Volunteer Fire Department, which was officially established as a nonprofit in 1961. A.C. Jones filed the incorporation papers. By the late 1960s, a station in the neighborhood was an absolutely necessity. The Black Springs community had lost ten structures in ten years because the closest fire station was ten minutes away.
The community was loaned a fire truck from the Nevada Division of Forestry with the stipulation that the apparatus would be housed in order to protect the pump from freezing in the winter. Black Springs Fire Chief William Lobster spearheaded the campaign to secure a new building, and in late 1969, the Office of Economic Opportunity offered to provide $1500 to build a fire house on county property at what was then known as the Black Springs Community Park.
Thirty volunteer community members constructed the building themselves out of wood, cement block, and steel. It is just large enough to house one vehicle. The six volunteer firefighters of the Black Springs department reportedly raised funds to pay for half of their safety clothing while the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District raised the other half.
According to the community, the Black Springs Volunteer Fire Department was active until the mid-1980s. In later years, the building was used as a maintenance shop and then a storage facility by Washoe County. In 2022 the County entered into an agreement to allow the building to be used as the Northern Nevada African American Firefighter Museum, which was dedicated on February 26, 2022.