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Historic Alexandria Carriage Among Top VA Endangered Artifacts

Posted on Jan 25,2019
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,
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Image via City of Alexandria

By Emily Leayman

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — A 19th century hose carriage at Alexandria's Friendship Firehouse Museum has been named among the Virginia Association of Museums' Top 10 Endangered Artifacts. The ten historic artifacts will compete for grants going toward conservation.

Online voting is open through Jan. 31. The two artifacts that receive the most votes will receive $4,000 and $3,000 grants, respectively. Winners will be recognized at a Virginia Association of Museums awards ceremony in Richmond on Feb. 7.

The hose carriage was used for firefighting and dates back to 1858. Alexandria's Friendship Fire Company purchased the carriage from Robert F. Prettyman, a coachmaker and Friendship member. These kinds of vehicles with hoses were used to supply fire engines with steady sources of water from wells and cisterns. Aside from serving as a useful firefighting tool, the carriage was displayed at parades.

The Friendship Fire Company was founded in 1774 as Alexandria's first volunteer fire company. The current firehouse was built in 1855, was updated in 1871 and was restored by city in 1992.

"The Prettyman Hose Carriage is an important part of Alexandria's firefighting history, and we hope this statewide visibility will help us raise the funds to conserve it," said Gretchen Bulova, director of the Office of Historic Alexandria.

The Top 10 Endangered Artifacts in Virginia are:

  • Amherst County Historical Society (Amherst County, VA)
  • Fairfield Foundation (Gloucester, VA)
  • Friendship Firehouse Museum (Alexandria, VA)
  • James Monroe Museum (Fredericksburg, VA)
  • Mosby Heritage Area Association (Fauquier County, VA)
  • Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (Winchester, VA)
  • Red Hill-Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation (Campbell County, VA)
  • Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park (Big Stone Gap, VA)
  • Town of Wytheville Museums/Wythe County Historical Society (Wythe County, VA)
  • Virginia Living Museum (Newport News, VA)

Over a seven-year span, Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program has recognized over 160 endangered artifacts at museums, historic sites, and other institutions in Virginia and DC. Last year, the 18th century ship found at the Hotel Indigo construction site placed second.

See more information about the competition and vote here.

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