The Fire Museum of Texas located in the southeast Texas community of Beaumont, is a pleasant, but relatively small museum when it comes to Texas-sized experiences. It contains old horse-drawn hand pumpers and a variety of equipment that has helped southeast Texas firefighters respond effectively to disasters.
Admission is free, but you don’t even have to go inside to experience the coolest exhibit ever at any fire station anywhere. That’s because the world’s largest working fire hydrant stands right out front drawing visitors to the museum who never expected to be so excited about a fire museum.
OK – insert any big dog joke you can think of – but then hold your giggles long enough to know the reason behind this big fire hydrant.
Why Build a Big Fire Hydrant
In 1999, when Disney released a remake of the movie “101 Dalmations,” they created a big Dalmation-spotted fire hydrant as part of the promotion.
It stands 24 feet tall, weighs 4500 pounds and can spray 1,500 gallons of water. There are two taller fire hydrants in the world – one in Manitoba Canada and another in South Carolina – but they don’t work.
The hydrant was built at Disneyland California and lived a good life there, but when Disney was finished with it, more than 300 museums responded to the call to receive the hydrant as a donation. And little ol’ Beaumont Texas, the Big B, won in grand style.
So after you’ve taken your selfies at every angle possible around the fire hydrant and posted all of your big dog/fire hydrant jokes on Facebook or Instagram, then head on in to the museum and learn about the history of fire hydrants. Seriously, there’s an exhibit.
And it’s kind of interesting – but not nearly as much fun as the big Dalmation-spotted fire hydrant. Some things in this world are just too adorable.