Market-Fire Engine House

DCF 1.0

Constructed 1803, reconstructed 1955

No ticket required, only open during operating hours


The Market-Fire Engine House was built on Salem Square to provide a marketplace for fresh meat, which the local doctor had determined was necessary to supplement all the salted meat the residents were eating. The other half of the building was used to store the fire equipment essential to the town’s plan to prevent and manage fires.The town had been using fire equipment since 1785, after a fire had destroyed the first Salem Tavern. This is thought to be the first fire company organized in North Carolina.


The market portion serves as a pass through to the Square, while the fire house contains an exhibit of fire fighting equipment including two reproduction fire engines, leather fire buckets, and ladders.