Fire and EMS Museum

The Prince George Heritage Center’s newest museum, the Prince George Fire and EMS Museum is being constructed at the rear of the old courthouse.

Prince George Eagle Scout Ceremony About More than Scouting

Eagle Scout Graham Jones with sisters Heather Coleman and Taylor Bruton present check in honor of their grandfather, H. Martin Robertson, to Carol Bowman, Director of the Prince George Heritage Center. The H. Martin Robertson Memorial Fund will be used to support the Center’s newest museum project, the Prince George County Fire and EMS Museum. Photography by Valerie Brockett-Mann

Tribute to Late Grandfather Promotes New Community Outreach: the Fire and EMS Museum

Graham Jones became the newest Eagle Scout in Prince George County on Sunday , February 25th, in a ceremony at the Prince George Regional Heritage Center. Graham, from Troop 902, is the son of Keith and Sherri Jones. He requested the courtroom locale for a reason very special to him – his “grandpa”. Graham’s grandfather was the late H. Martin Robertson, who served as Commonwealth’s Attorney and County Attorney in Prince George for more than thirty years. Robertson’s portrait hangs in the courtroom of the old courthouse that ten years ago became the Heritage Center. It was in front of that portrait that the Eagle oath was administered.

Graham and his sisters, Heather Coleman and Taylor Bruton, wanted to initiate something that would perpetuate the spirit of Sunday afternoon’s event – a spirit of community service that their grandfather exemplified and taught each of them. Accomplishing the Eagle Scout Award, the highest award in the Boy Scouts, is testament to that dedication to service. It requires a total of twenty-one merit badges, numerous recommendations from the community, and overall proof of a life dedicated to the Scout oath and law. It is a difficult course and one that relatively few scouts achieve. “Grandpa wouldn’t let me quit” said Graham and he spoke of the support of his siblings, parents, and other grandparents that helped him resolve to finish, even after Robertson’s death in January of 2016. As the ceremony took place, a candle flickered in Robertson’s memory.

As the ceremony closed, the three siblings presented the Heritage Center with a check as a memorial to their grandfather. With that memorial, the H. Martin Robertson Memorial Fund was established for the benefit of the Heritage Center’s newest endeavor, the Prince George County Fire and Emergency Services Museum. That museum will be housed in the historic jail building, most recently the Food Bank for the County. The new museum will house the 1943 Antique Seagrave engine as well as portray the story that comes from the lives of the men and women who have served Prince George in the fire or emergency services throughout its history. “Demolition has been completed and we have a design for the secured area in which the Seagrave will be housed” said Carol Bowman, Executive Director of the Center. “We now need to raise the funding to complete the job and this extraordinary gift is a very appropriate way to begin, continued Bowman. “No one supported us more than “Marty” and no one was more dedicated to this County.”

“Sparky” the Dalmatian oversees some of the artifacts gifted for the new Fire and EMS Museum. Photography by Valerie Brockett-Mann

The new Eagle Scout, in addition to scouting responsibilities, is a volunteer with Company 2 in Disputanta. He currently attends the Fire Academy through Prince George County. His sisters insisted that Graham be the one to actually present the check for the Museum. At its entrance, the new museum will have a plaque for the Robertson Fund. As gifts are made, names of donors making a contribution of fifty dollars or more will be added. “Our family is so pleased to be able to get this funding started,” said Sherri Jones, Robertson’s daughter. This is a project the entire community can get behind and then enjoy the outcome”. The Center is located at 6406 Courthouse Road, P.O. Box 452, Prince George, 23875. The Heritage Center is a Virginia 501(c)(3) corporations and all donations to it are fully tax deductible. It is located at 6406 Courthouse Road in Prince George. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 to 4:00. Mondays are typically reserved for special tours (please call ahead) or for research activities.

This 1943 Seagrave was Prince George County's First Fire Truck

This is the very first fire truck used by The Prince George County Volunteer Fire Department. It was acquired from Federal Government surplus in 1953 and originally served at a US Navy base. It is a 1943 Seagrave pumper and has a pump rated at 1,000 gallons per minute. After it’s retirement from use, it was parked outside behind one of VFD’s members homes for many years where it severely deteriorated. It was eventually sold to a member of The Old Dominion Historical Fire Society, who began a restoration. After a few years, the owner came to realize the restoration was beyond his ability and placed the rig up for sale. The Volunteers at Prince George decided that they wanted it back as a historical piece and re-acquired it. Due to the condition of the rig at that time, professional help was needed. Many fund raisers ensued and the rig was sent to a restoration shop in North Carolina. The rig returned home in like new condition and is now a permanent artifact of the county’s history.

Story by Tommy Herman

This fire truck will be on display at the Prince George Fire and EMS Museum.

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