Fire Hose Cart House


The Fire Hose Cart House is wheelchair-accessible via a ramp on the Gardner Street side.

Service animals are welcome to visit the Fire Hose Cart House. We follow the Federal government’s guidelines on service animals. The NHA welcomes dogs that are individually trained to perform a task or work for a person with a disability, but please leave pets at home.

No public restrooms available.

About the Fire Hose Cart House

Built forty years after the Great Fire of 1846 destroyed much of downtown Nantucket, the NHA Fire Hose Cart House is a reminder of the pivotal role fire played in Nantucket’s history.

This newly-restored building at 8 Gardner Street is the last remaining structure of its kind to house vintage nineteenth-century hose carts and pumpers, including “Cataract #6”, which survived the Great Fire of 1846.

The restoration project was made possible in part by a grant from the Nantucket Community Preservation Committee. The restoration includes updated displays and artifacts, as well as an interactive exhibit that offers in-depth interpretations of the history of fires on Nantucket.

Learn more about the history of the Fire Hose Cart House

What You Will Experience

Engine No. 6: Cataract, built in 1831, was Nantucket’s first two-cylinder engine. It played a key part during the Great Fire of 1846 and was in service until 1896. Hover shows Cataract being pulled up Main Street after a trial, ca. 1910.

This hand-pump engine No. 1: Siasconset arrived in 1900. It wasn’t until 1896 that ‘Sconset had its own fire department.  Hover shows the Siasconset following a fire drill, ca. 1900.

This 11 minute video documents the Great Fire of 1846 that started in a hat shop and overnight destroyed much of downtown Nantucket. In all, between 300 and 400 buildings were destroyed and over one million dollars’ worth of property lost.

This 18-minute video documents twelve notable fires that occurred on Nantucket during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries among the hundreds of recorded fires that occurred during this period.

We ask all of our visitors to conduct themselves in a respectful way at all NHA properties in accordance with the Code of Conduct and all laws and local ordinances.

The mission of the Nantucket Historical Association is to tell the inspiring stories of Nantucket through its collections, programs, and properties.

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