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Jonesboro Firehouse Museum holds yard sale

By Maria-Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

As Jonesboro resident, John Warren, stepped into the Jonesboro Firehouse Museum/Community Center, for its yard sale -- like a magnet -- he was immediately pulled to a table showcasing beer-company paraphernalia for sell.

Warren, who has lived in Jonesboro for 43 years, said he is a yard-sale junkie, who ventures out to a variety of sales with his wife every weekend.

The Jonesboro Firehouse Museum/Community Center will continue its yard sale, on Thursday, June 10, from 10 a.m., to 8 p.m., and on Friday, June 11, and Saturday, June 12, from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m. The museum is located at 103 West Mill St.

Katherine Smith, coordinating director of the Jonesboro Firehouse Museum/Community Center, said there will also be hot dogs, chips and drinks for sale, on Saturday, and all of the proceeds from the sale will go to keep the museum operating.

Warren said it is important to support the museum, since it is a part of Jonesboro's history. "Like a fella once told me, 'You can't go where you are going, until you know where you have been,'" said Warren.

The yard sale will have a variety of new and gently used items for sale, ranging in price, from 25 cents, to $50, said Smith. There will be items for sale, such as baby clothes, women's blouses, shoes, TV's, DVD's, home-decor accessories and Depression glass, she said. "We have some things that have tags on them still, and others that are used, but very clean," she added.

Smith said she is hopeful the museum will gain $1,000, from the yard sale, though surpassing that goal would be ideal. With the proceeds, Smith said, she intends to purchase much-needed items for the museum, such as clothing stands, to store the draperies used to decorate the facility for formal events.

Sharon Deaton, administrative clerk for the City of Jonesboro, said she visited the museum to purchase a dog ladder, for her small pooches, so that they can conveniently climb onto her bed.

"It's [ the museum is] a way to pull the community together, and the community turned out and helped her [Smith]," said Deaton, of the variety of items people donated for the sale. "Look at all this stuff they donated."

According to Bobby Wiggins, a Jonesboro City Council member, the Jonesboro Firehouse was established in 1948, and it was located near North McDonough St., and Courthouse Way. Since Jonesboro is a small city, it was unable to obtain a full-time, paid fire department, so firefighters volunteered their time, he said.

He said the firehouse moved to its current location, on West Mill St., in 1962.

"We were [operated] just like a paid fire department, except we didn't get a check," said Wiggins.

Wiggins said he, himself, was a volunteer-firefighter. He worked as a firefighter for Clayton County, but during his free time, he would volunteer at the Jonesboro Firehouse. "We had firefighters, EMT's (Emergency Medical Technicians), first responders and nurses ... It was a cheap fire department," said Wiggins.

According to Wiggins, former Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day, along with the council, decided to discontinue operations of the Jonesboro Firehouse, in 2005, and the duties were turned over to Clayton County.

The Jonesboro Firehouse was then remodeled, and in 2007, it opened as the Jonesboro Firehouse Museum/Community Center, he said.

"My personal opinion, we had a good fire department, just like anyone else ... People were dedicated to it, and didn't get paid for it ... They [firefighters] did it because they loved it," said Wiggins.