Mayor Gusciora and Trenton Fire Director Derrick Sawyer will host a sign dedication ceremony later this afternoon in honor of Trenton’s African-American firefighters, particularly Trenton’s first African-American firefighter Linwood Collins.

Linwood Collins joined the Marines in 1944 and served in World War II. In 1957, he was sworn in as Trenton’s first African-American firefighter.

Linwood Collins will be represented by his widow Ethel Collins, Trenton’s first female parking enforcement officer.

This event will take place at the Meredith Havens Fire Museum located on 244 Perry Street today, February 24th, at 1:30 p.m.

About the Meredith Havens Fire Museum

The preservation of this history was the reason that The Fire Museum of Trenton was founded in 1959 by Fire Captain (now retired) Edward Gore, and in 1974, renamed for its co-founder and first curator, Meredith Havens.  Through the years the Museum has accumulated a collection of fire fighting artifacts and memorabilia, considerably enhanced by the acquisition of the Walter F. Smith collection of local and national fire fighting objects.  Approximately 4,000 items and 680 historic photographs are now included in the collection. There is a 501 C3 Board that works in collaboration with the City of Trenton through the Fire Department and the Department of Recreation, Natural Resources and Culture.

The mission of the Meredith Havens Fire Museum of Trenton is to preserve materials, artifacts and skills related to the history of fire fighting in Trenton and surrounding municipalities in order to enhance the public’s knowledge of the fire fighter’s life.  The Museum Board takes the educational aspect of this mission very seriously, informing the public of the various duties and functions of the Department, as well as stressing the importance of fire prevention education. The Museum presents history and educational opportunities through formal exhibits, restorations, demonstrations, educational programs, oral history, lectures, and research opportunities.

The Museum serves the community in Trenton, especially the schools and children, as well as the surrounding communities and national and international visitors to New Jersey.  School children from throughout the State of New Jersey regularly visit the facility and we attempt to make each visit an educational experience .  The Museum also collaborates with Trenton’s cultural and tourism sites through the City’s Division of Culture and share resources and information to enhance Trenton’s growing Heritage Tourism.

The museum is also attached to a working fire station that is available for viewing.


For more information visit or to check out the newly unveiled sign honoring Trenton’s African-American firefighters, visit them at 244 Perry Street. Hours: M-F 9-5, Sat 10-4.

About Author