Former World’s Largest Fire Hydrant
Q: What’s black and white and peed all over?
A: The humungous fire hydrant in Beaumont, TX.
From a dog’s point of view, this hydrant is the stuff that dreams are made of – specifically the air running, while flopped on your side with your tongue lolling out, kind of dreams.
I can’t claim quite that level of enthusiasm but, from a human perspective, the fire hydrant outside the Fire Museum of Texas definitely makes an impression. The three boys who tumbled out of their parents’ car and dashed across the plaza to pose next to it while pretend (I hope) peeing, certainly got a kick out of it.
The Beaumont fire hydrant is twenty-four feet high and weighs 4,500 pounds. It is decorated with spots, which I initially assumed was due to the association between Dalmatians and firehouses.
When fire trucks were still horse-drawn, Dalmatians were invaluable because they deterred horse thieves. These dogs bond very tightly with horses. They acted as both bodyguard and buddy to the horses tasked with hauling the pumper wagon.
However, the story behind this spotted fire hydrant is actually more commercial and less sentimental. The hydrant is a prop, created at Disneyland, to advertise the 1999 re-release of 101 Dalmatians!
However, the behemoth really does work and is capable of spraying out 1,500 gallons of water. Try and find an umbrella to withstand that.
The Beaumont hydrant is no longer the biggest out there, but it does draw attention to a memorial honoring the firefighters of Texas and to a second one, established to remember the first responders who perished on 9/11.
The address is: 400 Walnut Street, Beaumont, TX.