Open House weekend launches new military exhibit, WWII vets free
The Fort Museum in Fort Dodge has just compled a new large display room to house an extensive collection of World War I and World War II memorabilia.
Featured are 144 identified unit patches from WWII, collected from area veterans in a "Letters From Home" campaign during the war. Dozens of men and women sent a patch back home while responsing to the letters.
Twelve mannequins are fully dressed in authentic uniforms, including several rare women's uniforms and two capured German Nazi uniforms.
The display includes helmets, hats, weapony, medals and equipment, along with captured Japanese and German war booty.
All of this adds to the Fort's collections of early day frontier militia through Civil War exhibits.
The public is invited to an Open House Weekend, Sept. 22 and 23, with special events to honor World War II veterans. All WWII vets and their spouses will be admitted free, and there will be coffee and cookies free for the public.
The Fort Museum and Frontier Village is located on the west side of Fort Dodge, off Business Highway 20 adjacent to Iowa Central Community College.
It was modeled after the militia fort, Fort Donelson, dating to the mid-1800s, and includes 12 buildings, five of which date from the 1800s. Included is the original cabin that was the quartermaster's office for Lewis Armistead, who was post commander at Fort Dodge prior to the civil war. Armistead went down in history as he led "Pickett's Charge" at Gettysburg, dying two days later from his battle wounds.
A Civil War and Spanish-American War exhibit housed within the complex are considered among the best of their kind in the midwest.
The Fort also features many exhibits on frontier living, and a relica of the Cardiff Giant, a great hoax perpetuated on the American people in the 1800s. An extensive gift shop offered historical-related goods for shoppers of all ages.
Hours at the Fort Museum are 9-5 Monday through Saturday, and 11-5 Sundays. The Fort will be open daily until season closing October 20.