Visitors take a walk through military history

The Museum of Missouri Military History held its annual Open House on Saturday. Missouri Military History Museum Volunteer Melody Cook (left) prepares to sell military history books while Gunnery Sergeant Bryce Lockwood (right) helps to sell the book Libertys Wounds by Jeremy Amick, which is about Lockwoods time in the Marine Corps during Vietnam.
The Museum of Missouri Military History held its annual Open House on Saturday. Missouri Military History Museum Volunteer Melody Cook (left) prepares to sell military history books while Gunnery Sergeant Bryce Lockwood (right) helps to sell the book Libertys Wounds by Jeremy Amick, which is about Lockwoods time in the Marine Corps during Vietnam.


Countless people walked among displays Saturday at the Museum of Missouri Military History.

And hundreds more are expected to visit today, the final day of the museum's eighth annual open house.

The museum is located at the Ike Skelton Training Site, 2405 Logistics Road, in Jefferson City. Its exhibits range in dates from the Revolutionary War period, through the early 1800s when the Missouri Militia was first activated, through the War of 1812 and up to present day.

Hours today are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission is free.

Museum Director Charles Machon said the museum wants to remind the public it is right up the street at the Ike Skelton Training Site.

"We're open. The museum is free," Machon said.

Normal hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The museum is only closed on Sundays (today is an exception) and federal holidays.

The open house includes several unusual exhibits for this weekend. One is that the National Guard has opened a field for military history reenactors to make camps.

"The open house is a good, fun weekend," Machon added. "We've been very lucky with the weather."

The museum tries to rotate out some of its exhibits in the winter when there are fewer tourists. That's especially beneficial for antique uniforms that need time out of daylight.

"New on exhibit for us," he said, "we have an actual 1861 lieutenant's Civil War frock coat. He was from Missouri. His name was William Higdon."

Higdon's great, great great granddaughter found the coat in a steamer trunk in her house attic. The museum worked with a conservator who agreed it could be on exhibit, but warned the museum it would have to take care with it.

"We have it on exhibit six months out of the year. It's on a special mannequin," Machon said. "When we have it put away, it's in a special box."

He pointed out the lights in the museum are LED lights that don't create ultraviolet light.

The coat will remain on exhibit through the end of November.

The Missouri National Guard has almost 70 armories and other sites throughout the state, he said. Many of them have been around since the 1800s.

"They are always finding a forgotten nook, cranny, closet -- with an artifact," he said. "Then, they call and say, 'Hey, we found this in the attic of the armory,' or something, and bring it to us."

The museum is fortunate, Machon said, to be the recipient of things found in those lost corners.

Tallon Javersak, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, said he's in the community visiting grandparents.

"I've always had a knack for history," Javersak said. "That's why I'm out here today."

He added he learned several things as soon as he arrived. He said he didn't know that the designation USS Missouri had been used for three different vessels.

"That's pretty interesting. I love it," he said.

Billy Bates said he was surprised to see a Montagnard crossbow. The small crossbow (from Vietnam) is displayed in a glass case in the museum.

"That's a deadly weapon," he said. "That was something that the mountain people actually used. It's the first time I've seen one. I knew they existed."

  photo  Cadet Green and Cadet Petty Officer Carel from the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps Thomas Jefferson Division look at one of the exhibits at the Museum of Missouri Military History during their Open House on Saturday morning. The Open House is held every year to show support to the men and women from Missouri that have served in our armed forces, and to get people into the museum.
 
 
  photo  Billy Bates (right), who served in the Missouri National Guard for 20 years, tells Joah Lehmen about some of the equipment used in the Gulf War during the Museum of Missouri Military Historys annual Open House on Saturday morning.
 
 
  photo  Ex Marine Jim Bogert looks at one of the displays at the Museum of Missouri Military History during their annual Open House on Saturday morning. Bogerts son also serves in the United States armed forces as a Green Beret.
 
 
  photo  The Museum of Missouri Military History held its annual Open House on Saturday. The Open House is held every year to show support to the men and women from Missouri that have served in our armed forces, and to get people into the museum.
 
 
  photo  Josh Cobb/News Tribune photo:  Gunnery Sergeant Bryce Lockwood (right) tells Dave Gordy about his time as a Marine during the Museum of Missouri Military Historys annual Open House on Saturday morning. Lockwood was there to help promote the book Libertys Wounds which is by Jeremy Amik and is about Lockwoods time as a United States Marine.
 
 
  photo  Josh Cobb/News Tribune photo: Alec Schmiemeier tells people about the equipment used by the Germans while fighting in WW1 during the Museum of Military Historys annual Open House on Saturday morning. Schmiemeier has been doing war re-enactments for 2 years and military education for 4 years.
 
 


Upcoming Events