Museums Pierre SD
Belle Fourche, SD
De Smet, SD
A Visit to Gettysburg’s New Museum and Visitor Center
May 12, 2010 by Denise N. Crew ·
On the Friday before Mother’s Day the older two took dear old mom to Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center , now I know that might not seem like much of a gift to some women, but to me, it was the perfect gift. I had been at the old building many times through out the years, the musty smell, the artillery sitting in the center of the building, the electric map, all burned such vivid memories in my mind, I had wondered if the new building would do this historic town justice, or would it be something new and flashy without much substance? I had nothing to fear, the new building fits right in with the area. Built to look like a barn, this building welcomes history buffs, casual on lookers and students, to learn about those three fateful days in early July when the fate of our country hung in the balance, as those in the blue and the gray fought for their version of freedom.
We walked in and got our tickets to see the movie, A New Birth of Freedom, the Cyclorama and the actual museum it’s self. We were able to get to see the next viewing of the movie, a good introduction to what led up to Gettysburg and the battle when the two armies converged. (As the season gets busier you might want to make reservations ahead of time) After the movie we were able to view the cyclorama and enjoy the presentation there. This beautiful picture makes the battle come to life, the noise of the artillery, and the shouts of men and horses upset by the noises of war. To stand there and listen to this drama unfold gives you a taste of what those brave men must have felt like on that battlefield. The twins felt it gave them more appreciation for those who fought on this hollowed ground.
When we had finished walking around the cyclorama we made our way to the museum to read about the history of this time period. There are headlines from the papers of the day, listing the battles. There are editorials from the major papers on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The uniforms of the day, tents, guns, munitions, swords are all on display to give you an idea of the daily life. There are well-preserved letters to home, even a dresser with stray bullet holes in it.
Also available, but not something we took advantage of this time, are tours of the battlefield, you can take a tour bus or have your own person tour guide go with you in your car. I think when the younger two get older, we’ll opt for that. I remember when my parents had taken us (Hubby was just my boyfriend then) to Gettysburg and we went on a guided walking tour. The gentleman who did the tour was an incredible wealth of knowledge, well worth the cost.
All in all we were very impressed with the new visitor center and museum. The bookstore has so many wonderful books to help you understand those brave men who fought on both ...
National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredricksburg, TX
June 29, 2010 by Dana T. · 1 Comment
One highlight of our past winter’s trip ended up being a stop we made in Fredricksburg, Texas. While the girls and I shopped and caught up on the laundry, all 7 of my guys hit what would end up being one of their favorite stops on our entire trip – The National Museum of the Pacific War (also on location is The Admiral Nimitz Museum). The museum is set-up so that when you enter, you receive a map that takes you through the entire museum, which is set up to chronologically follow the events as they happened in the war. This really helped my younger boys to understand how the war progressed instead of knowing about bits and pieces but not really where they fit into the entire campaign.
Based on the events of WWII, there was so much to see, read about, and do, that the guys ended up spending 2 days touring the grounds! The museum is very professionally done, with lots of media and hand-on activities like touch screens; I have one son who is REALLY into touch screens . Hallways that surround you with moving pictures while you walk along, short films and footage through-out, and even a outdoor battlefield where they occasionally hold reenactments (which we didn’t know about and missed by 2 days!!!). And though the museum had great activities for all ages, it also did an incredible job of showing respect for the sacrifices that our soldiers made during WWII. One of the places that my boys spent the most time was reading the names on the wall dedicated to the recipients of the Medal of Honor, and also a wall covered with plaques about ships that served in the war, which was located outdoors in a beautiful garden donated by the people of Japan and named the Garden of Peace.
The Admiral Nimitz Museum and The National Museum of the Pacific War are great stops for those of us, of any age, with a historical appreciation. One of the best parts of the museum is that your ticket is good ...
Washington's Historic C&O Canal - A Living Museum
If you're looking for an alternative to Washington, DC's monument and museum circuit, escape into the 19th century with a boat tour of the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. The C&O Canal was built in the mid-1800s to transport coal, lumber and grain from rural Maryland and Pennsylvania down through the Potomac Valley to Georgetown. Since the region's primary inhabitants were farmers, indentured laborers who were skilled in carpentry, masonry and stone cutting were brought from Europe to construct the canal. The canal, with its mule-powered boats, opened the region to commerce and provided raw materials and finished goods to Washington, the canal towns and western Maryland. However, the canal's success was doomed from the start. On the same day President John Quincy Adams attended the canal's groundbreaking ceremony in 1828, construction began on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Due to the swifter efficiency of the "iron horse" and fading financial support for the canal, the C&O never extended to Pittsburgh as originally planned. The canal operated almost continually up until 1924, when a flood damaged the waterways beyond repair.
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