New Marshfield museum keeps war history alive
“War Room Museum” opens in May, ‘It’s not just guns and helmets’
MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - History buffs in north central Wisconsin will soon have a new place to explore. The ‘War Room Museum’ will open to the public on May 1st.
Unlike most museums, it’s a smaller more intimate view of war history. Despite its size, you could spend hours looking through mementos.
“It’s not just guns and helmets,” said Tyler Smazal, War Room Museum owner.
Smazal bought the museum from a man in Portage County and moved it to Marshfield. The former museum was visited by people from 16 countries. Smazal plan to lead tours to pass on the stories behind the items.
“I’ve always liked old stuff, I’ve always enjoyed history,” said Smazal.
He served for 10 years and then found his passion for preserving the memories of veterans and their families.
“There is a death in the family, they have the stuff, they don’t really know what it is and their importance. They either throw it away, give it away, or sell it for pennies when it could be here,” said Smazal.
Samazal saves families’ treasures from the trash. He thinks it’s an honor to receive items from families and be able to continue the stories for them so its history doesn’t die with the veteran.
Prior to its opening day in May, the museum has already attracted a lot of attention. Smazal said people call or stop in almost every day to donate something to the collection. The museum isn’t open to the public yet, but Smazal said some veterans open up when they see it.
“There’s always a stigma that veterans don’t talk, but we find when they get into this situation or atmosphere they usually start opening up and talking about their story,” said Smazal.
He believes it’s our responsibility to keep the history alive.
“That was part of what was important to me. I wanted to get the younger generation to learn and understand this,” said Smazal.
Schools are already planning field trips and families are excited to tour, but Smazal might be the most excited to share his passion.
“We all think of what are we doing with our life and I guess I found mine,” said Smazal.
Click here for the War Room Museum and World History Facebook page. If you’d like to schedule a tour you can call or message from there. Tours are free, but donations are needed to keep the museum running. Click here for the GoFundMe page.
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