FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — On the doorstep of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, history is written on the walls.
This is at the new Fort Drum Museum, which has been in an ongoing project state for many years. Now, once again, it is open to the public, except this time in a new location off base.
The museum is set up in chronological order and broken into four sections: The conception of Fort Drum, its early days at Pine Camp, Fort Drum during the World Wars, especially World War II, the reformation of the 10th Mountain Division in the 1980s and its history up until current day.
“We actually start with the native American population, the first warriors that occupied the land that is now before,” Museum Director Sepp Scanlin said. “But then we talk about how the Army transitioned from Sackets Harbor and the Madison Barracks out here to early pine camp.”
On the walls, viewers can see how the land was acquired in the 1930s from local farmers and communities, World War II training at Pine Camp, stories from Prisoner of War, photographs of soldiers and much more.
The age of artifacts in the museum range from being centuries-old to some just leaving Afghanistan with Soldiers last fall.
“The 10th Mountain Division makes history every day,” Scanlin expressed. “So we have some profound artifacts that have just come in over the last several months.”
The museum also features several new exhibits, including the Army Experimental Station in World War II that trained at Fort Drum, a letter issued to a family of a purple heart recipient and Army technologies developed in the North Country.
But Scanlin said every era shown in the museum is important to tell the story of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division. He also said the museum highlights the important role Mountain Soldiers have played in developing technologies and profound training across the world and throughout time.
“Understanding the place of where we live is very important to us,” Scanlin stated. “Particularly since we take such a large swath of not only Jefferson county, but Lewis County and a little bit of St. Lawrence county, So the fact that we are been here so long makes us part of the fabric of our local community. So we want to tell that story.”
And the stories on the walls are endless, especially as many have ties to lives nearby in the North Country.
“This is the place that we can engage with our local community. People can come and tell their military story,” Scanlin shared. “It makes us accessible to our Veterans, but it also makes us accessible to to our soldiers and civilians here at Fort Drum.”
Adding, “Our primary goal is to train our soldiers and our civilians here at Fort drum. The significance of the history that they now are contributing to and have an expectation to live up to and
The Fort Drum Museum is now open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A formal official opening ceremony will take place on June 21, 2022.