JOHNSTON, Iowa — The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum will not be open for the traditional Memorial Day open house, which has been done for years along with WHO Radio. Due to concerns about COVID-19, it was felt a large event would not work this year.
“We’ll see things on our Facebook, so please like our Facebook page of the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum,” said Sherrie Colbert, the museum director. “We will also have a YouTube presentation will be honoring our veterans we will also be honoring Gold Star families.”
The museum has been talking to WHO Radio about coming back for Memorial Day 2022.
“We are building our online presence and we’re continuing to build that because we have, we are reaching a lot of people that we normally wouldn’t reach,” said Colbert. “We did adjust our hours, to Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.”
While the museum does not yet have guided tours like it once did, there are plans to resume the tours later in the year. The tours have been guided by Museum Curator Mike Vogt. He takes visitors through the various wars our country has been involved in from an Iowa perspective.
“Often time traveling around central Iowa, Iowans encounter road signs that indicate the route of the Dragoons along the Dragoon Trail,” said Vogt. “The dragoons were light cavalry in 1830s, the Dragoons’ mission with their talents and their abilities in the organization of the unit made them perfect for topographical map-making.”
The group was around Iowa’s early forts including Fort Des Moines site’s one and two.
“The role of the Dragoons, they built the fort for Fort Des Moines number two, at the confluence of the Raccoon in Des Moines Rivers from the area present-day Principal Park,” said Vogt.
One of the officers, Lieutenant Albert Lea wrote a book on what they discovered in a verbal description on the Wisconsin territory, ‘Notes On The Wisconsin Territory; Particularly With Reference To The Iowa District, Of Black Hawk Purchase’. He paid particular attention to the Iowa country, as a result, that encouraged settlers to come here and that publication also gave Iowa its name. The original name came from the Ioway Indians.
The Dragoons visited Forts of that era including Fort Madison, Fort Dodge, Fort Atkinson, and Fort Des Moines. The museum also has exhibits on various wars, including the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, and working on an exhibit on Desert Storm.