History of the Museum
Origin of the Museum
Original plans and discussions about having a Military Museum here in Florence started in 2007 when the local Veteran’s Day Parade Committee noticed many of our local Veterans passing away. The idea to have a museum to preserve their stories, records, artifacts, and photographs seemed to be the best solution. Fundraising efforts started immediately with efforts to secure a location and the building materials for a museum. Efforts were made to construct the Museum in a way to honor all eras of military heritage and all of the military services of the United States. After a seven year effort and countless fundraisers, the Museum opened on July 4th, 2015 with around 8 to 12 display cases within 7 exhibitions in a 3,000 square foot exhibit hall, 500 square foot theater, and 800 square foot Gift Shop.
Since our opening in 2015, the Museum has continuously expanded the exhibits, gift shop, and theater capabilities of the facility, bringing new stories to light and growing the number of available resources for future generations. Our team of staff and volunteers has continuously worked within the facility to extend the variety of exhibits with the over 15,000 artifacts, records, and photographs of our Veterans and their service. With now over 80 displays within 15 exhibitions, & 4 vehicles, the Museum is continually rotating and expanding the exhibits and services we provide to the public.
Florence’s community is roughly comprised of 20% to 24% Veterans & Military Service Members; this one of the highest per capita populations of Veterans in Oregon. With new families moving to Florence consistently, new stories and collections are brought to the Florence community, adding to and further expanding Oregon’s military history. The Museum serves as a repository for stories, artifacts, and memorabilia so that their stories and history is not forgotten and is readily available for future generations to learn from.