Information and locations of Veteran and Military Museums and Historic places around the state of Minnesota and Department of Defense museums.
American Wings Air Museum
Note: The American Wings Air Museum closed on July 5, 2009. The website is still active with more information.
The museum was located at the Anoka County / Blaine Airport. American Wings Air Museum (AWAM) was dedicated to restoring and promoting the role of military aviation and the technological advances benefiting humanity. The AWAM museum offered both indoor and outdoor displays
Birch Coulee Battlefield
Just before sunrise on Sept. 2, 1862, the sharp crack of a warning shot signaled the start of the Battle of Birch Coulee, one of the hardest fought battles of the U.S.-Dakota War. The Dakota kept U.S. soldiers under siege for 36 hours before a relief detachment arrived from Fort Ridgely.
Charles A. Lindbergh House
Charles Lindbergh's 1927 flight across the Atlantic, from New York to Paris, brought him instant fame and recognition. One hundred years after his birth, and 75 years after the flight that inspired an aviation revolution, exhibits at the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site tell the full scope of Lindbergh's life, beginning with his boyhood along the Mississippi in Little Falls, Minnesota.
Tour the home - with its original family furnishings and possessions - where Lindbergh dreamed of adventures to come. In the visitor center, gain perspective on Lindbergh's life and his legacy. Step inside a full-scale replica of the Spirit of St. Louis cockpit and envision flying across the Atlantic. See hundreds of photographs and artifacts, many of them never before publicly displayed. Linger over memories of his family's triumphs and tragedies.
Yielding to pressure from the U.S. government in 1851, the Eastern Dakota (Eastern Sioux) sold 35 million acres of their land across southern and western Minnesota. The Dakota moved onto a small reservation along the Minnesota River, stretching from just north of New Ulm to today's South Dakota border.
In 1853, the U.S. military started construction on Fort Ridgely, near the southern border of the new reservation and northwest of the German settlement of New Ulm. The fort was designed as a police station to keep peace as settlers poured into the former Dakota lands.
Fort Renville is the site of a fur-trading post established by Joseph Renville and constructed in 1826. Just 1/2 mile north of the Lac Qui Parle Mission, Fort Renville is marked with an interpretive sign for visitors.
As early as 1811 fur traders traveled and lived in the area, establishing posts to trade furs produced in the region. One of the most famous was Joseph Renville, the son of a French trader and a Dakota woman. In 1822, he established Fort Renville as a trading post at Lac qui Parle (Dakota for "lake that speaks".) It was one of the most influential centers of white presence in Southwestern Minnesota, and the only outpost between St. Peter and the British Posts of the Red River. The fort prospered until Renville's death in 1846. The site was excavated in 1940, and currently is marked with an interpretive sign.
Fort Snelling Military Museum
The Museum primarily restores and maintains historical American military vehicles, including tanks and armor. Dedicated to the remembrance of veterans of all wars and the preservation of the military equipment they used. The museum is located at 511 Constitution Avenue, Fort Snelling, MN 55111-4027.
G.A.R. Frank Daggett Post #35 and the Meeker County Historical Society Museum
The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was organized in 1866 in Illinois. Its membership was limited to Union (Northern) Veterans of the Civil War. Its purpose was to maintain fellowship for the men who fought to preserve the Union and to help widows, orphans, and handicapped veterans. The G.A.R. motto was "Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty". By the 1880's there were over 400,000 members across the United States. Frank Daggett Post #35 in Litchfield had over 300 members during its existence.
The Litchfield G.A.R. Hall is one of very few left in the nation and the only authentic one remaining in Minnesota and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by one of the members to look like a military fort. The brick is local, from the Henry Ames brick yard which was just north of Litchfield. Built in 1885, it was almost immediately given to the City of Litchfield with the understanding that after their last meeting it would be kept in original condition. This Hall also served as the first public library in Meeker County and was for many years one of the main gathering places for community events.
Golden Wings Flying Museum
This "living history" collection, features some 30 unique and one-of-a-kind aircraft from America's Golden Age of Aviation (1920-1930). This private collection is housed within a modern 45,000 square-foot hangar, located at the Anoka County Airport in Blaine Minnesota. Among rarities NASA's first aircraft, a stainless steel amphibian and the first airplane in which a pope ever flew. New to the collection is a 1927 Ford Tri-motor, this full ground-up restoration is America's oldest existing airliner. Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart are among the many notable aviators who have flown some of these aircraft.
Historic Fort Snelling
The story of Fort Snelling is the story of the development of the U.S. Northwest. While surrounded today by freeways and a large urban population, Fort Snelling was once a lonely symbol of American ambition in the wilderness.
In Their Own Words (ITOW) Museum
Perham, MN is host to the In Their Own Words (ITOW) Museum. The address is 805 West Main. The museum focuses on the first-hand experiences of the men and women who served and the places they called home.
Lower Sioux Agency
The Lower Sioux Agency is at the site of the first organized Indian attack in the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War. An exhibit explores the Dakota story before, during and after the war. Self-guided trails interpret the grounds.
Well-marked trails will help you explore the grounds and restored 1861 stone warehouse at the Lower Sioux Agency. Established by the U.S. government in 1853 as an administrative center, the Agency became the scene of the first organized attack in the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War.
Melrose Area Historical Society
The Melrose Area Historical Society contains two veteran displays:
- Captain James Gallagher - On February 26, 1949, the Melrose native piloted a Boeing B-50 Superfortress on the first non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. The flight took 78 hours and 54 minutes.
- Lieutenant Frances Lent - U.S. Army Air Force Lt. Lent was a World War II Ace. He is credited with 11 enemy planes.
Minnesota Air Guard Museum
The Minnesota Air Guard Museum is an authorized USAF Air Park of the 133rd Airlift Wing and supported by the Minnesota Air National Guard Historical Foundation. It was founded by a group of men and women who were determined to preserve this part of the rich aviation heritage of Minnesota. The museum is located at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Air Reserve Station, 670 General Miller Drive,
Saint Paul, MN 55111.
Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame
The purpose of the Corporation, Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame, Inc., is to establish and maintain an ongoing means of honoring native individuals who have contributed in significant manner to the development, advancement and promotion of aviation in Minnesota, or elsewhere. Or to honor individuals who were not native to Minnesota, but enhanced the aviation climate in Minnesota in their careers.
Minnesota History Center
The Minnesota History Center has a vast collection of Minnesota history. It includes a lot of information on veterans and the military.
Presently at the History Center is an exhibit called Minnesota's Greatest Generation. Members of Minnesota’s Greatest Generation are people we know, they are our grandparents, our parents and our next-door neighbors. Yet, we may have never heard their stories. These remarkable people – who grew up during the Depression, came of age during World War II and participated in the post-war boom – created a lasting legacy that has shaped all of us who have come after.
www.mnhs.org/historycenter/ - Minnesota History Center
www.mnhs.org/people/mngg/ - Minnesota's Greatest Generation exhibit
Minnesota Military Museum
The museum is located at Camp Ripley, Little Falls, MN. Nowhere in Minnesota are the experiences of military men and women so vividly captured and interpreted as at the Minnesota Military Museum. The museum aims to enhance public understanding of how armed conflicts and military institutions have shaped our state and national experience. The museum also functions as a major repository in Minnesota for historical artifacts and records. Indoor and outdoor exhibits depict the stories and contributions of Minnesotans who served in all branches of service or on the home front, in time of peace and war, from our early frontier years to the present.
Minnesota Wing Commemorative Air Force
The Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is an active WWII aircraft museum with seven aircraft, a growing museum and numerous vehicles. Is is located at Hangar #3 Fleming Field,
310 Airport Rd,
South St. Paul, MN 55075.
Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to honor the memory of Major Bong and all the veterans of WWII and later conflicts whose sacrifices maintain our Freedoms. The Center is an educational resource that collects and preserves the tangible legacy of these veterans and their home front supporters. In addition, the Center perpetuates their ideals, principles, and leadership skills for today as well as future generations. The center is located at 305 Harbor View Parkway, Superior, WI.
Veterans' Memorial Hall
The Veterans' Memorial Hall is located in the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center (the Depot) in downtown Duluth. The address of the Depot is 506 W Michigan St. The Veterans’ Memorial Hall is a joint project of the St. Louis County Historical Society and the United States Military service veterans of northeastern Minnesota, with a mission to gather, preserve, interpret, and promote the rich and diverse human experiences of veterans, their families, and communities through museum, archival, and educational programs. There are collections from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Shield / Storm, Global War on Terror and peacetime.
Wings of the North
Our mission is to preserve and present aviation history. We arose from the vacuum created when Planes of Fame Museum relocated to California. In its wake, several volunteers chose to ignore this setback and form a new museum. In less than six months, this group has coordinated Mustang Roundup ‘98, a major flying event. We’ve begun the process of recording veteran’s personal histories and acquired hangar space for the group’s meetings. Goals for the near future include acquiring a project airplane, creating school outreach programs and continuing the tradition of quality public events. The group sponsors an annual AirExpo. The office is located at 9960 Flying Cloud Drive, Suite 204,
Eden Prairie, MN 55347.