Northcoast Veterans Museum looking to expand in Gibonburg – The News-Messenger

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Tanks and other war artifacts dating back to the War of 1812 can be found at the Northcoast Veterans Museum.(Photo: Doug Hise/Correspondent)

GIBSONBURG - There was a time 20 years ago when the Northcoast Veterans Museum had so many war artifacts there wasnot enough room to display them.

From military uniformsto equipment and other items, curator Rex Postlethwait said all they needed was space.

In 2000, they finally got the space they needed in Gibsonburg, at 411 N. Main St., and began the museum.

Now, 20 years later, Postlethwait, a retired master sergeant of the United States Air Force,said the museum is bursting at the seams with even more war artifacts and is looking to expand its space.

The Northcoast Veterans Museum is staffed by volunteers, from left, Bobby Whetsel, Mark Lodge, Vaughn Billow and Rex Postlethwait.(Photo: Sheri Trusty/Correspondent)

"We're trying to raise money to build a new building in Gibonburg," Postlethwait said.

The new building would increase the size of the museum and be used by a historical society, Postlethwait said.

Postlethwait said the museum is hoping to secure around $100,000 to build a new structure in Gibsonburg that would have more space and allow them to display more of the county's history.

"Right now we have about a quarter of that," Postlethwait said.

While some artifacts date back to the War of 1812, Postlethwaitsaid the majority of items on display are from the Civil War through today, with the artifacts changing out each week.

The museum is open from 5:30 to 8 p.m. each Monday, but Postlethwait said he is flexible, and if anyone is interestedthey will open the museum even at 2 a.m. for a tour.

"We have a little bit of everything," Postlethwait said. "We have weapons, uniforms, but we'redoing individual stories of World War II veterans and we have a four-by-four lighting case with uniforms and photographs and memorabilia."

The Northcoast Veterans Museum, 411 N. Main St., in Gibsonburg offers a historical snapshot of war artifacts and ties to local war history.(Photo: Doug Hise/Correspondent)

Sandusky County's rich military tradition is scattered from one end of the county to another, Postlethwait said, citing the Fremont Armory's role in the 37th Infantry Division an Ohio group called the Buckeye Division that fought in the Pacific during World War II.

"And the 37th Division stayed overseas longer than just about all other units in the Pacific," Postlethwait said.

Rodger Young, the namesake of Rodger Young Park and a Medal of Honor recipient, came from the Fremont Armory and the 37th Division that fought in the Pacific theater, includingbattles in Fiji Solomon Island and New Georgia, where Young was killed in action.

Stories like Young's can be viewed through the use of artifacts.

"We tell all these varied stories through the history of local veterans," Postlethwait said. "The Village of Gibsonburg itself, if you look at the number of people that volunteered or went into service per population, they had more than most other villages or cities in Ohio per capita."

Postlethwait said the museumwill travel, having displayed items at fairs and other military events.

The Northcoast Veterans Museum, 411 North Main St., Gibsonburg, is full of military displays and items that date back to the War of 1812. The museum is open to the public on Mondays from 5:30-8:00 p.m.(Photo: Doug Hise/Correspondent)

On Sept. 26 and 27, Postlethwait said the museum will set up an exhibit at the Military Vehicle and Equipment Display at Liberty Aviation Museum, 3525 E. State Rd., Port Clinton.

"We're going to set up a tent and have a small display there," Postlethwait said. "It will be more along the lines of a living history, we'll have volunteers dressing up in World War II uniforms and telling visitors about the museum."

cshoup@gannett.com

419-334-1035

Twitter: @CraigShoupNH

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Northcoast Veterans Museum looking to expand in Gibonburg - The News-Messenger

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