The new Ritchie History Museum at Fort Ritchie celebrated its grand opening earlier this month with much fanfare and a number of notable visitors. Yumi Hogan, wife of former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, was among the first to see the new museum; her interest particularly of the sizable Korean War exhibit, created by Commander Ron Twentey of KWVA Chapter 312.
In addition to Mrs. Hogan, the offices of Congressman David Trone, Senator Chris Van Hollen, State Senator Paul Corderman, Delegates William Wivell and William Valentine, and several Washington County Commissioners. Even more moving were the numbers of families who had a direct connection to the historic Army Post. Several children of Ritchie Boys were in attendance and other Ritchie Veterans, spanning from those who closed Ritchie in 1998 to Ritchie Boy, Gideon Kantor, the 99-year-old Veteran who trained there during WWII.
Director Landon Grove and various museum volunteers estimate that approximately 150 visitors came out to the grand opening, which was highlighted by the launching of the museum’s cannon at exactly 12:30 p.m. The museum has been in the works for many years, and thanks, in part, to a number of generous monetary and artifact donations as well as several grants, the museum is now open at no cost to visitors, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Visitors to the museum can learn the history of the property, dating back to the Buena Vista Ice Company in the late 1800s to Fort Ritchie’s missions over a 70-year period. A substantial collection of WWII and Korean War memorabilia is on display. Grove is still seeking more Ritchie artifacts to continue to grow the exhibit, as there are many facets of the property that can be highlighted.
The new Ritchie History Museum’s grand opening in June.
Photo Courtesy of Fort Ritchie