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Museum Guide News
Did you know that the only museum and research center dedicated to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War west of the Mississippi River is located in Redlands, California? The Lincoln Memorial Shrine was made possible by the philanthropy of Robert and Alma Watchorn in 1932. Since its inception, the Shrine has become a leading institution for the study of Lincoln and the Civil War on the west coast. Thousands of letters and diaries written by those involved in the national crisis have been collected, as well as artwork and artifacts. In addition to the over five dozen documents written or signed by Abraham Lincoln and a variety of artifacts that help tell the story of the Civil War, a Carrara marble bust of Lincoln by sculptor George Gray Barnard is the centerpiece of the museum. Numerous events are held at the Shrine each year. From presentations by noted historians to Civil War Christmas Carols, the largest event is the annual Open House, which will take place on Saturday, February 3, 2024, 11am-3pm at the Lincoln Shrine. The Open House features exhibitions, live music, artillery and cavalry demonstrations, and an appearance by President Lincoln himself! For more information and additional events, visit www.lincolnshrine.org. The Lincoln Memorial Shrine is open Tuesday-Sunday, 1-5pm and closed major holidays, but is always open on February 12th, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. For more information, Lincoln Dinner reservations, or to schedule group tours, please contact the Shrine at (909) 798-7632 or email email@example.com.
Civil War Connections at the American Swedish Historical Museum Though one might not immediately connect the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia with the Civil War, the museum is actually home to two important Civil War collections. The John Ericsson Gallery at ASHM features a striking mural, A Crisis in our National History, John Ericsson Saves the Northern Fleet, which depicts a fictionalized meeting between Swedish American inventor John Ericsson (1803-1889) and a committee formed by Abraham Lincoln to develop a plan for an armored warship. Though the mural likely dramatizes Ericsson’s warship design submission, the Navy did adopt Ericsson’s design for what became the Monitor. The Monitor famously went on to repel the Confederate Merrimac at the Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862, saving the rest of the Union fleet. The John Ericsson Room at ASHM showcases many of Ericsson’s engineering designs and sketches, as well as objects related to the Monitor and Merrimac. Outside, a pair of large cannons flank the American Swedish Historical Museum. Originally on board the wooden, steam-powered USS Osceola and USS Ticonderoga during the Civil War, these cannons were put into storage in the latter half of the nineteenth century before finally arriving in Philadelphia in 1938. This type of cannon, called a Dahlgren gun, was designed by Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, the son of a Swedish Consul in Philadelphia, hence why the cannons have found a home at the American Swedish Historical Museum. Dahlgren guns, nicknamed “soda bottles” for their distinctive shape, came as a significant advance in naval cannons that made the weapons both safer and more powerful. Visit the American Swedish Historical Museum to view these collections and many others. The museum is located at 1900 Pattison Avenue Philadelphia, PA and is open from 10am-4pm Tuesday-Friday and 12-4pm Saturday-Sunday. Veterans and military receive discounted admission
Get carried away at the Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond, WA, home to a world-class collection of horse-drawn vehicles and period artifacts. The museum recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary, and from its impressive original collection of 21 horse-drawn vehicles, donated by a local private collector in 2002, the museum has grown to an astounding 63 vehicles and thousands of related artifacts from the 19th century. While the experience of seeing these stunning vehicles in person is already enough to make this museum worth the trip, the incredible restoration and conservation of the vehicles, along with the dynamic and engaging exhibition of the collection are what really set this hidden gem apart! Strolling through the Northwest Carriage Museum is like taking a step back in time: the welcoming and informative staff, and in-depth interpretive boards, audio, video, interactive, and infographic explanations of everything from the craftsmanship and building of these vehicles, to the social, practical, and historical elements of this period of history really do transport you to the past! Additionally, the museum is hard at work creating new digital enhancements to their exhibits, adding additional information that could previously only be seen and heard on private tours of the collection. Through the scanning of QR codes with a smartphone or tablet, visitors will now be able to see these vehicles from new perspectives and in action as they have never have before! The Northwest Carriage Museum is open 7 days a week, year-round, from 10am to 4pm. Private group tours can also be scheduled by calling (360) 942-4150. Veterans and active military receive $1 off admission. Come see one of the finest collections of 19th-century vehicles in the country, fun for all ages! For more information about the collection, local area, and more, please visit www.nwcarriagemuseum.org.