Military Appreciation Exhibit

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The Bureau County Historical Society has reimagined its Veterans Exhibit with a new display of artifacts, uniforms and stories as part of National Military Appreciation Month in May. The month-long celebration will feature a new exhibit at the Newell Bryant Museum and programs at the Princeton Public Library.

“We have extraordinary artifacts going as far back as the Revolutionary war,” said Lex Poppens, executive director of the Bureau County Historical Society (BCHS). “This new exhibit most likely represents about 75 percent of the total amount of items donated to the Society over nearly a century.”

The exhibit will fill five rooms on the first floor of the Newell Bryant Museum at 634 S. Pleasant St. in Princeton. Each room is dedicated to specific conflicts with artifacts, memorabilia and stories of Bureau County veterans.

“Even though we are nearly doubling the amount of space from the exhibit in the Clark Norris Museum, it just isn’t possible to display our entire collection,” said Poppens. “In order to present all of our artifacts, uniforms and memorabilia, we would need another building. We set out to display items representing all of the county in a tasteful and respectful manner.”

As part of the exhibit, programs will also be held at the Princeton Public Library. BCHS Board President Jim Dunn will give a presentation on Bureau County native and World War I hero C. Wayland Brooks on May 6 at 1 p.m. There will also be four military-related movies, free of charge to the public, each week during the month of May. People are urged to contact the library or BCHS for the titles of the movies.

The primary mission of the Bureau County Historical Society in operating its museum is to educate the public on the history of Bureau County and the surrounding area through the collection, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of artifacts and related materials.

The new Veterans Exhibit opens on May 6 and runs through May 31, 2023, and is located at the Newell Bryant Museum. The museum will be open Wednesday through Saturday, Noon until 5:00pm. Admission is free to military veterans and active-duty military personnel as well as BCHS members. Groups are encouraged.