JACKSON, Mich. — The Michigan Military Heritage Museum opened in Jackson on Saturday in a new larger facility.
It sits on the site of Camp Blair, a former Civil War military headquarters, and features hundreds of military pieces.
"We have sort of a timeline from colonial times up to the present and what we try to do is we try to tell the history of Michigan's military," said Dennis Skupinski, the treasurer of the military museum.
The museum is filled with donated items, everything from uniforms and gear to letters and pictures.
"We use the artifacts to tell the story, link it to our state's history, how things happened and who made those things happen," said Scott Geryich who serves as president of the museum's board.
The military museum has actually been in existence since 2016, just in a smaller location. Geryich and Skupinski said the new building gives them much more space and better climate control to keep their thousands of artifacts in good condition.
"I'm really into the military uniforms and stuff," said Ray Tuck, who attended the opening. "I have some family friends who were military personnel so to see of the old clothing that they had and the uniforms and the machinery they had back then is just amazing."
Though the museum focuses on Michigan's contributions, there are artifacts from all over the world.
"I think it's important to keep the stories alive," Geryich said. "It's all about the sacrifices that people made both the service members and their families, so it gives the families a place to come, it gives service members a place to come talk through things."
The museum is run entirely by volunteers and kept up with the help of donations from the community.
Michigan's Military Heritage Museum is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.