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Route 66 News

Military museum may come to Wilmington

Ohio native R. Fred Rolsten has amassed a sizable collection of military memorabilia from World War I, World War II and other eras that may end up on Route 66 in Wilmington, Illinois, reported Shaw Media.

A search for a permanent location for his collection of artifacts from World War I, World War II and other eras led to a site just above Forked Creek, on historic Route 66, just as it curves into Wilmington. The site includes a 25,000-square-foot building, originally constructed as a church, but never used.

City Administrator Tony Graff pitched the location to Rolsten and Ron J. Niess. The site offers everything the men have sought: 20 acres for a display of tanks and outdoor equipment, room to house a mobile museum and plenty of display space inside. […]

The artifacts are in storage in Colorado. The building and grounds are being offered for $1.2 million, and building improvements and necessary exhibits will bring the expected total cost to $5 million, Niess said.

In Rolsten’s collection is a half-sizeĀ Atlantis Space Shuttle replica that simulates takeoffs and landings, along with other flight simulators.

You can peruse more memorabilia atĀ Rolsten’s Heritage Collection Museum website, He has applied for nonprofit status for the museum.

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One thought on “Military museum may come to Wilmington

  1. DynoDave

    That would be awesome. I love this northern Illinois stretch of Route 66, and look forward to stopping in to visit this collection.

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