Discover the Rich History at Lewis Army Museum on Joint Base Lewis-McChord


Discover the Rich History at Lewis Army Museum on Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Located in the Historic Red Shield Inn building on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), the Lewis Army Museum stands as the only certified U.S. Army Museum on the West Coast. This esteemed institution offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the profound and storied history of the U.S. Army, particularly the significant role played by Fort Lewis and the soldiers who have served there.

Museum Hours and Access

The Lewis Army Museum is open from Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and is closed on Federal Holidays. An updated public access policy has made visiting the museum more convenient than ever. Previously, visitors had to obtain a visitor’s pass from the Visitor’s Center at Exit 120. Now, you can visit without a pass by following a few simple steps:

  1. Take Exit 119 off I-5.
  2. Head west and turn right onto Dupont-Steilacoom Rd.
  3. Turn right at the gate (the first right beyond the small commercial area and hotel) and follow the gravel road to the parking lot.
  4. Park in the civilian parking lot, which is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and call the museum at 253-967-7206.

A museum staff member will escort you from the parking lot to the museum on foot. The walking distance is a mere 625 feet, making it an easy and pleasant walk.

Explore the Exhibits at Lewis Army Museum

The Lewis Army Museum's exhibits offer a comprehensive look at the history of the U.S. Army, with a special focus on the Pacific Northwest and Fort Lewis. The museum's collection includes a wide array of artifacts, documents, photographs, and memorabilia that bring to life the experiences of soldiers and their families over the decades.

Key Exhibits Include:

  • The Evolution of Fort Lewis: Learn about the establishment of Fort Lewis in 1917 and its development over the years. This exhibit highlights the strategic importance of the base and its role in various military campaigns.
  • World War I and II: Discover the contributions and sacrifices of soldiers from Fort Lewis during the World Wars. Artifacts from these periods provide a tangible connection to the past.
  • Korean and Vietnam Wars: Gain insight into the experiences of soldiers during these conflicts and the impact of these wars on military strategy and technology.
  • Modern Military Operations: Explore the advancements in military technology and tactics through exhibits that focus on recent conflicts and the current role of JBLM in global military operations.

Interactive Displays and Special Collections

The Lewis Army Museum also features interactive displays that engage visitors of all ages. These hands-on exhibits allow you to experience aspects of military life, from trying on uniforms to handling historical equipment. Special collections include an array of military vehicles, from tanks to jeeps, providing a fascinating look at the evolution of military transportation.

The Historic Red Shield Inn

The museum itself is housed in the Historic Red Shield Inn, a building with a rich history. Originally built in 1919 as a hotel for soldiers and their families, the Red Shield Inn has been meticulously preserved and repurposed as a museum. The architecture and ambiance of the building add to the immersive experience, transporting visitors back in time.

Why Visit the Lewis Army Museum?

Visiting the Lewis Army Museum is more than just a trip through history; it's an opportunity to honor the bravery and dedication of the men and women who have served in the U.S. Army. The museum's comprehensive exhibits, engaging displays, and the historic setting of the Red Shield Inn make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in military history or looking to learn more about the rich heritage of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a military buff, or simply looking for an educational and inspiring outing, the Lewis Army Museum offers something for everyone. Plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the captivating history of the U.S. Army and Fort Lewis. For more information or any inquiries, don't hesitate to call the museum at 253-967-7206 or visit their website.

Come and discover the stories that have shaped our nation and the world, right here at the Lewis Army Museum.

 Known by some as the Fort Lewis Museum or Fort Lewis Military Museum Washington

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