After a slew of "Where's the
There had been a museum, but it closed when the Plattsburgh Air Force Base shut down in 1995.
"Most of the assets went to the
40-YEAR MISSION'S LEGACY
In a remarkably productive year, former Air Force military and civilian personnel, community members and college students have assembled a vibrant museum, a tribute to the
"I've always been fascinated with this area, particularly the base," he said. "I was a civilian. I lived in
"It's a secret city almost, and nobody knows about it. At least, I didn't. I was really glad (the museum) came true."
Five hours and three minutes after Herkalo's blue epiphany, he had speed-dialed retired Air Force Lt. Col.
But then the association's museum charter offered the answer.
"Once we had that structure in place, we could go out and start raising funds," said Baehre, who signed on as the
Museum memberships are
"They gave us a large enough grant that we were able to start developing the museum," Baehre said.
The museum's exhibits include a patch board, base timeline, a display of assigned aircraft, Life on Alert, Atlas Missile, and Life On and Off the Base.
On loan from the
"One of our best resources was a large treasure trove of 35mm slides in six binders that really told the story of Plattsburgh Air Force Base," Baehre said.
"We have been able to develop those into both our static panels that you can read about and also our changing LCD display panels, where you can watch a slide show basically of the three different areas in our main museum."
USAF Col. (retired)
"I look forward to more people joining the facility," he said. "Obviously, more donations will be handy."
He's still looking for the big, black Mark VI weapon that was used by the
"I honestly think it's up in
"If it fits, we'll do something with it. If not, we may have it already. It's always appreciated to see and get more things -- that way, we can change and keep this place current and fresh."
'TEACH THE YOUNG'UNS'
Area schools are queuing up for tours.
"It will fun to educate the young'uns on what it is, because there are so many people who don't even know there was a base here," McNichols said.
"My neighbor across the street, the kid said, 'What a great airport
"You just want to do something about it."
A wish-list of electrical and heating materials for the museum and artifact storage in the association's building was met by
"The IBEW (
The museum's board includes
"Like most of the folks, I came up here in 1971 with the
"I've been here for 40-some years. It's kind of home. Another 100 years, they will call me a local."
USAF Col. (retired)
"I think the wing was one of the best wings in the
He's excited to meet the seventh-graders scheduled to visit.
"It's important that they remember what the people of
IF YOU GO WHAT: Grand opening of
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