PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – The Mercer County War Museum started in 1999 with just one room in the Mercer County Memorial Building.
According to the Museum’s President Tony Whitlow, they quickly ran out of space and had to expand.
“People would come by the office, either a veteran or a veteran’s family, and they’d donate this or that or a uniform,” Whitlow said. “In no time the case was full.”
Just a year later, they expanded to the second floor of the museum, which is now fully dedicated to the project. They have a vast array of items from different wars, ranging from the Civil War, to modern wars.
As well, they have a dedicated Memorial Room, which has huge displays for different wars and the veterans from Mercer County who lost their lives.
“It lists by name every local veteran that was killed during these wars, and their names are listed where they’re easy to read and people can come by to pay their respects.”
Southern West Virginia is home to many veterans, and Mercer County is no exception. The museum gets many visitors, especially around Veterans Day, of family members wanting to pay their respects.
According to Whitlow, who is a veteran himself, preserving history and honoring veterans for their sacrifice is incredibly important.
“This history can’t be forgotten. WW2 people are amazing people to meet. They went over there and saw some awful things, and somehow were able to deal with it when they got back. I don’t know how.”
The Mercer County War Museum is open Monday through Friday. They were closed for a long period of time last year during the pandemic, and reopened back in the Spring, and they are still very eager to welcome people back to the museum. And you can get there no problem in just one tank of gas.