Over the last year, the familiar Memorial Day Museum at 35 E. Main St. has undergone a transformation in keeping with its new status as the National Memorial Day Museum. Over the Celebrate Commemorate weekend, be sure to include a visit to our museum to view newly installed exhibits detailing the origins of Memorial Day in Waterloo, NY.
The new Civil War Room will take visitors through the story of the Civil War and how, through its unimaginable numbers of casualties, prompted a heightened culture of mourning and the creation of Memorial Day.
The new Memorial Day History Room features extensive exhibits on the major players of the Memorial Day concept, these being Henry C. Welles, Gen. John B. Murray and, of course, the venerable Gen. John A. Logan. The exhibit also highlights the 1966 Centennial in Waterloo that led to the recognition of Waterloo as the birthplace of Memorial Day. Also on display, an exhibit of historic images, poetry and prose that were generated throughout the 19th century to commemorate Memorial Day, then known as Decoration Day.
Wrapping up the new exhibits is a room devoted to the history and work of the Grand Army of the Republic or G. A. R. and the Women’s Relief Corps in carrying out the work of spreading the concept of Memorial Day, in the 19th and 20th centuries, throughout the nation.