A tour of military museum at Lowville’s American Legion

Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 5:46 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - There’s a museum featuring pieces of local military history on the top floor of Lowville’s American Legion.

It has archived articles, an assortment of uniforms, and more than one set of vintage weapons.

“I think I’m getting more out of it than I put in. I do the best I can,” said museum curator Blair Sandri.

Sandri spends his days sorting and cataloging artifacts from as early as the mid-1800s. Some of them are local.

“You can attach some of these materials directly to people who lived right here, walked these streets,” he said.

One of those artifacts is a mess kit, a cooking device bearing the initials of Edgar Normander, a soldier hailing from Lewis County.

“This guy is right from around here and carried this thing in World War I,” said Sandri.

More artifacts include an oxygen tank manufactured in Watertown and a picture of a plane named ‘The Spirit of Lewis County’.

“Generally, that would indicate that the pilot and perhaps the entire crew actually came from Lewis County,” said Lee Hinkleman, Lowville American Legion commander.

There’s also a recently acquired mortar.

“It’s the latest addition to the museum, and in just a few weeks it’ll be displayed outside,” said Hinkleman. “It’s exciting. Anything new that we can add to the history of the military, not just in Lewis County but in the nation overall, that’s exciting.”

Although the collection is vast, Hinkleman says the legion could always use more artifacts.

“We are looking for World War I uniforms. We are looking for some ladies’ uniforms as well which are two things that could add another dimension to our museum that doesn’t currently exist,” he said.

The museum is open to the public from 1 to 8 p.m. seven days a week. More information can be found at americanlegionfamily.org.