The Great War exhibit grand opening

Staff Writer
Tri-County Times
Viewing the many World War I items in The Great War Exhibit. Contributed photo

The Slater Area Historical Association hosted approximately 200 visitors over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The crowd came to view the Association’s new exhibit “The Great War” and attend the grand opening of the new wing of Heritage Hall Museum.

The World War I items on display include a doughboy’s helmet, a WWI rifle, seven uniforms, knapsacks, dog tags and more. Picking up the helmet and trying it on emphasizes how tough and uncomfortable it was to be a 1917 soldier. The helmet weighs in excess of four pounds. As people read and studied the many stories, articles and photos in the exhibit and viewed the artifacts, more stories and memories were recalled.

Carl Hokel visited. Carl is named after his Uncle Carl, who was killed in France in 1918. Carl found the story, the photo, and the newspaper articles about his uncle on the exhibit panels, then found his own photo and his uncle’s photo on the Museum’s Wall of Heroes. Later, Carl brought in his medals from the Korean War for display. His experience viewing the exhibit was one of several similar over the weekend.

Former Slater resident Julie Peterson came by with her classmates and family. She was able to view her father’s World War II uniform and photo on the Wall of Heroes. While looking at the newly redone 1940 Kitchen Exhibit, she spotted the newspaper sitting on the kitchen table. The 1940 Slater News featured the wedding of her aunt on the front page. Discoveries like this are common in the nooks and crannies of the exhibits on view at Heritage Hall Museum.

Come and visit and check out “The Great War,” honoring the 100th anniversary of World War I, and the many exhibits in Slater’s Museum. “The Great War” is on display through the end of the year. Heritage Hall, 318 First Avenue, Slater, is open 10-2 on Thursdays or by appointment. Call 515-480-9789 or 515-228-3293.