Edgecombe County Veterans Military Museum
Backstory and Context
The museum was opened on July 5th 2004 in a corner of the Tarboro Chamber of Commerce building. The founder of the museum was Joel Bourne. The museum is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization that relies solely on donations. Donations quickly forced a move to a new location. The museum moved to a small retail location on September 21st 2004. Two years later the museum had once again outgrown the space it had. On April 21 2007 the museum opened in its current location and is leasing the former Police Station from the Town of Tarboro to house the numerous and varied exhibits.
The exhibits range from photographs of local veterans to their uniforms, and souvenirs of their time in service. Other displays include unserviceable weapons from the Mexican-American War flintlock rifles and pistols to more modern weapons such as the Colt M-16A1 and Colt 1911 .45ACP. The weapons collection also includes various models of knives and swords. The uniforms on display cover most eras of conflict and range from the field uniform up to the Formal Dress Uniform of all branches of service.
On first impression of the museum, we met two gentlemen that provided information about the museum through a tour. During the tour, we saw many displays that recognized veterans past accomplishments and other displays that explained their history. On the tour we saw two vehicles that caught our eyes, a 1942 Jeep and a 1943 Motorcycle. The tour lasts about fifteen to twenty minutes.
Many prominent town and county leaders have photographs of them in their military uniforms. One of the more notable citizens of Edgecombe County is former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is General Henry "Hugh" Shelton (Ret.). There is also a display with some of his memories.
For local residents there are two small libraries in the museum. one library is full of books and maps of every conflict back to the revolutionary war. The other library is of VHS and DVD's, some are documentary others are pure fiction. This makes the museum a wonderful place to do research on military history.
The museum is open every Thursday through Saturday 10am-4pm to the public. The museum offers a small gift shop that has a variety of items that ranges from shirts, caps, mugs and other items. Any local history about veterans that is available and you would like to have it on display, contact the museum curator through the contact information provided.