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The Lewis Army Museum reopens this week

Exciting new exhibits

The Lewis Army Museum reopens Thursday, Aug. 31, with many new exhibits such as this one. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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After being closed for more than a year to undergo renovations, the Lewis Army Museum will reopen at 10 a.m., Aug. 31, with a grand reopening ceremony. The renovated museum features all-new exhibits and full-scale dioramas with the addition of immersive and interactive features.

"We are extremely excited about the reopening of the museum following its first major exhibit upgrade in twenty years," said Lewis Army Museum director Erik Flint. "I Corps, the Joint Base command and the Center of Military History, all came together to make the exhibit upgrade happen. With the new exhibits and our new public access parking lot, we hope to be able to tell the Army story to more of the public than ever before."

The museum closed July 2, 2016, for the yearlong restoration project. The new custom-made exhibits were created by Formations, Inc. of Portland. In addition, the entrance lobby has been restored to a more original look by adding period lighting and carpets. For Heidi Pierson, curator, Lewis Army Museum, all the hard work on the project has paid off.

"This project has been the main purpose of my job for the entire time I have been here, so it will be very satisfying to see it complete," she said. "There are some great new dioramas that are quite immersive, and the ‘Global War on Terror' exhibit will be new to us."

The Lewis Army Museum also plays a big role in the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The museum building, the former Red Shield Inn, is one of the few remaining buildings from the early days of Camp Lewis, and museum staff are hosting a special commemorative event this weekend.

"Please join us Saturday, Sept. 2, for a special bus tour around JBLM," Pierson said. "To celebrate one hundred years of history here at JBLM, we have developed this tour to offer an overview of the post. This tour will depart from the Lewis Army Museum, and museum staff will be your guide on a 60 to 90-minute tour around JBLM highlighting historical buildings around the post that were part of Camp Lewis and Fort Lewis. The tour will finish back at the Lewis Army Museum."

There will be four tours offered Sept. 2: 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.  Reservations are required. Email

Coming soon, there will be a new public access gate to the Lewis Army Museum that will allow visitors to park in a parking lot and access the museum through a pedestrian gate. Visitors will no longer have to go to the visitor center at the JBLM Main Gate to obtain a gate pass. Check the museum website or call the information line, both listed below, for updates on the pedestrian gate.

Lewis Army Museum Reopening Ceremony, 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 31, Lewis Army Museum, 4320 Main St., JBLM, free, 253.967.7206,

Centennial Bus Tour, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 2, Lewis Army Museum, 4320 Main St., JBLM, free, 253.967.7206,

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