Lewis Army Museum
Due to the potential U.S. Government shutdown, the museum could possibly be closed to the public during our normal operating hours. Please call the museum information line at (253) 967-7206 in order to obtain current museum status prior to visiting. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you.
The Lewis Army Museum is located in the Historic Red Shield Inn building on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The Lewis Army Museum is the only certified U.S. Army Museum on the West Coast. The Museum has the mission of preserving historic artifacts relevant to Camp Lewis, Fort Lewis, the Army component of JBLM and the units which have served here. The museum educates military professionals and the general public on the history of Camp Lewis, Fort Lewis and the Army component of JBLM and the role that the United States Army has played in the exploration, defense and development of the Pacific Northwest.
Hours: The museum is open to the public every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. The museum is closed on all Federal Holidays.
Getting to the Museum: Visitors without military credentials will require a base pass in order to visit. Procedures for obtaining a base pass can be found at the following JBLM visitor's information page: http://www.lewis-mcchord.army.mil/des
Museum brochure and directions to the museum: Museum Brochure & Directions
The Museum's exhibits and galleries are still in the process of being refined and expanded following the renovation of the museum's historic building. At present, approximately 15,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space is available for public viewing which contains the following galleries:
- Soldiers of the Early Pacific Northwest Gallery – which starts the museum's storyline by documenting the role of the United States Army in developing the local region from the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery in 1804 through the American Lake Maneuvers of 1904, 1906 and 1910.
- The Fort Lewis Gallery – picks up the storyline in 1917 with the establishment of Camp Lewis and describes activities on the post through the current modern JBLM era.
- I Corps Gallery – dedicated to the history and battlefield accomplishments of the U.S. Army I Corps. I Corps is the most senior command headquartered on JBLM.
- Gallery of Valor – a gallery chronicling the role and story of the individual Soldier, both U.S. and enemy, during World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam Conflict and the most recent War on Terrorism.
- The Army Family Gallery – outlines the contributions made by spouses, children and Army service organizations in supporting our Soldiers throughout history.
- The Army Medical Gallery – describes the general history of military medicine and the development and role of Madigan Army Medical Center on JBLM.
- Washington Territorial Displays – a temporary gallery which goes into further detail on the uniforms and equipment of Soldiers serving in the Army in the 1850s and 1860s and the role of Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens during the Civil War.
- Lobby Exhibits – the Lobby features information about the Historic Red Shield Inn building and its history as well as the display of large artifacts relevant to the post and its early history including a muzzle loading cannon, dugout canoe, antique piano and general militaria.
- Rotational Gallery – a small gallery which featured rotational displays on special interest topics throughout the year.
- Military Art Gallery – Currently displaying interpretive panels and pictures which depict the lineage and honors of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division with focus on the Brigade's deployment to Iraq in 2004. Display includes a 15 minute video with photos and film of the unit in action in Iraq. This exhibit will be in place until February 2014.
- Isaac Stevens and the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. (Temporary Gallery) - This exhibit details the life of Isaac Stevens, the first territorial governor of Washington, his involvement in the Civil War and the connection of other Civil War leaders to the Pacific Northwest. This exhibit is on loan to the Lewis Army Museum and will close in February 2014.
- Gift Store – the museum has a first rate gift store operated by volunteers of the Friends of the Fort Lewis Military Museum. The store sells a wide assortment of replica military items, books, clothing, posters and souvenirs.
The museum also features approximately an acre of outdoor exhibits which include a UH-1 "Huey" Helicopter, various experimental vehicle prototypes and armored vehicles which saw action in World War II and more recent conflicts.
- Information Line: (253) 967-7206
- Museum Director: (253) 967-7207
- Museum NCOIC: (253) 967-4876
- Museum Specialist: (253) 967-7800
- Museum Curator (Vacant) (253) 967-7208
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations: The museum accepts donations of photographs, ephemera and other paper items of historic significance provided they are relevant to Camp Lewis, Fort Lewis or the units which have served here. The museum evaluates donations of three dimensional artifacts, provided they have relevance to Camp Lewis, Fort Lewis or the units which have served here. All three dimensional artifacts must be vetted with the U.S. Army Center of Military History for their provenance before they can be considered for addition into the museum's collection. The museum does not collect any explosive devices, if you find old ordnance, please contact your local law enforcement for proper disposal. The museum currently has an excess of artifacts and is not actively collecting. If you have a donation questions or wish to make a donation, please coordinate an appointment with the museum staff in advance.
Loans: The museum does not loan cataloged artifacts or exhibit support materials to outside private or government agencies. Artifacts are U.S. Army historical property and their care and preservation is governed by Federal Law and Army Regulation. Any transfer of U.S. Army historical property is authorized and coordinated by the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair, D.C.
The museum staff will happily assist units and outside organizations with information and guidance on how to acquire reproduction uniforms, equipment and exhibit materials and how to assemble exhibits.
Personnel Records: The museum does not maintain any military personnel records. Soldiers, family members or researchers seeking military records on individual Soldiers should address their queries to either U.S. Army Human Resources Command, https://www.hrc.army.mil, for more recent records, or to the National Archives and Records Administration http://www.archives.gov/ or the National Personnel Records Center http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/index.html for older records.