Byron museum to chronicle history of area military vets

BYRON—The Byron Museum of History is looking for the histories of local and area veterans through the years.

The museum’s new military exhibit, “The War Comes Home to Byron,” will feature profiles of men and women who served our country, whether in the armed forces or in a service branch or civilian support.

Donations and loans of artifacts, documents, memorabilia related to war or homefront and help identifying photographs are also sought.

One of these photographs is of Byron Boys of World War I. This photograph was taken at a homecoming event after the war. While in the collection, the museum is unable to identify any of the men in the photograph. If anyone has any information, the museum would appreciate any help.

If you are a veteran of World War I, World War II, or the Korean, Vietnam or Persian Gulf wars, the museum wants to hear from you. If you served in any of the service branches, the Coast Guard or Merchant Marine, and if you served as a civilian to support the war effort, the museum wants to collect your story. Audio or videotaped accounts, or written memoirs, letters, diaries and photographs, are all requested.

The result will be a living memorial of personal accounts whose value will increase over the years, as students, teachers, family members, researchers and others extract the experiences recorded. The Library of Congress and the American Folklife Center will preserve these stories and make them available to the public, as a legacy of honor for generations to come. For more information about the Veterans History Project, visit

Questions will be answered by calling the Byron Museum at (815) 234-5031, or sending an e-mail to The Byron Museum of History is at 106 N. Union St., Byron.

The museum is an independent non-profit entity supported largely by tax dollars. Built in 1843 for the Read family by Pardon Kimball, the house was a focal point in early Byron. The museum also features local history exhibits and the historic Read House, including Albert G. Spalding, Underground Railroad, Byron schools, farming, outhouse archaeology, local railroad, clamming on the Rock River, dolls and much more.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday.

For more information, call the museum at (815) 234-5031 or visit the museum’s Web site at

from the July 11-17, 2007, issue

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