The Nitro Wars Museum will reopen on Monday | Kanawha Valley

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After being closed since March 2020 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nitro Wars Museum will reopen on Monday with exhibits ranging from a replica of a World War I trench to an equipment display communication of the Vietnam War.

Other exhibits include a WWII machine gun nest, an army medical aid station, and original plans dealing with the construction of Nitro during WWI, when the town was created to house workers. and services associated with Explosives Plant C, the huge plant that produced 350 tonnes of smokeless gunpowder per day.

Members of the Historical Commission Carmen Kostelansky, Cynthia McGill and Susan Valleau took advantage of the museum’s temporary closure to renovate the facility. The museum contains the region’s largest collection of memorabilia and artefacts from armed conflicts involving US servicemen from World War I to the present day.

“The museum is one of our cornerstones in attracting highway visitors to visit Nitro,” said Nitro Mayor Dave Casebolt. The volunteers of the Historical Commission, he said, “have done a wonderful job with the renovation of the museum. They have put in a lot of hours during the pandemic. I think everyone will be happy with their efforts.”

“Most people who stop by don’t really know anything about Nitro, but are interested in history,” particularly the history of a region’s connection to wars with the involvement of the United States, said said Kostelansky, director of the museum.

While many visitors assume that Nitro got its name from nitroglycerin, “it actually comes from nitrocellulose, a component of the gunpowder that was produced here in 1918,” she said.

Since opening in 1982 at Nitro Living Memorial Park, the museum, now located next to City Hall on 20th Street in 2003, has welcomed visitors from at least 40 states and several European countries. The museum will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.


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