National Medal Of Honor Museum Looking For Downtown Location

Friday, February 15, 2013

Officials of the National Medal of Honor Museum said they are seeking space in a downtown building in order to make the museum more visible.

George Davenport told the Civitan Club on Friday the museum is currently "in a cubbyhole" behind the former location of the Piccadilly Cafeteria at Northgate Mall. Since the Piccadilly closed, visitation at the museum has dropped even further.

About 4,000 people per year tour the museum that was initially at Memorial Auditorium, then was at Fourth Street and Georgia Avenue for 12 years.

It was closed for a couple of years prior to reopening at Northgate.

Mr. Davenport said the town of Gettysburg, Pa., revolves around its rich Civil War history. He said Chattanooga is every bit as rich in Civil War lore, but it doesn't capitalize on that fact.

The first Congressional Medal of Honor recipients were the Andrews Raiders, some of whom are buried at Chattanooga's National Cemetery.

Charles Coolidge of Chattanooga is one of only 12 living Medal of Honor recipients. Desmond Doss, the only conscientious objector to be a Medal of Honor recipient, lived here. Paul Huff, another recipient, was from Cleveland, Tn. 

The only female recipient, Union physician Mary Walker, treated wounded soliders at Chickamauga.

Jim Wade, executive director, said the annual fundraiser for the museum is a banquet on April 27. He said there are plans for a second fundraiser as well as the launching of friends of the museum.

The facility operates entirely with volunteers.

Hours are Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-5 p.m..; Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

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