The Fort Lewis Museum & The Cannon Shop
The Fort Lewis Military Museum collects, preserves, displays and interprets artifacts relevant to the history of Fort Lewis and the units which have served there. The Museum also strives to foster an appreciation for the role that the United States Army played in the exploration, settlement and defense of the Pacific Northwest. The Museum features an outstanding collection of uniforms, weapons, military art and memorabilia associated with Fort Lewis and the United States Army.
The Museum Vehicle Park features displays of Tanks, Cannons, Missiles, Jeeps, Trucks, and hardware associated with the history of Fort Lewis.
The Cannon Shop offers a fine selection of merchandise, selected to represent the heritage of the Army and Fort Lewis. Members of the Friends receive a 10% discount on all purchases (in store only).
The Fort Lewis Military Museum & The Cannon Shop are located south of Seattle, between Tacoma and Olympia, off I-5 at Exit 120. For base access and further directions to the Museum, please visit the Museum's official web site, Lewis Army Museum.
The Red Shield Inn
The Fort Lewis Military Museum is fortunate to occupy one of two existing historic buildings on Fort Lewis that date back to the WWI era, and the only known structure which remains from the recreational area known as Greene Park.(Greene Park is discussed in detail here, and here is a downloadable walking tour of Greene Park as it remains today.)
In 1918, the Salvation Army hired the Pratt and Watson Construction Company of Spokane to build the 150-room Western Stick style Red Shield Inn at a cost of $107,000 to accommodate the needs of the soldier, his family and friends.
After the draw-down of WWI, the Salvation Army sold the Inn to the U.S. Army for only $1 on July 1, 1921. It became known as the Camp Lewis Apartments, then shortly later, the Camp Lewis Inn. When the Camp became a Fort in 1927, it was renamed the Fort Lewis Inn and continued to serve the needs of the Fort Lewis community for years to come.
In 1972, the Fort Lewis Inn was saved to become home to the Fort Lewis Military Museum when the new Fort Lewis Lodge was built near the Main Post Headquarters. In 1979, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, therefore preserving a historically significant post landmark.
The Fort Lewis Military Museum is the only certified U.S. Army Museum on the West Coast. It is an irreplaceable link to the post’s proud and historic past and will continue to preserve the heritage of Fort Lewis and the Army in the Pacific Northwest.
For more information about the Red Shield Inn, click here.
A publication by Northwest Military publishers titled "100 Year Anniversary", distributed in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration at Joint Base Lewis-McChord this year, is available for all to review at the above link.
(Thanks to Swarner Communications for permission to use this publication)