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Grand opening of huge military museum delayed

The grand opening of a world-class museum in Dubois has been postponed.

CUTLINE: Shown under construction in March, the $100 million National Museum of Military Vehicles near Dubois includes this tribute to the World War II supply route “The Red Ball Highway. The NMMV grand opening planned for Memorial Day has been postponed.
Photo by Steve Peck / NMMV

Memorial Day had been the announced date for the public unveiling of the $100 million National Museum of Military Vehicles, constructed by Dan Starks entirely with personal funds.

The NMMV is in the final stages of construction at a site a few miles south of Dubois along U.S. Highway 26. Due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, along with state stipulations prohibiting large gatherings, museum leaders have determined that the Memorial Date grand opening won’t be possible.

A new date for opening the museum will be announced.

Starks, a retired business executive in the medical devices industry, has assembled the world’s largest privately-owned collection of military vehicles.

He moved to the Dubois area after selling his company. He has said he imagined the museum initially as a place to house the collection where he could enjoy it near his place of residence, but increasing interest
from the public led him to embrace the idea of a fully developed museum that would be open to the public.

The Starks collection now numbers more than 400 vehicles, with World War II tanks at  its core. Starks also has acquired a unique collection of firearms, with a custom-designed exhibition firearms vault intended to be the first component a typical museum visitor will see.

The bulk of the 140,000 square-foot museum will take guests on self-guided tour that follows the timeline of American military history, centered on World War II. The museum has elements of Civil War, World War I, Korean War and Vietnam War history as well, along with more modern military vehicles.

Another large segment of the museum structure is under development for opening in 2-3 years, and second full museum building is planned within the decade to accommodate more vehicles from the collection.

The museum also offers meeting rooms, a theater, a gift shop, a collection of smaller military artifacts, and a research library.

The NMMV represents the largest private, non-industrial facilities investment in Fremont County history.