November 22, 2010 - 3 Comments
by Jim Barnes
For the last two years, I have talked about making the trip to Petersburg, WV to see Topkick’s Military Museum, but have not made it. on September 24, 2010, I finally made it. While it is a bit of a hike from my home to Petersburg, the trip was definitely worth it. The owner, Gereald W. Bland, US Army Retired, gave me a personal tour of the facility. While the building is fairly small, it is packed with a multitude of various kinds of militaria, including a surprising number of vehicles – so many, in fact, that they spill over into the surrounding grounds.
The variety is impressive for a small museum. Everything from an Alligator landing craft to slat-grilled jeeps are on display. You can see from the photographs that there is also a large array of small arms and other smaller items of equipment as well. The time periods covered range from WWI to Iraq. Donations of money or equipment are accepted. It takes a lot to keep up a facility like this, so I encourage everyone to make the trip and chip in to help. The hours 9am – darkÂ Monday to Saturday and 12pm to dark on Sundays.Â You can phone ahead at (304) 257-1392.
The museum is located just 1.5 miles outside of Petersburg off Rt. 55 W. There is a map on the link: http://web.hardynet.com/~topkicks/brochure/brochure.htm
As an addtional attraction, situated about halfway between the museum and Petersburg, lies Ft. Mulligan, which was built by the Union Army between August and December of 1863 by troops under the command of Colonel James A. Mulligan and involved the work of soldiers from the Midwest, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Western Virginia. The fortifications are still beautifully preserved. The fort is situated in such a way to command a wide view of the South Branch Valley at this point.
Don’t take my word for it…make the trip. It’s worth it!