SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — The Military Heritage Museum and Education Center in Sheboygan will open Saturday after a nearly yearlong delay.
The museum operated by the Wisconsin Naval Ship Association opened briefly last year before closing when its parking lot became a drying station for the Sheboygan River dredging project. Operated by the Naval Ship Association, the museum will honor all branches of the military.
Naval Ship Association President Larry Hinkelman said most exhibits and donations came from veterans and their families.
The museum plans an official grand opening in August, but the association wanted it to be open in time for the Fourth of July.
"It's still a work in progress, but we're obviously excited to be open," Hinkelman told Sheboygan Press Media (http://shebpr.es/11NubN2 ). "This will hopefully be a big tourist draw and bring in families from all over the area."
The Naval Ship Association is still working to find a boat to place in the river next to the museum. It had hoped to have the USS Canon, a Vietnam War-era gunboat now in Philadelphia. Those plans were cancelled after the Navy questioned the museum's ability to provide the $80,000 per year needed to maintain the ship.
The association previously looked at two other ships, but residents objected, saying they were too big for the site.
The museum is free and will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday through July 7. After that, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends and by appointment on weekdays. The museum is selling $25 annual memberships and $100 five-year memberships to raise money.