Exploring the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Centre County

The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, PA.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Centre County honors the service of Pennsylvanians in all branches of the military, from colonial times to the present day.

The 107th Field Artillery Memorial at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
The 107th Field Artillery Memorial.

The 18,000 square-foot museum houses an impressive collection of weapons, uniforms, vehicles, and photographs of Pennsylvania’s citizen-soldiers answering the call of duty in all of America’s major armed conflicts.

Rifle display at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Rifle display in side the Pennsylvania Military Museum.

The museum is complemented by a 67-acre park that is home to additional vehicles, artillery pieces, and more than 30 monuments and memorials.

Looking out over the museum grounds towards the Rothrock State Forest.
Looking out over the Pennsylvania Military Museum park towards “downtown” Boalsburg.

How to Find the Pennsylvania Military Museum

The Pennsylvania Military Museum is located at 602 Boalsburg Pike, Boalsburg, PA 16827, just minutes from Penn State and downtown State College.

Pennsylvania Military Museum sign along Business Route 322 in Boalsburg.
Museum sign along Boalsburg Pike (Business Route 322) in Boalsburg.

The Museum is generally open 10-3 Thursday-Saturday and 12-3 on Sunday, but in the age of COVID, it would be prudent to check the museum’s official website for the latest closings/restrictions.

Pennsylvania Military Museum entrance along BUsiness Route 322 in Boalsburg.
Pennsylvania Military Museum entrance along Business Route 322 in Boalsburg, just outside State College.

Exploring the Pennsylvania Military Museum Park

The large park area around the museum building is open every day from sunrise to sunset.

Bridge on the Pennsylvania Military Museum grounds.
Bridge at the Pennsylvania Military Museum park.

One of the first (and largest) exhibits you’ll see at the museum, inside or out, is a pair of guns from the USS Pennsylvania.

Pearl Harbor Day ceremony beneath the USS Pennsylvania guns.
Pearl Harbor Day ceremony beneath the USS Pennsylvania guns.

Now located next to the museum parking lot entrance, these guns were aboard the USS Pennsylvania at Pearl Harbor and throughout World War II.

USS Pennsylvania guns dedication information at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
USS Pennsylvania guns information.

The guns were removed from the ship in 1945 and remained in storage for more than 50 years, eventually making their way to the Pennsylvania Military Museum in 2009.

USS Pennsylvania guns on a winter day at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
USS Pennsylvania guns on a winter day.

Other large weapons you’ll see in the museum’s outdoor park include a WWII-era M4 Sherman tank

M4 Sherman Tank at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
M4 Sherman Tank.

a 155 mm Howitzer

A 155 mm howitzer on display outside the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
A 155 mm Howitzer on display outside the museum.

and a Vietnam-era Duster.

Vietnam-era Duster on display at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Vietnam-era Duster.

Monuments and Memorials at the Pennsylvania Military Museum

One of the oldest memorials at the Pennsylvania Military Museum park is the Brigadier General Edward Sigerfoos Memorial, erected in 1924 to honor the only general officer to be killed in combat in France during WWI.

General Sigerfoos Memorial at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
General Sigerfoos Memorial, erected in 1924.

One of the most recent memorials is the 28th Division Global War on Terrorism Monument, erected in 2016.

Global War on Terrorism Memorial at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Global War on Terrorism Memorial, erected in 2016.

The World War II Memory Wall was dedicated in 1997.

World War II Memorial at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
World War II Memory Wall, dedicated in 1997.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team Memorial honors 82 service members lost during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
2nd Brigade Combat Team Memorial, dedicated in 2012.

More than 20 additional monuments and memorials are located around the Pennsylvania Military Museum park grounds.

Battle of the Bulge Monument at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Battle of the Bulge Monument.

Inside the Pennsylvania Military Museum

Officially opened in 1969, the Pennsylvania Military Museum building houses artifacts from all eras and branches of America’s Armed Services.

Air Force memorabilia at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Air Force memorabilia.

Weapons small and large are well represented.

Cannons and mortars at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Cannons and mortars exhibit.

as are uniforms…

Women in the Army exhibit at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Women in the Armed Services exhibit.

vehicles…

Military vehicle display at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Military vehicle display.

and even an early tank.

Tank display inside the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Tank display.

Final Thoughts

Pennsylvanians have a long and proud tradition of military service, spanning every armed conflict in American history.

USS Pennsylvania bell at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
USS Pennsylvania bell.

And the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Centre County does a fine job of preserving that history and honoring that tradition in a beautiful and educational setting.

Stream flowing through the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Spring Creek flowing through the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum.

May we never forget the service and sacrifices brave Pennsylvanians in the military have made throughout history, so that our State and Nation remain free to this day.

Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.

Make time to visit the museum the next time you are in Happy Valley – you’ll find it to be a very educational and enjoyable experience.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg on a cloudy afternoon.

Nearby Attractions

Hiking Mount Nittany is a rite of passage for Penn Staters and a favored activity of visitors to the State College area.

Happy Valley as viewed from the top of Mount Nittany.
Happy Valley as viewed from the top of Mount Nittany.

The Arboretum at Penn State is a peaceful oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Penn State‚Äôs main campus in State College.

Lotus Pond at the Penn State Arboretum.
Lotus Pond at the Penn State Arboretum.

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center Near State College is home to an impressive aviary.

A resident bald eagle at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.
A resident bald eagle at the Aviary at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.

The Colyer Lake Trail near State College is a scenic and relatively flat 2.6 mile hike.

Looking out over the water from the Colyer Lake Trail near State College.
The Colyer Lake Trail near State College.

The 5 Best State Parks Near State College provide a temporary refuge from the hustle and bustle of life in a university town.

Sunset over Black Moshannon Lake
Sunset at Black Moshannon State Park near State College.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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