The Armed Forces Museum with its military vehicle collection is attempting to make a fresh start out in Greenville.
The board of directors for the museum recently reorganized and elected Jim Romack of Greenville as president.
Romack, who works for Bond County in the probation office, is a military collector himself and wants to give the museum a boost.
"It's kind of in tatters right now," he said. "Some people who had vehicles on loan when the museum was in Alton took them back when we moved to Greenville."
The museum now has about 30 vehicles, he said. But all of them are in a building, safe from the weather at the American Farm Heritage Museum on Interstate 70 at Greenville.
"We've reorganized and are putting together plans," Romack said. "Right now we need to have a couple of quick fund raisers to get some money. We have to get active, get back in the public eye."
Membership had dwindled but now is back up to above 60, he said.
"We've got the meetings listed in the papers and we're looking at some parades to get our name out there," he said.
The museum has wound a long trail through the St. Louis metropolitan area. It began in Berkeley, Mo., back in the 1970s and spent time in Ferguson, Mo., before moving to the Charles Melvin Price Center in Granite City.
When that Army depot was decommissioned the museum moved to an old automobile dealership in Alton. But someone wanted to develop that building so the museum moved again, to a building leased to them by Alton Steel for $1 a year.
Unfortunately that building wasn't sound and the museum needed another new place.
Romack said he owns seven military vehicles himself and is a member of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association.
Romack said there is a lot of housekeeping to do to get started again.
"It's really kind of like starting from scratch," he said. "I think a lot of people may be hanging back to see what happens. We have to show them we're not dead."
They still have a Facebook page but their Internet site has disappeared.
The next museum meeting is 10:30 a.m., April 20 at the museum's main building at the Farm Heritage Museum site.
Membership in the museum is $10 per person or $3 for students. A lifetime membership is $100.
Romack said they hope to get some veterans organizations involved with the museum and get some momentum going. They have had some interest.
"I think it will stay here," he said. "I think it will come back."
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