Museum 3772018-04-01T10:49:50+00:00

Glencoe in the Great War – Our Men Overseas

The displays in the 377 Museum focus on the contribution of Glencoe residents to the war in Europe.  At least 115 Glencoe residents served overseas as members of the military or as volunteers.  A highlight of the WWI exhibit is the SOPWITH CAMEL EXPERIENCE in the EAST BAY which allows visitors to sit in the cockpit of a 3/4 scale replica of this iconic WWI aircraft and participate in a video dogfight.  The model emphasizes the dangers encountered by WWI pilots who flew aircraft only 15 years after the Wright brothers first flight and fought the enemy in open cockpit aircraft with no radios – often carrying bombs in their laps.

When the U.S. entered WWI in April 1917, it had no Air Force.  Many of the first WWI American pilots were trained by the British.  The interactive displays in the 377 Museum SOUTH BAY tell the stories of the extraordinary bravery of several Glencoe pilots who were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Visitors can also discover the personal accounts of Reed Landis who achieved the coveted moniker “ace” given to aviators who shot down 5 or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.  Between May 8 and August 19, 1918, Landis shot down 12.

The Glencoe Historical Society is honored to be the home of the ABEL DAVIS COLLECTION preserving the papers and memorabilia of General Abel Davis whose distinguished military career included commanding the 132nd Infantry during World War I.  A special part of the 377 Museum exhibit includes his personal memorabilia and recollections of the great war:  “All of us who saw our comrades bleed and die on the battlefields of France do not want another war.  However, we are as one with General Pershing in drawing the great lesson from war – that love of peace is not in itself an insurance against National Disaster – and that the peace-loving nation which is prepared, is best enabled to avoid war.”

Glencoe residents served in virtually every role possible during the war.  Their letters and memoirs provide details of that service in their own words and the interactive museum displays in the WEST BAY allow visitors to select the stories they are most interested in learning – infantry, artillery, engineers, black soldiers, the navy or the armistice.

Lest we forget, the 377 Museum also honors GLENCOE’S GOLD STAR SOLDIERS who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our freedoms.  Below the portrait of each of the soldiers – Kenneth MacLeish, Norman Hillock, Leon Bullard, Marinus Christensen and George Brandenburg – is a book with letters and photos describing their personal stories, continuing a century-old pledge to uphold their memory and the cause for which they died.  The exhibit also presents the story of the GLENCOE MEDAL, a custom designed commemorative award presented to each Glencoe resident who served as a tangible reminder of the gratitude of the entire community.

You can learn all about these activities and the amazing stories of heroism and sacrifice by members of our Glencoe community.  The interactive World War I Exhibit is open every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., every Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment.  It is best to call ahead (847-835-0040) or email (info@glencoehistory.org) to make sure that we will be able to provide you with an outstanding visitor experience.or by appointment.