After two decades of controversy and political wrangling, The Museum of the American Revolution has finally opened in the historic
district of Philadelphia.
"All begins with W. Herbert Burk, patriotic history enthusiast and Episcopal minister, who considered Valley Forge to be sanctified ground and General George Washington almost divine. Burk, who died in 1933, scoured the nation for memorabilia, beginning in 1909 with the purchase of the general’s field tent, followed by Washington’s battle flag, and a cascade of uniforms, weapons, cooking utensils, furniture, books, paintings, and documents.
Burk housed all of this in his increasingly cramped Valley Forge Historical Museum, a part of his Valley Forge Memorial Chapel complex, located in middle of the park, and there it remained for many years under the auspices of the Burk-founded Valley Forge Historical Society."
Eventually the collection grew to over 3,000 items, of which 400 will be on display.
The original plan was to have a modern museum built at Valley Forge, but that fell through for a variety of reasons.
A settlement was finally reached where land that had been acquired adjacent to the park was swapped for use of what had been the National Park Service visitors center in downtown Philadelphia.
(The photos are from the cited articles.)