Minnesota Military Museum

The Minnesota Military Museum is about seven miles north of Little Falls at Camp Ripley, an active military camp run by the Minnesota National Guard. It’s located on the site of historic Fort Ripley, an 1849 outpost which existed until 1877. The museum contains an extensive collection of military equipment, weapons, memorabilia, uniforms, and personal stories from Minnesota statehood in 1858 to the present.

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

 

Museum Grounds

After passing an ID check at the main gates of Camp Ripley, we drove straight ahead to the museum. The grounds of the museum are scattered with tanks, planes, and helicopters just outside the entrance.

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Tank at Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Tank

Helicopter at Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Helicopter

Several other military vehicles, including jeeps and medical transport, are kept behind the museum on concrete pads and in old storage buildings.

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

The museum had a great sense of humor with the latrine. They put a mannequin sitting on a toilet.

Latrine at Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Latrine

 

Main Exhibit

The main part of the museum is all indoors and has an incredible exhibit. It could take a few hours to see everything but I spent about an hour seeing what interested me most. The museum was very well-organized and stuffed to the gills with artifacts, photos, memorabilia, and more from every major American war since Minnesota statehood. Personal stories were documented as well, especially in the Vietnam War section.

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Vietnam War

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

World War II

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

An Iraqi ID from the Gulf War

One room was dedicated to the Civil War and Minnesota’s role. It covered everything from famous battles to prisoner camps, slavery, and the 1862 Dakota War.

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Civil War

Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley

Dakota War

 

Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery

Near the highway is the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery. I stopped in to pay my respects, take a look at the memorials, and enjoy the beautiful setting.

Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley

Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery

Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley

Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery

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