Remembering and honoring local veterans’ history

Friday, June 21st, 2024

Veterans Museum San Luis Obispo

The Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum is open to all

—Take a step back into history at the Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum and learn from experienced docents about the amazing objects located inside. Visitors can expect to view artifacts from times of combat dating back to World War I and walk away with a greater understanding of military history.

“We are a free, all-volunteer museum that honors and remembers our veterans, with a special emphasis on Central Coast veterans. We are an educational facility that not only tells our veterans’ stories, but we bring in authors and historians for our speaker series, we conduct outreach throughout the Central Coast, and we are partners with the Library of Congress as the only Central Coast representative conducting the Veterans History Project recording and preserving veterans stories,” president and director Bart Topham said.

For over 20 years, the Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum has collected artifacts from the local and national community that are on display, including uniforms from World War II, recruitment signs, a military communications unit, and more. One special item is a piece from the U.S.S. Arizona, which was destroyed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Make sure to stop by the armory, which displays over 100 weapons from the Vietnam War, World War II, and more. There are multiple opportunities to interact with history through videos and kiosks. Displays are changed twice a year so there is always something new to discover with each visit. Group tours are available and guests can approach any friendly docent with questions about the exhibits.

“As a result of our school systems teaching less and less about our conflict history, our military, and our veterans and their contributions, it has become even more essential for the Central Coast community to visit and support their veterans’ museum. It’s important to bring our young people to learn more about what has been done on their behalf, and what it means to be an American,” Topham said.

The Veterans History Project is an important part of the museum’s mission, with the website noting that they “believe every veteran’s story of service is worthy of preservation, whether they served during peacetime or wartime, regardless of what job they performed. Their service and sacrifices will not be forgotten.” Over 500 stories have been recorded so far.

“We rely on the Central Coast community for support, donations, and input. We are your Central Coast Veterans Museum,” Topham said.

The Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum is located at 801 Grand Avenue STE 102 in San Luis Obispo. Open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information visit, or call (805) 543-1763.

— Sadie Mae Mace


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