Since we CrawTaters (guy from Louisiana & a gal from Idaho) are big history buffs and particularly fond of military history, the George Patton Memorial Museum at Chiriacho Summit, California just a few miles west of the exit to Joshua Tree National Park (read about our visit to the park), was a welcome find. We had noticed the museum on the map, but had not planned to stop until our friend, Mr. V, mentioned it. We were thrilled and inspired by what we found!
ABOUT the MUSEUM:
Location – adjacent to I-10 on the north side at Exit 173 to Chiriaco Summit, CA (map)
Hours of Operation – 09:30:00 to 16:30:00 daily (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) – Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas
Admission – Adults $5 : Seniors $4.50 : Children (7-12) $1 : Active-Duty Military FREE
Pay with credit/debit card or cash
Time it Takes to Tour – a minimum of 1 to 2 hours for the indoor museum (more if you read everything) and minimum 1 hour for the outdoor military vehicle display
On-Site Amenities – Restrooms, Museum Store, Video Viewing — No food sold on premises, but an outdoor picnic area is available (see at left).
Centered around General George Patton and the Desert Training Center with inclusion of all branches of the US military since WWI.
We would label this WHOLE experience as Fun-to-See and Frugal!
The military vehicle display alone is well worth the $5 per adult admission PLUS you get to see the museum too!
The George Patton Memorial Museum is like a carefully curated collection of treasures and timeless memories.
This is not a slick museum with upscale design. Instead it is quaint, friendly, and familiar with a home-town sense of charm. We were struck by the vast amount of memorabilia contained in this small structure, most of it donated by veterans and their families. As we walked through the displays, which have an old-fashioned craftiness to their aesthetic, I kept thinking what a great tragedy it would be if this structure ever caught fire – how much history and memory would be lost.
Da Vinci’s War Machines
At the front corner of the parking lot sits one of the most interesting exhibits of military machinery I have ever seen. Built from Leonardo Da Vinci’s original designs, these war machines are full-scale and displayed with informative signage. If visiting here, please take the time to investigate this unique exhibit. And, it’s FREE!
The front of the museum building is dominated by a larger-than-life statue of General Patton and his faithful dog flanked by tasteful but not elaborate landscaping framing the memorial walls on either side of the building. The veterans of conflicts, past and recent, are honored on these walls. Following are photos of only a small amount of the memorials.
The museum was originated in the mid 80s and is operated by a non-profit organization in partnership with the BLM. A very thorough dissertation of the museum’s history and origins appears on their website.
How Can I Support the General Patton Museum?
I would encourage any of you who are led to invest in the preservation of our nation’s military history, and especially if you are a Californian, to consider partnering with the General Patton Museum and becoming a vital part of keeping our history for the generations to come.
VISIT! The museum needs LOTS of visitors in order to continue to support the exhibition of this wonderful collection.
PLEASE do not blow by on I-10 without stopping here. It is a highly educational and inspiring detour on your journey which will be well worth your admission fee! The museum accepts donations on site.
JOIN! As a non-profit, the museum needs members!
If you live close by or travel through the area often this is a great way to support the museum and gain multiple admissions. Membership options are available for individuals, families, and organizations at both annual and lifetime levels. Membership can be purchased online through the museum website (follow marked link above).
SPONSOR! This non-profit museum also needs sponsors to donate lump sums.
Many levels of sponsorship are available. Please visit the museum’s Sponsorship Program website page for more information.
PURCHASE! Buy souvenirs, books, CDs, and more through the museum’s online store or on site at the museum gift shop.
GRANT A WISH! The museum has a wish list.
Maybe you have just the item(s) for which the museum has been wishing. Check out their online list and see if you are able to fulfill one of their wishes.
We are going to let the photographs speak for themselves. Captions have been added where it seemed appropriate. Please remember you can CLICK ON PHOTOS to ENLARGE them. In the enlarged view, you should be able to zoom in to see details and read informational signage. Use your browser’s BACK button to return to the blog post.
Outside the doors of the museum stands the gated and fenced display of a vast array of military vehicles – Ed Hastey Military Vehicle Park. Your admission price includes this exhibit! Really do be careful to watch for snakes. The cool under-bellies of these tanks are tempting hiding spots for those nasty rattlers.