The Mourning Parlor, set up in period style includes war time traditions.The Civil War Room shows artifacts of the war including guns, clothing, tools and photographs. The Memorial Day Room depicts of History of Memorial Day starting with the origination in Waterloo, NY.Waterloo, NY was declared the "Birthplace of Memorial Day" in 1966. The Grand Army of The Republic and the Sons of the Union were vital to spreading the traditions of Memorial Day throughout the country.
National Memorial Day Museum
35 E. Main Street
Waterloo, NY 13165
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Hours
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Apr 15 – May 22
Sept 7 – Dec 15
Tue – Sat 12pm – 4pm

Summer Hours
May 23 – Sept 6
Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm

(and by appointment)

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Phone
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(315) 539-9611

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Driving Directions
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National Memorial Day Museum

The Civil War, which had torn our nation apart, had come to an end. In Waterloo, NY, as in the rest of the nation, the great sacrifice of our most precious asset, our young men, weighed heavily on the minds of our citizens. During the fall of 1865, Henry C. Wells, a local Druggist, proposed that a commemoration be held to honor their sacrifice. Late in the winter of 1866, he enlisted the aid of General John B. Murray who immediately threw his support behind the proposal and on May 5, 1866 the first Memorial Day was held.

In 2006-2007, the National Memorial Day Museum, just a short walk from the Cayuga/Seneca Canal in Waterloo, NY, underwent a complete make-over of its interpretive exhibits to better tell the story of the history of Memorial Day to a national audience. Visitors are immersed in a story that was born out of the unimaginable death toll of the Civil War and are taken, room by room, panel by panel through the story of the origins of Memorial Day; those responsible for its founding in Waterloo in 1866; and the changing face and meaning of this somber holiday down to the 20th century. Waterloo is the only federally recognized birthplace of Memorial Day and we are proud to interpret this somber and reflective holiday for the many visitors who visit the museum and our beautiful Finger Lakes location.
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