One of the more interesting aspects of giving giant pumpkin workshops is the interesting and sometimes very unique opportunities to visit out-of-the-way, local and little known attractions that I would otherwise completely miss. This was definitely the case on the way to Mae Powell's home in Pasadena, CA, on Sunday morning, March 21, 2010. My Google maps' route had me heading north on Rosemead Boulevard from the West 60 freeway. After exiting the freeway, just past the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, I saw a sign for the American Military Museum. I made a quick mental note to stop in on the way back home.
So I did. The museum is located at 1918 Rosemead Boulevard, El Monte, CA 91733, at the corner of Rosemead and Rush and their website is: http://www.tankland.com/ . Visitors can take a self-guided tour, Friday-Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.. Adult admission is $5.00, and a bargain considering the sheer fun and unique historical experience.
From their website: The American Military Museum has been collecting, preserving, restoring, and sharing the largest inter-service collection of military equipment in the Western United States for over 57 years. The museum is all outdoors and therefore will be closed on rainy days.
Fortunately, the weather was perfect for a stroll around the grounds of the museum. The museum exhibits are marked by concrete blocks with numbers on them that correspond with a written description organized inside of a binder that's provided with your paid admission. It's a simple and effective way to organize such a large number of vehicles, armament, and other military-related objects. Plus, greater detailed descriptions are possible using this method as opposed to having signs in front of each exhibit. It also allows the collection to be better appreciated since there is less visual clutter without having signs in front of each tank or landing craft. Walking around the museum is very much like being on a battlefield. It's not surprising that the museum has been involved in many movie and television productions.
If you're a military buff or have ever wondered exactly what a Huey helicopter or Sherman tank look like up close, I highly recommend visiting the American Military Museum next time you're in El Monte.
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and go on a sunny day!