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On the Homefront WWI & WWII

The permanent gallery was renovated in early 2017 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of World War I and 75th Anniversary of World War II. 

  • Learn about activities of the Red Cross, State Normal School students, Boy Scouts, and other local citizens during these times of war.

  • Discover the Dayton Band and the local history of Company C, both part of the distinguished history of the 116th Infantry, also known as “Stonewall’s Brigade.”

  • Meet a German Prisoner of War who lived at a POW camp in Rockingham County.

The image above is part of a WWII inventory of Franklin Street in Harrisonburg. In the inventory, the air raid warden made note of items like residents, exits, and candles.

This World War II POW branch camp was located on the Herman Hollar farm three miles west of Timberville. Its sole purpose was to provide local farmers and orchardists with a supply of much needed POW manpower to help bring in the peach, tomato, and apple crops during the harvest season.

116th Infantry Band, 1919. The band was originally composed of 28 men, mostly from the Dayton area, but grew the 29th Division sailed for France in June 1918. The bandsmen served as first aid men and stretcher bearers with the regiment’s medical detachment on the fighting front. 

Children supported the war effort, too. These boy scouts conducted an aluminum drive to collect resources for military use. Many families donated pots and buckets to create this display on Harrisonburg’s Court Square.