23 January brought us to lunch at the Westerly Armory with a tour provided by Roberta Humble - the Armory's Chief Protector and Advocate.  While we had lunch, she had a slide show presentation running which showed off the museum rooms and all the items sequestered there as well as the many events held in the Drill Hall over the years.  They are in the midst of a financial campaign to raise funds for roof, crenellations and basement repairs/renovations.  The crenellations, Roberta told us were rebuilt some time ago but incorrectly so they must be repaired again.  This part of the structure is the rampart built around a structure with regular gaps for firing arrows or guns battlement.  The Armory was built in 1901 but the original Armory was a wood-framed structure built in 1860 but was destroyed in a fire from exploding ammunition in 1899.  The last military unit to be housed there was the National Guard's 169th Military Police Company.  They were dispersed in 1996 into Middletown and Providence.  The Town of Westerly purchased the property from the State in 1996 and it soon  was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The museum rooms contain from all our wars uniforms and other items that have been donated by community members.  There are bridal gowns, items from stores that no longer exist, musical instruments from Westerly Band members no longer with us, and so much more.  The Armory is home to the oldest civic band in the country.  In the past years events held there included poultry shows, antique shows, automobile shows, boxing matches (Rocky Marciano boxed there), toy and doll exhibitions, dances, book sales, weddings and it also was a polling place.
The Westerly Armory is open free to the public on Mondays and Thursdays from 9am to 4pm.  For more information go to westerlyarmory.org or call 401.596.8554.