Five years ago this month, Ralph Barrale’s dream to build a veterans museum, became a reality. On April 5, 2018, Ralph Barrale signed a lease with the City of O’Fallon for the “Civic Annex” building located at 410 E. Elm Street. Six months later, the museum team members were given the keys, started construction, and on April 12, 2019, the museum officially opened. Though we lost Ralph in October 2018, he is still inspiring, guiding, and watching over us.
In February 2022, the museum Board of Directors announced plans to accept a generous offer from the City of O’Fallon for the use of land at 1019 Bryan Road to build a new museum. In fall, the museum awarded a contract to Dickinson Hussman Architects to begin designing the building.
Ralph’s dream for the museum is evolving. As we identify, collect, and share the stories of veterans, from the past and present, we learn for many that return home, the battle is just beginning. The mission of the museum in the years ahead, is to proactively support our veterans, and try to make a difference without boundaries.
On April 12, 2023, as we celebrate our four-year anniversary, we are announcing a name change. The museum is becoming the MID AMERICA VETERANS MUSEUM. We feel it is important to honor and support our veterans, preserve their stories, without boundaries. The Board of Directors recently launched a capital campaign and fundraisers are being planned.
This is a great opportunity to be on the ground floor of something very special. If you’d like to learn more, contact Jim at the museum at 636-294-2657 or email INFO@MAVM.ORG.