|New signs in place at the Fort McCoy Commemorative
Area will provide visitors with information at a glance.
signage identifies buildings in the 800 block of the
installation as the Commemorative Area. (Photo
by Al Fournier)
The Commemorative Area, located in the installation's 800-900
block, includes five buildings representative of World War II
construction, a History Center and an Equipment Park. The History
Center has a chronological display of history from the
installation's founding in 1909 to the present. The Equipment Park
features military equipment representative of that used throughout
McCoy's 91 years of service.
Linda Fournier, Public Affairs officer, said the new signs will
have two benefits.
First, the signs will provide more information about the area to
visitors. While the Public Affairs Office (PAO) can provide tours of
the areas for groups, the signs will improve customer service for
individuals who may be in the area when the facilities aren't open
and give them the opportunity to learn about Fort McCoy's history,
"The signs have photographs of items found inside the
buildings as well as information about the construction of the
buildings and what the buildings were used for," Fournier said.
"The signs can be read at any time."
Second, the signs will have low or no maintenance costs and will
not have to be repainted every couple of years.
sign in front of building 839 tells visitors about the
facility, its history and its contents. (Photo
by Al Fournier)
The previous signs were deteriorating and needed to be replaced,
The signs were paid for with budgeted PAO funding that could be
used only for Community Relations purposes. La Crosse Sign Company
Inc., installed the signage.
Another recent improvement to the area was the installation of
brightly colored patriotic banners, which were installed on power
poles throughout the Commemorative Area to better identify the area
Other amenities in the area are an outdoor picnic pavilion, which
provides sheltered, outdoor picnic seating, and a
soon-to-be-completed restroom facility. The pavilion was paid for
with 1997-98 Army Communities of Excellence funds, and the restroom
facility is being paid for with budgeted PAO funding that could be
used only for Community Relations purposes.
The projects help to complete or support the Commemorative Area.
Fournier said the area began with the designation of five buildings
as the World War II Commemorative Area in 1992, during the 50th
Commemoration of World War II.
Next came the Equipment Park. It is located next to the
Commemorative Area buildings.
The attractions were completed by the relocation of the History
Center to building 902.
Fournier said this established a kind of heritage area, where
guests could learn about Fort McCoy's history through buildings,
historical displays, military equipment, exhibits and artifacts.
Fort McCoy also has become part of Wisconsin's Heritage Tourism
Sites, which will provide off-post connections to the site.
In addition to the installation signage telling how to get to the
Commemorative Area, the Heritage Program soon will establish signage
along State Highway 21 telling visitors how to get to the
Commemorative Area from off post, Fournier said.
The program also will list Fort McCoy in the state's Heritage
Traveler guide. The guide will include a map indicating Fort McCoy's
location, along with the location of more than 200 other state
Heritage Sites. Each site has a brief description, along with phone
numbers and other information in the guide.
"It's another avenue for people to find us," Fournier
said. "And, it's another opportunity to tell Fort McCoy's story
(to an outside audience)."
For more information about Fort McCoy, call (608) 388-2407.