The Fort Ritchie History Museum is an institution dedicated to preserving and interpreting the powerful stories of the fort’s history and its contribution to Maryland and American Military History. Fort Ritchie played an active role in military intelligence in U.S. conflicts, from its establishment as a military installation in 1926 to its closure in 1998. We aim to honor all of our veterans, their families, and local civilians from Fort Ritchie’s past through the retelling of their stories of dedication and sacrifice. We wish to share the soldiers' experiences with the public in a way that reflects the honor and integrity these soldiers carry.
From Humble Beginnings
Many years ago, Ritchie had a small museum on its post. In the 1970s, Post Commander Detrich's wife, Becky, wanted to collect as much history about Ritchie as she could. For years, Becky Detrich shared the history to local groups who would listen to the interesting tales surrounding the mountain Army Post. Much of the local history surrounding Ritchie would have been lost had it not been for Becky's hard work. In 1998, when Fort Ritchie Closed, the items in the museum were disbanded to different locations around the United States --Many still unknown to us today. Dr. Guy Stern, a Ritchie Boy, and director of the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan was able to put on a symposium for the Ritchie Boys and gathered many materials to spread the story as well.
A 2004 Documentary was released and for many years the story remained a quiet secret. When Fort Ritchie was sold in 2021, the new owner of the Fort determined that a historic preservation was necessary for the property and set aside two large buildings for the purpose of a museum and research center. Within a month, 60 Minutes produced an incredibly popular program about the Ritchie Boys which was seen by millions and has ignited a flame in people around the world to learn more about the Ritchie Boys and the amazing history surrounding the property. A local educator, Landon Grove, was asked to create the Ritchie History Museum and preserve many aspects of the history of the Property. Grove, along with KWVA Commander Ron Twentey designed and planned the Ritchie History Museum and successfully opened its doors in June of 2023. Shortly after, Grove returned to the classroom, but is still available to speak on the subject as his schedule permits.