Our mission is to thank and honor veterans of all U.S. wars with emphasis on World War II Veterans, including those who were held as prisoners of war. Educate the public about the history of Fort Ritchie's long and extensive past in Maryland History with emphasis on World War II. Recognize the contributions and sacrifices made on the home front by the people of the United States during World War II. Commemorate the Holocaust, honoring the American troops who liberated Nazi concentration camps, and highlighting their roles in the investigation of Axis war crimes. Lastly, our museum will continue its efforts to tell the stories and preserve the legacies of the thousands of soldiers who passed through Ritchie's gates from 1926 until its closing in 1998.
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. Now more than ever, a museum will find an important role in reviving the Cascade community and be a staple in Washington County, Maryland for educational opportunities.
DIRECTOR & CURATOR
Landon Grove is the Ritchie History Museum Director & Curator. A Washington County native who has always had a passion for local history, Landon earned his BA in History Education from Salisbury University and his MA from Indiana University Bloomington. If you have a question about Ritchie's history, look no further than our resident researcher.