Fort McCoy's historical collection of artifacts has grown at an opportune time to help it celebrate "A Century of Service" thanks to a donation from a local Sparta antiques dealer.

Linda Fournier, Fort Mc-Coy Public Affairs Officer, said the items donated by Dennis L. Janusheske will help the installation tell the story of its history, which began June 8, 1909 with the first General Orders published to establish the Sparta Military Reservation and continues throughout 2009 and beyond.

Other people who have memorabilia from Fort McCoy's history also may want to consider donating it so others can enjoy it.

"It's fantastic to get these items," Fournier said. "Some of the books are signed or have Robert Bruce McCoy's name written on them - signifying that they were his books. They provide valuable information to help us tell the story of Fort McCoy and its namesake."

Janusheske has a connection with Fort McCoy as his dad worked at the installation.

He has collected Robert Bruce McCoy memorabilia for approximately 35-40 years and picked up a number of items, including a "McCoy for Governor" poster, from an auction at a warehouse located along the railroad tracks in Sparta.

"At this point, we're down-sizing our collection," Janusheske said. "We felt we wanted to get the items to the appropriate people or places and not have them sold to collectors. By giving these items to Fort McCoy, everyone can see them."

Fournier said a number of the items already have been incorporated into exhibits or displays in the History Center to help the installation tell its story.

The items will be on display during the installation's annual Armed Forces Day Open House event, which is open to the public, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 16.

Potential donation items may include dated, identified photographs; memorabilia pertaining to the World War II Prisoner of War Camps or Basic Training for Nurses; the 1980 Cuban Resettlement Center, etc.

Anyone who has materials they are interested in donating to the History Center or would like more information, can contact the Public Affairs Office at 608-388-2407.