By Pfc. Tiffany BanksJuly 16, 2019
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (July 10, 2019) -- Fort Drum invited the public to discover the history throughout Fort Drum's installation, during its Hidden History Tour, July 10, at Fort Drum, N.Y.
Many tours have been held on Fort Drum, with LeRay Mansion being a popular stop. However, this tour was unique because it featured stops at a couple battalion headquarters, division headquarters and Memorial Park.
"This is different and new from a previous tour I took," said Janice Yorton, a registered nurse residing in the local area, "I'm glad I got this opportunity."
Yorton said she enjoyed how the tour's history really ties into the community, which made it more relatable for her. "We're limited, you can't really come onto post without the right credentials," said Yorton.
The history tours allow individuals from the surrounding areas, who may not have military access to the installation, an opportunity to come on post and see what the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum have to offer.
"We share the history with the local populous," said Sepp Scanlin, Museum Director of the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Museum, "It's a way for us to engage with our friends and neighbors off the installation and also with other military families who may not be as familiar with aspects of the installation that may not be as readily accessible."
The tours offered on Fort Drum often have repeat visitors, such as JoEllen Heukrath, who said this was her fourth tour of the base.
"It's so interesting, it's just hard to retain everything, but they're so good at telling the history," said Heukrath.
Although Heukrath has been on a few tours before this one, this was her first time exploring the division headquarters and battalion headquarters. Her favorite part, she explained, was really understanding the history behind the individual units and seeing the silver cups which were unique to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 14th infantry regiment.
The silver cups, created from silver bullion, were awarded to 2-14 by the Chinese following the Operation of Peking on Aug. 13, 1900.
Along with locals from the community attending the event, six Army cadets from various colleges also attended the tour. After just arriving here two days prior, the tour allowed the cadets to gain familiarity with the installation.
Participants who attend the history tours on Fort Drum, whether they are military, dependents, retirees or the surrounding community, are always encouraged to seek out additional tours throughout the year that highlight other historical aspects of the division.