Fort McCoy, located between Sparta and Tomah, Wisconsin, has trained soldiers since 1909. It’s a popular stop for military reunions returning to relive their military experiences. They offer both step-on guided coach tours as well as tours of the Commemorative Area, History Center and Equipment Park.
Narrated tours of the installation can be arranged for groups of 15 or more Monday through Saturday throughout the year. A tour without stops lasts about one hour and is free. The Commemorative Area, open only to groups of 15 or more, consists of five World War II-era buildings set aside to tell Fort McCoy’s unique story. These facilities, constructed in 1942, depict life as it was for soldiers during the 1940s. Administrative and dining facilities and one barracks represent the WWII era. Other buildings house informational displays highlighting WWII events, a chapel display and display of training aids. To make appointments call 608-388-2407; [email protected].
The History Center, also open to groups of 15 or more, displays memorabilia reflecting the installation’s role throughout WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Cuban Refugee Resettlement center operations, Operation Desert Storm and more. Contact the Public Affairs Office, 608-388-2407; [email protected].
The outdoor Equipment Park features historic and present-day equipment used on the installation, including more than 40 pieces of equipment from helicopters and howitzers to trucks and trailers. A park layout guide and information brochure are available onsite.
Ruth West, Community Relations assistant with the Public Affairs Office, said the reunion groups are her favorites that tour Fort McCoy. West does all the coordination for the groups and often serves as a tour guide.
“I never tire of hearing their stories,” West said. “I learn as much about Fort McCoy back then as they learn from me about Fort McCoy now.”
Contact Public Affairs Office, 100 E. Headquarters Rd, Fort McCoy WI 54656-5263.