Fort Devens Museum


The Fort Devens Museum grew from a desire to commemorate the history of New England’s largest military base after its closure in 1996. As the process of redevelopment took place, it became clear that there was no organization serving as custodian of Devens’ unique historical record. Fort Devens and its predecessor Camp Devens played an enormous role in the defense of the nation during the twentieth century as the induction and training center for more than 1,000,000 New Englanders, was home to prisoner-of-war camps during both World Wars, the site of Dr. Robert Goddard’s early liquid-fuel rocket tests, and ground zero during the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918. Its rich history, which touched almost every family in New England, is both unique and worthy of preservation. For these reasons, a group of community leaders formed the museum to preserve the history of Devens and educate future generations. The museum was incorporated as a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization in 2001.

Ten years after its founding, the museum has acquired a collection in excess of 3,000 artifacts, photographs, and documents related to the land, buildings, soldiers, and families that were once part of New England’s largest military base. The museum operates in leased space, in an
office building at 94 Jackson Road, Suite 305, Devens, MA, while awaiting funding for our permanent home.

The museum staff and volunteers provide quality educational programming for area schools, historical societies, and senior centers. In addition to preserving various artifacts and providing educational programming, the museum serves as a vital resource for researchers from primary school to graduate level. Our collection of building plans, historic photographs, and documents have been used by a wide range of writers, academics, environmental firms, and television producers. On a more personal level, veterans and their families have found the museum to be a useful tool in expanding their own genealogical research and connecting with other veterans and their families. Our quarterly newsletter reaches more than 500 households across the nation, and contains information and photographs never before seen by the general public.

The museum plays an important role in the communities it serves. As Devens continues to be redeveloped, the museum acts as a touchstone from which a shared heritage can be better understood. The museum also provides opportunities for volunteer staff to become involved in the historic preservation of their community and for the enrichment of daily life at Devens.

If you are interested in becoming a museum volunteer, call: 978-772-1286


To Make a Tax Deductible Contribution to The Fort Devens Museum: