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The Rhode Island Grand Army
of the
Republic Civil War Museum

A Facility Under Construction & Development
A Portion Planned To Open To The Public
April 2009
Call or E-mail Us For Details


      The RI Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center association was incorporated as a 501c3 non profit organization and institution in the State of Rhode Island to provide a forum of historical and cultural exchange for current and future generations.   The R.I. GAR Museum resides within a major portion of the "Old Carriage House" on the grounds of the R.I. Civil War Governor William Sprague Mansion-Museum, which is owned by the Cranston Historical Society.   All the facilities on the grounds of the Sprague Mansion occupy a large corner in the heart of the City of Cranston at the corner of Cranston Street and Dyer Avenue.   The old Carriage House facility actually faces Cranston's Historical (Governor) Dyer Avenue and has a separate street address at 762 Dyer Avenue.   The spacious and historic Governor Sprague Mansion actually has two street address, 1351 and 1353 Cranston Street.   The rear portion of the grounds afford ample parking for busses and large groups of visitors.   The grounds not only feature the elegance of both facilities, they are also used for historical and fund raising events.

The basic goal of the Rhode Island Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum & Library is:
1. To offer a cross section of public programs to the community and region designed to educate everyone, young and old in a performance or "Living History" manner conducted by museum personnel who are highly focussed and experienced with all that is needed to conduct professional quality programs in period attires and surroundings.
2. To inspire an exchange of ideas in ways that make it fun and enjoyable for visitors of all ages and backgrounds to learn the importance of the Civil War Period and how it still imapcts on their lives today.
3. To initiate new educational and cultural inrichment programs in ways that get people involved with or supportive of the need for historic preservation as well as the importance of the period.
4. To attract new people and out of State tourism to the City of Cranston and the State of Rhode Island. 5. To promote a better understanding of the Civil War Period and show people how the period will continue to impact their lives well into the future.
6. To reasonably act out and explain the Civil War in a Living History manner before the general Public and demonstrate the period to students of all school levels in ways that are personally meaningful, understandable and indentifiable.
7. To convey the importance of understanding Veterans issues, especially those (much like Veterans issues today) that were originally inspired by the Grand Army of the Republic (the GAR).
8. And more specifically to convey the great history and importance of RI GAR Arnold Post No. 4, of which many of whom lived in Cranston and sections of South Providence bordering Cranston.

The Museum's Three Phase Public Service Mission:

      1. The Rhode Island Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center is designed to give people a virtual experience about 19th Century Life during the Civil War.   It is a gathering place for those interested in the war, reenacting it and learning more about the State's roll in it.   The museum was created to give people a living history experience with its interactive displays on its first floor and its gallery exhibitions on the second floor.   Visitors to the museum second floor exhibitions are greeted by our volunteers in period uniforms and civilian dress.   It is the only museum facility in New England conducting Civil War living history tours and demonstrations by knowledgable volunteer docents in period clothes.

      2. The Battery A and First Infantry Unit Associations are the volunteer educational resource incorporated in the State of R.I. under the R.I. GAR Civil War Museum that conduct the renown school Visitation/Living History or "Visitors of the Past" education Outreach Programs throughout Rhode Island and parts of southeastern New England.   E-mail the Unit Adjutant and Webmaster at RIBatteryA@verizon.net to get our brochure that details all our education programs for children and adults.   "Visitors From the Past", is the trademarked name of the museum outreach school visitation, education program.

      3. The Rhode Island Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center was also designed to be a Civil War academic resource, genealogy center and center for Civil War activities in the State of Rhode Island.   It is also designed to house important Civil War artifacts and records, and make them available to the general public to copy and view.


      We are pleased to invite you to become a member of the The Rhode Island Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center.   Membership is open to anyone interested in the Civil War.   We offer 3 types of memberships in The Rhode Island Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center organization.   To inquire about our 3 membership catagories, please contact our webmaster for more details.

1. Charter Membership, for R.I. Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center, inc. Governing Body.   Charter museum members are also members in good standing of SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No.7/ASUVCW Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No.2 and/or R.I. MOLLUS.   Charter Members of the The Rhode Island Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center Governing Body Members of the museum pay no dues to the museum or to Battery A or the 1st R.I. Volunteer Infantry as long as they maintain their museum membership or their membership in Camp 7, Auxiliary 2 or R.I. MOLLUS.

2. Reenactor Membership is open to anyone wanting just to belong to our Civil War uniformed units and participate in Battery A and 1st R.I. Infantry activities.   Active uniformed members participate in our, Visitors From The Past school visitations and living history-educational programs, attend Civil War Reenactments and ceremonies and/or volunteer and learn Civil War uniform/civilian dress museum docent procedures to assist the proposed R.I. GAR Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center when it opens to the public as well as assist the Governor Sprague Mansion and the Cranston Historical Society.

3. Associate or general membership for individuals, families and businesses is offered to anyone who wants to support the GAR Museum, receive all general membership benefits (such as the Camp Courier magazine) and attend all museum sponsored events and functions.   The GAR was a fraternal veterans organization founded after the Civil War to provide all veterans of the Union Army with a forum for social and political activities, conduct charitable work (for the needy and families of veterans--their widows and orphan children), and as a focus for debate and reminiscence of their service in the Civil War.


There are three Annual Museum Associate or General membership and yearly assessment catagories of membership, and two support membership categories:


$20.00 - Individual Membership.

$30.00 - Family Membership.

$50.00 - Corporate Sponsorship.


Friends of the Museum - annual support over $100.00.

Benifactors - annual support or bequests over $1000.00.

Through your support as a member the museum can continue to realize its goals and help the museum serve the people of Rhode Island and surrounding region.

Donations & Gifts:

We are getting several questions about this topic by interested and potential donors of Civil War and Post Civil War artifacts and memorabilia.   As an annually registered 501c3 non-profit corporation, all donations of artifacts are professionally inventoried and cataloged.   For preservation purposes all items in the museum collection are periodically reviewed on a continual basis for professional restoration, as, or if needed.   Donations of artifacts are appraised and fully tax deductible based on the appraised value of the item(s), if the donor requests.   Items or artifacts donated for tax purposes, or not, are photographed and documented in duplicate form, itemized and valued on an official museum document designed by the museum CPA Tax Consultant, one copy presented to the donor and the original maintained in the museum records.   All items donated will be featured as a part of our Virtual Museum Tour on our Home Pages and credited to each donor in our exhibition gallery or display areas in the facility.   The museum reserves the right to rotate the exhibitions of its collection base on the volume of material in its collection, unless otherwise specified by the donor and agreed by the museum.   Since the background nature of many items likely to be donated to the museum may have family historic meaning and value, and some donors may wish the items they donate to be continually displayed for future generations of their family to see, the museum maintains a strict policy of asuring such donors their donation will never be removed or liquidated from the museum collection for any reason.   To additionaly insure the confidence of all donors removal of any item from the "museum" collection would require a unanimous vote of approval by the memberships of all the organizations represented on the museum Board of Governors as well as a scond unanimous vote of approval by all members of the Board of Governors.   Therefore once items are donated to the museum, getting a consensus to remove items from the museum collection is next to impossible.

Note: The supporting organizations separate from the museum, that will maintain their headquaters at the carriage house facility and also have collections of their own, do not apply to this policy statement, because their property is also separate.   The museum is proud to make this unique policy statement in public on the Internet, to insure the full confidence of anyone considering making a donation of artifacts to the museum.   In this way the museum can confidently fulfill its mission display its collection to educate the public, now and in the future.

To further secure all items donated we plan to install a dry fire control system, an even climate control system, utilize modern acid free envirenments and technology such as a vault for fragile items, documents, books and records contained in the building to further insure the safety of all material contained in the facility.   However, at this time, please keep in mind the physical development of the museum facility is not yet complete.   Therefore unless we can make reliable secured alternative arrangements for maintaining certain items at this time, the museum is reluctant in most cases to accept the actual transfer of some donations.

This Webpage will be updated as the facility is further developed by our historical architect and interior construction is more under way.   When the museum opens to the public, its docents will be continually informed of the history of each item the museum may have on display for accurate conveyance to the public during tours.   Please keep watching this Website or contact us if you have any questions about an item(s) you may want to donate to the museum.

The worst thing anyone can do with a treasured family Civil War Artifact is tuck it away in a closet.
No one will ever see it.
No one will ever enjoy it, or learn from it.
And, who will properly care for it after you are gone?


When fully completed version of the museum opens, we will be pleased to invite you to schedule a full facility tour including our second floor exhibition gallery containing historical displays of Civil War and GAR Veterans memorabilia.   Living history-educational "volunteer" museum docent will be available to assist you when you pre-schedule your tour.   Since this part of the museum is operated by volunteers prescheduled tours of the exhibition gallery will be limited when the proposed R.I. GAR Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center when opens to the public.   You may also want to schedule your company or organization to hold a special meeting or function in our Elisha Dyer Dining Hall when rennovations of the secnd level space of the facility is complete.


When We Open To The Public,
This "Automated User Friendly Display Area" Will Be Open Same Hours As The Sprague Mansion.

When we open, The Rhode Island Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center, will welcome pre-scheduled school tours throughout the region and be greeted by our docents in "period" uniforms and civilian clothes.   Visitors will experience, hear and view our first floor automated narrated audeo-visual displays of Civil War artillery Ordinance, Civil War uniforms, period wepons, tents, and other Civil War material.   While looking at the glassed displays, veiwers will be able to push buttons to here period music, audeo discriptions about the display and see a video of our uniformed units drill as Civil War artillery and infantry.   On certain days, whether permitting, Battery A, and Battery C as well as the 1st Infantry and the 2nd Infantry may drill in uniform outside on the grounds and encourage public participation.   The general public as well as all Rhode Island High School ROTC programs and all Boy Scout programs across the State are encouraged to become involved with all we do at the museum, and are especially welcome to participate in all our Civil War Period military and music programs.   We are working to provide display tablets and exhibition stations within the museum enhanced and in brail for visually impared visitors.   All admissions to visit the museum will assist museum operations and maintenance as well as annual charitable programs sponsored by the museum and its supporting organizations.

Ready For When We Open To The Public.
These Display Areas Will Be Open By Appointment in April 09.

Civil War Veterans Memorabilia Cannons and Carriages

Our Museum Living History Docents can interact, guide, demonstrate
and explain all aspects of the period.
They are very adept at answering most of your questions.

Tenting Tonight On The Old Camp Ground Infantry Attire and Equipment

NOTE: We are working on our Civil War Sutlery (or Museum Gift Shop).
Plus, we are planning a cavalry and artillery display.
We are also planning a naval and civilian Display.
It will be a while yet before our library and computer research center opens,
because that is planned for the second floor of the facility, but please keep watching.


Except for the news media
NO Cameras, Cell Phones, Videos or Recording Devices
Will Be Allowed In The Building

All visitors must leave such devices in their car or bus
in the Governor Sprague Mansion parking area on the grounds.
Still photos are permitted outside on the grounds
however NO videos or recordings of outdoor museum docent or Living History
encampments or presentations will be permitted.

A donation fee of $5 per person age 13 and over for tours
A donation fee of $3 per person under the age of 12.

Special school tours of the Civil War Museum (Sprague Carriage House)
must be pre-scheduled to confirm visitation dates by calling (401) 944-9226.
No limits to school tour group sizes.
However, One adult must acompany the school tour per every 15 children.
To confirm the school tour, all school tours to the museum
must be paid in full one week prior to the school visitation.
$2 donation fee for school tour students,
Plus a $3 donation fee per school tour acompanying adults.
Students may eat lunch on the grounds, however school tour-groups
are responsible for their own trash maintenance and removal.
The Arnold Post Sutlery (gift shop) will be open for all tours.
Museum Docents (living history guides) will present all tours in Civil War period clothing.


Gregg A. Mierka, "Acting" Museum President of the GARCW Board of Governors
GARCW Museum Director & Appointed CHS Carriage House Director.
Non-Voting (except in case of a tie) RI MOLLUS Rep. GARCW Board of Governors
Gregory H. Payne 1st Vice President, Voting RI SUVCW Camp 7 Rep. GARCW Board of Governors
Director "Visitors From The Past" Program & Public School ROTC Museum Program Liaison.
Linda Payne, 2nd Vice President of the Board of Governors, Museum Store Director & Curator of Exhibitions.
Voting RICWRA Rep. GARCW Board of Governors
Fr. Raymond J. Ferrick, Assistant Museum Operations Director, Voting RI MOLLUS Rep. GARCW Board of Governors, Curator of Archives, Stacks & Collections.
Mary V. Mierka, RI ASUVCW Aux.2 Rep. Board of Governors, Research Curator & Director of Facility Programs.
Lydia Rapposa, Voting CHS Rep. GARCW Museum Board of Governors,
President Cranston Historical Society, Assistant Archives & Research Advisor.

Henry C. Duquette, Museum Operations Assistant
Acting-Advisor to the Board of Governors (Adjunct Non-voting Board Position), music program coordinator.
Herbert A. Zakrison, Sprague Museum/GARCW Museum Advisor (Adjunct Non-voting Board Position).
Charles D. Blanchette, History Teacher-Advisor of Education Programs (Adjunct Non-voting Board Position).
Bernard A. Poirier, CPA, Tax Auditor & Financial Advisor to the Board of Governors.
Micheal O. Carley, Esq., Counselor & Legal Advisor to the Board of Governors.

      The museum and its associations, Battery A & the 1st Infantry, are a 501c3 nonprofit organization supported by public and private contributions and foundations.   The RIGARCW Museum is legally incorporated in the State of Rhode Island, governed by the RIGARCW Museum Board of Governors.   It is not a Rhode Island State agency, or an entity or subsidiary of any of the organizations supporting the museum.   Currently the Museum itself is under construction.   When completed it will become a unique educational facility and the only of its kind in Rhode Island and Southeastern New England.

You can E-mail all inquiries about the Museum Project, School Visitations and/or your support or donations to: RIBatteryA@verizon.net

      The museum Board of Governors consists of representatives of the following separate hereditary and historical organizations:  The Rhode Island State Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, The Rhode Island Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War-Elisha Dyer Camp No.7, The Rhode Island Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War-Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No.2, The Rhode Island Civil War Re-enactors Assoc., and the Cranston Historical Society, perpetuating the legacy of the State's Civil War Veterans and its Civil War History.   Battery A, 1st R.I. Light Artillery Unit Assoc. and the 1st R.I. Volunteer Infantry Unit Assoc. are entities of the RIGAR Civil War Museum.

Thank you for visiting our museum website.
Please come back and visit our Website again!
We will post our hours, admission and schedule as soon as we are open for public visitations and tours.
If you would like us to visit your school or function
please click back to our entry page and click on
our OUTREACH button for more details
about the RI GAR Civil War Museum and its programs.


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