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New museum display focuses on war relics

May 30, 2011
By AMANDA WHISTLE , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - It's hard to imagine the level of jubilation city residents felt during the 1919 homecoming parade, celebrating the end of World War I beneath a temporary Arch of Triumph on North Main Street.

But photographs can help.

Thanks to a new Fulton County military exhibit, a new permanent fixture at the Fulton County Historical Society and Museum, several historic photographs and other memorabilia that tie local and world history together and honor the service of soldiers are on display.

Article Photos

An exhibit featuring displays from soldiers from colonial times through the Korean War has opened at the Fulton County Historical Society & Museum in Gloversville.

The Leader-Herald/Amanda Whistle

"This is meant to give a glimpse of who we are and where we've been," said Historical Society President Mark Pollak.

The museum, at 237 Kingsboro Ave., features donated war items from Colonial times through the Korean War. There also are professional photographs taken by local photographer Victor Sgambato of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The uniforms of several local veterans, including the late former Gloversville 4th Ward Supervisor Anthony C. "Chart" Buanno, who served in the Marine Corps during World War II, are on display at the exhibit.

Another uniform of note, Pollak mentioned, is the Women's Army Corps uniform that belonged to Helen Rogers Daum, who was born and died in Gloversville but was stationed in the then-British colony of South Africa during World War II.

A rare find was the donated Japanese rifle that still bears an engraved chrysanthemum, the mark of the emperor.

Pollak said often when a Japanese soldier surrendered in World War II, they would file the chrysanthemum etching off the gun to indicate it was no longer the property of Japan.

Pollak said the room, which also houses the Iroquois Bark House, had to be renovated, so the Historical Society decided to make it a permanent Fulton County military exhibit.

He said the museum is still looking for artifacts, particularly from the Korean and Vietnam eras. Photographs can be scanned and returned to the owner, he said.

"If we don't display them immediately we'll archive them and eventually move things around," he said.

While most artifacts were donated by those who survived wars, there are others, like the broken tombstone that marks the death of 25-year-old Daniel Sweet in the Civil War.

Pollak said Sweet was believed to have come from Northville and served in the fourth regiment of the New York Volunteers. He died on July 13, 1865. The museum is planning on making a frame for the tombstone.

At 7 p.m. June 10 the museum plans to dedicate the exhibit to World War II veteran Victor Brumaghim in a ceremony at the museum. He was known in the city for his dedication to the historical society and museum as a board member, fund-raiser and master carpenter who built exhibits and helped remodel parts of the museum, Pollak said.

Brumaghim died in June 2010 at 85 and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a crewman on landing crafts and was part of the battles of Normandy, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

"They call them the greatest generation and he was part of that," Pollak said. "He was just a great guy. It was real tragic when he left. So many people depended on him."

Admission to the museum is free, but donations are suggested. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday noon to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

Amanda Whistle covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at



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