DAY TRIP: Tours of duty – Couple preserves history and salutes service members at Rochelle military museum
ROCHELLE – There aren’t many couples who can say they have their own armory.
But Chuck and Lydia Roberts can, and you can check out their armory of artifacts on Memorial Day, when the couple’s museum opens its doors to the public.
Roberts Armory started life as a collection of militaria the couple had accumulated through the year. But their commitment to preserving pieces of the past from The Greatest Generation turned into something, well, even greater: a museum that honors the men and women who served during World War II.
The Robertses started gathering WWII memorabilia in 1987, and by 2009 their collection – from uniforms all the way up to armored vehicles – had grown so big that they decided to share it with the public. That’s when they placed their collection in the building that would become Roberts Armory. Most of the time, the museum is open only by appointment for groups, active military personnel, and World War II veterans, but on a few scheduled days, they share their collection with the general public. The next opening is Memorial Day.