[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 6; the post was published on November 10.]
This blog post is a continuation of Day 3 of our Labor Day weekend vacation.
One of the stops we made, while driving around Seneca Lake, was at Sampson State Park.
This was our first visit to Sampson State Park. Sampson State Park provides a beautiful view of Seneca Lake. The park features camping and boating, as its primary recreational activities. In addition to these key features, there is a military museum at the park. According to the park’s website:
“Following the outbreak of WWII, quiet farm life gave way to the establishment of the second largest Naval training facility in the country, where an astounding 411,429 recruits were trained from 1942 – 1946. This facility was named in honor of William T. Sampson from Palmyra, NY. Sampson was renowned for his victory in the battle of Santiago during the Spanish-American War. Post WWII, a portion of the grounds were transformed into Sampson State College, educating our returning servicemen from 1946 – 1949. With the outbreak of the Korean War, the Navy transferred ownership of the remaining land to the Air Force for the purpose of basic training Military Base which operated from 1950 to 1956. Ownership was again transferred in 1960 to the New York State Park System; and thus, the opening of Sampson State Park in 1963. In 1995 the Military Museum was opened within the park to share the history and to honor those Navy and Air Force servicemen that booted on Sampson’s ground.”
We visited the military museum, which contained excellent Navy and Air Force displays both inside the museum and on the grounds. I will share numerous photographs that I took at the museum in the remainder of this blog post. Regrettably, I didn’t take any notes during our self tour of the museum; therefore, many of the photographs will be displayed without any accompanying information.
Even though I served neither in the U.S. Air Force or the U.S. Navy, the next three exhibits caused me to reminisce about my time in the U.S. Army, in particular during basic training.
We didn’t have bunk beds in our basic training barracks. If I remember correctly, there were 40 metal twin beds in the barracks. I learned how to make my bed with hospital corners. I remember polishing my boots so that they shined. The beds had to be made in such a way that the pillow alternated from top to bottom throughout the barracks. We would hang a white towel and washcloth on the rail at the end of the bed. The towel and washcloth had to be folded straight so that the backs and fronts of the towel and washcloth met evenly.
The Empire Passport provided admission to Sampson State Park. A $1.00 donation from each adult was suggested to tour the museum. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the military museum!