The folks who run the Tank Museum in Danville are packing up all their military hardware and leaving town for greener pastures in Ohio.
According to Jamie Shaffner, public relations officer of the American Armoured Foundation, there just aren’t enough tourists coming to Danville these days who want to browse through the large collection of military hardware but West Liberty, Ohio, is full of ex-military types who like to hang around items of destruction and will welcome the tank museum with open arms and, more importantly, open wallets.
West Liberty is a small village that has Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Champaign Aviation Museum and the Lima Army Tank Plant nearby so it welcomes the museum that has been called the “world’s largest tank and memorabilia collection.”
West Liberty has an old foundry building that is available to house the small stuff and lots of room to build a new, huge, shell building for the tanks, so founder William Gasser said “we’re outta here” to Danville and has a World War II veteran and other former soldiers standing at attention and ready to help pack and move.
Shaffner said two trains will be used to move everything and the Glassners are also leaving Danville and moving to West Liberty.
The Glassners are used to hitting the road when opportunity knocks. They moved their tank collection from New York to Danville in 1999 and spent three years converting an old plant site on U.S. 29 in Danville into the current museum site.
Shafnter said Danville just isn’t a tourist town and the museum only had 7,000 visitors last year. The new location in West Liberty, he adds, will bring in more.
“It needs recognition and respect,” Shaffner said of the tank museum. “It will get it in West Liberty.”