Never visited the Civil War and Underground Railroad Museum in Philadelphia?
Better get there soon. Like Saturday soon.
The institution is about to become history - at its present location, anyway.
The Civil War and Underground Railroad Museum will close its doors as it prepares for its move from a townhouse at 1805 Pine Street to the First Bank of the United States at 3rd and Chestnut Streets.
But not before offering gallery tours, displaying treasures from its collection and telling Civil War stories at an Open House on Saturday. The event, which is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., is free.
The museum saw about 6,000 visitors a year in its present home of 85 years. But museum president Sharon Smith anticipates that number will increase to at least 100,000 when it reopens in the First Bank in 2010.
"It's bigger, better and more centrally located," said Smith of the building.
The stuffed head of Gen. George Meade's war horse will be able to be viewed by more people.
"We have the largest and most comprehensive material on Gen. George Meade," Smith said. "No place comes close."
But one doesn't have to be a history buff to appreciate.
What makes the museum unique, says Smith, is that it can tell the complete story of soldiers. The museum has the diaries, family correspondence and obituaries that connect the dots of these soldiers lives.
"It really captures the imagination of visitors and gets them engaged rather than just looking at stuff."