Make the McKenzie Connection!

U.S. Cavalry & Indian Museum

US Cavalry










By Dan Purkey

When walking through the U.S. Cavalry and American History Museum and listening to enchanting stories from Ron Miner; one is reminded of the Cherokee Prayer Blessing: “May the Warm Winds of Heaven blow softly upon your house. May the Great Spirit bless all who enter there. May your Mocassins make happy tracks in many snows, and may the Rainbow always touch your shoulder.”

There is no doubt that the Museum is a “labor of love” for Ron and his wife Coho (A Native American descended from the Blackfoot-Cree Nation). In Ron’s early years, moving from Pennsylvania to Illinois, his interests centered on one-on-one sports; but collecting memorabilia from history was his passion! In fact, his first piece of what became an impressive collection was a Japanese flag when he was seven; and he has been collecting ever since!

Ron and Coho met at McKenzie High School in the mid-60’s, but the military was calling. His first tour was in Viet Nam with the Army Airborne Infantry. Before rejoining the Army Mechanized Infantry, Ron spent seven years as an owner of a Budweiser distributorship. During his second tour he joined the Army Marksmanship Unit and became a specialist/instructor in pistols and rifles. It was also in 1993 that he was finally able to marry his sweetheart Coho (who was now back from her job in the Virgin Islands).

In 2005, they purchased an old saw mill and began to create their vision: the U.S Cavalry and American Indian Museum. They officially opened in 2010, and have been enlightening people every Thursday – Sunday – 11 – 5 pm. (91160 Yeager Road, Milepost 42, Blue River).

The collection is amazing, and I can guarantee you that you will not leave the same! The Museum is, indeed, a McKenzie hidden treasure; and should be experienced by high school history classes, and the old and young alike! Come a stranger to this home, but leave as a friend. (Ron at 602-619-9599).


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