Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum
23 E. Downer Place, Aurora
Aurora’s GAR Memorial Hall, Post 20, was built in 1877-78 and funded entirely by local residents as a tribute to the town’s Civil War veterans. When Aurora’s last Civil War veteran died in 1947, the building was turned over to the Grand Army of the Republic Association, which operated it as a museum until 2001, when the building was closed because of safety concerns. Since then, the City of Aurora has spent $2.8 million in local funding, as well as $700,000 in grants to stabilize the building and restore the main floor and exhibit hall of the museum. The GAR hall reopened May 30, 2016 and features a dozen educational and informational exhibits on the history of the Civil War, the men and women who joined the battle, the growth of Aurora, the role of women and immigrants in society, and on the formation and importance of the GAR on both a local and national level. The museum hosts school groups, visitors to Aurora and community members.