State funding secured for veterans museum

LANSING — Rep. Beau LaFave said Tuesday state assistance for a facility honoring the Upper Peninsula’s veterans in Escanaba has been secured.

LaFave said he played a key role in securing $500,000 for a building that will house the Upper Peninsula Veterans Museum, along with exhibits detailing outdoor life, the Iron Belle Trail, and Native American heritage past and present. The facility is planned for the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds in Escanaba.

“This is a fantastic project honoring our culture and our history — including the heroes who made incredible sacrifices so we can live in the most prosperous and free country God has ever allowed to exist,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “I can’t wait to see this facility progress. It will be a treasure at the U.P. State Fairgrounds, both during the fair week and the other 51 weeks of the year.”

The building will honor the memory of John and Melissa Besse. Their foundation committed a $1 million gift for construction of the building, which also will include the Webster Marble Creating the Outdoors Exhibit, the Welcome Center on the Iron Belle Trail, and the Delta County Commerce Center.