Museum founder David Wright was the son of a WWI veteran who himself served in the U.S. Marines during the Korean War. Since he was too young to serve in WWII, his recollections of the event were of his home front experiences growing up near Worcester, Mass.
Wright was an avid collector of WWII vintage vehicles, which he collected and restored over many years. He continued until he had over 50 vehicles, all totally restored and fully operational. By 1983 the E. Stanley Wright Museum Foundation, Inc. was established in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
Originally, the Museum was essentially a mobile exhibition, which Wright made available to communities around the Northeast for parades and military functions at venues such as the Roosevelt Museum and West Point.
While his collection was - and continues to be - impressive, Wright believed that it was imperative to tell the whole story of Americans' contribution to the war effort. As he began to develop plans for a permanent museum, Wright felt it necessary to document the great achievements of Americans on the home front, since it was their commitment to the war effort that played such a crucial role in the Allied victory.
In 1992 David Wright purchased an 8-acre parcel adjacent to Wolfeboro's Smith River, the former site of the Diamond National sawmill. On July 16, 1994 the doors opened to the museum's first visitors.
Since then, nearly 200,000 people have visited the Wright Museum. Some visit out of curiosity after having seen the M3A1 Stuart tank protruding from the building's facade. What they find inside conjures memories for visitors of a certain age. For families visiting the Wright Museum, its exhibits often spur conversations across the generations, allowing parents, grandparents, and children to contemplate the achievements of the Greatest Generation.
In short, the Wright Museum illustrates the extraordinary efforts made by ordinary people living at a time when the future of the free world lay in the balance. Americans of all ages and all strata of society pulled together and did their part.