History of the Museum

  

In 2002, the Brooke County Library Foundation was given a collection of documents by Sargent Edward Jackfert, USAF of Wellsburg, West Virginia. These documents included narratives on his experiences as a soldier in the Philippines and prisoner of war of Imperial Japan. They were displayed as a special collection in the Brooke County Public Library. As word about Sgt. Jackfert's donation spread through the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society and beyond, other members of the units surrendered by General Wainwright began to send their artifacts to the museum. Two noteworthy contributors during this time period were Abie Abraham of Butler, Pennsylvania and Joseph Vater, Sr. of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. 


By 2009, the collection had grown so large that the Brooke County Library Foundation decided to convert the special collection into an independent museum from the library that would operate under their leadership. Thus, the National American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor (ADBC) Museum, Education and Research Center was opened.


Over the years, the museum has received generous support from individual donors, regional foundations, domestic and Japanese corporations, fraternal organizations, and the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society. Additionally, the museum has been awarded numerous state grants.


In 2017, after a year-long fundraising effort by the Brooke County Library Foundation, construction began on a 4,500 square feet museum expansion. It was completed in April 2018 and dedicated on May 5, 2018 in conjunction with its annual Death March Reenactment. 


The Brooke County Library Foundation's Board of Directors as of February 2019 are:

  • Richard Lizza, President
  • John Meriwether
  • Dave Hubbard
  • Mary Kay Wallace
  • George Wallace
  • Joseph Vater, Jr.
  • Ann Paull
  • Edward Jackfert (Director Emeritus)
  • James S. Brockman, Curator (Ex-officio) 

ADBC Museum, Education & Research Center
ADBC Museum, Education & Research Center