The Guard House Museum welcomes visitors from all over to the historic Augusta University Summerville Campus.
Established in 2004, the museum has served the community as a history headquarters. Visitors can explore the historic Summerville Campus, where Augusta's U.S. Arsenal operated for more than 125 years. Visitors will learn the story of Augusta University, and its many legacy institutions, including the Medical College of Georgia and Richmond Academy.
The history of the surrounding Sand Hills and Summerville historic districts is told through a timeline exhibition spanning more than 200 years of higher education and development in the city of Augusta.
The museum reopened on October 20, 2022, and will serves as a welcome center for visitors wishing to explore the history walk that circles the Summerville Campus. Please plan to visit the museum during our opening hours and special events to learn more about Augusta University's rich history.
The museum operating hours will be from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. Guided tours are available upon appointment.
Guard House Museum
The United States Army Arsenal Guard House was built in 1866 at the entrance to the U.S. Arsenal grounds, located at the corner of Walton Way and Katherine Street. The building served U.S. troops and functioned as security headquarters during the Reconstruction era (1866-1877). The building eventually fell into disuse and disrepair after becoming part of the university's grounds. In 2003, the Guard House was restored thanks to a campaign by Summerville residents and university faculty and staff who wanted to restore the building and establish a History Walk. This was made possible through a generous gift from Ann Boardman in honor of her son-in-law Maxcy Paul Brown, as well as a grant from the state of Georgia. The restoration effort won a preservation award from Historic Augusta.
Please park in the visitor parking area behind Washington Hall. Additionally, there is often parking on Katherine Street available. The Museum is located behind Galloway Hall on the History Walk.
The Augusta University Guard House Museum is located in one of the oldest buildings on the Summerville campus, the U.S. Arsenal Guard House. The Guard House, built in 1866 during post-civil war reconstruction, was used by security guards working at the arsenal, guarding the entrance to the facility. The U.S. Arsenal was built in Augusta in 1819, and moved to the Summerville area in 1826, after a terrible yellow fever epidemic.
The Main Gallery Exhibition highlights archeological finds from past excavations on the Summerville campus. These artifacts are complimented by historic collections integral to the story of the Arsenal and the establishment of Augusta University’s legacy institutions, Richmond Academy and the Medical College of Georgia. The Re-opening of the Guard House Museum in 2022 launches a new exhibition made possible through the hard work and dedication of committee members, Dr. Lee Ann Caldwell, Dr. Karla Leeper and Dean Kim Davies, in addition to Nancy Glaser, Director of the Augusta History Museum. A new timeline exhibition focuses upon the birth of the United States of America followed by a pivotal visit from George Washington himself. The forefather and first president of our nation observed examinations at Richmond Academy and decided upon Augusta as the locale for the U.S. Arsenal during his visit. What follows is the story of how Augusta grew and developed into a military and educational powerhouse, home to Augusta University.
The Galt Family: Life at the Augusta Arsenal in the Middle-Nineteenth Century, opened Thursday, March 23, 12-2:30 p.m and was followed by Special Presentation at 2:30pm in the Science Hall, Room W1002.
Dr. Jennifer Trunzo will gave a special presentation on the lives and experiences of the Galt faily, the first family to occupy the building we know as Bellevue Hall and the longest documented occupants of the Augusta Arsenal. Click here to enjoy the presentation recording.
Jaguar Journeys: The Rise of the Jaguar, opened on Thursday, October 20, 4-6 p.m. Jaguar Journeys is a three-part exhibition series celebrating the rise of the Jaguar Nation, Augusta University’s students and graduates, from the legacy institutions that came before. The Rise of the Jaguar will follow Augusta University students through history, focusing on Augusta Junior College’s move to the Arsenal property in 1956 and the subsequent name changes and achievements collected along the way.
Following this Fall 2022 exhibition, two additional exhibitions in the series: Jaguar Trailblazers, and Jaguars United, will be developed, in part, by Museum Studies students as they work towards acquiring their certificates in museum studies.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the museum and becoming a Friend of the Museum!
Kim Davies, PhD
Ruth McClelland-Nugent, PhD
Jennifer Trunzo, PhD
Melissa DeVelvis, PhD
David Bulla, PhD
Stefane Raulerson, EdD
Lee Ann Caldwell
William Hatcher, PhD
Mike Kessler, PhD