Museum named after NKU professor

Over 300 people from the Tri-state and beyond came to the Fort Wright Battery Hooper site Aug. 20 to witness the dedication of the museum and park to Dr. James A. Ramage. Ramage is a historian, teacher and an author specializing in Civil War studies.

He has been a full-time faculty member at Northern Kentucky University since 1972.

“The museum was being called The City of Fort Wright Battery Hooper Site Museum,” Ramage said. “Then Larry Klein, the City Administrator, called and said he wanted to come see me in my office…he’d never been to my office before so I assumed we had a major problem. He came in and said: ‘The mayor and city council want to name the museum after you.’ I thought we already had a name and I never expected anything to be named after me,” Ramage said. “It was overwhelming.”

NKU President James Votruba, who is also a friend of Ramage, said, “It was appropriate that the museum be named after professor Ramage, one of our most distinguished faculty members and a noted Civil War historian. He reflects the finest qualities of an academic.”

The museum has four major rooms. One displays mostly donated artifacts and items from the Civil War.

Another room is an observation of the history of Fort Wright. The third room is a timeline of the Civil War. And the last room is a model 1960s kitchen set up to honor the Storer family.

“We are doing pretty well,” said Linda Hornsby, a volunteer for the museum, “considering we just opened and we’ve had at least 600 visitors and there were at least 300 people here on the weekend of the dedication.”

The site was also recently featured in Smithsonian Magazine.

The property on which the museum was erected was donated to NKU by Fern Storer to create a scholarship in her and her husband’s name.

President Votruba said the sixteen acres, which includes the Storer house and a Union Civil War battery site, was sold to the city of Fort Wright for $790,000 in 2003 to create a park and museum, and to fund the Storer’s scholarship. Once a grant was approved, Ramage and his students began to work with Fort Wright to gather Civil War artifacts, to excavate, research and restore the battery.

“Being able to preserve these acres so close to the highway is just wonderful,” Ramage said. The museum is located on Highland Avenue. .

“I am so honored to have this museum named after me,” Ramage said. “It represents the bravery of the soldiers in the Civil War and it is a model of cooperation.”