MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) — The Mound Cold War Discovery Center in Miamisburg walks visitors through the work done in our own backyard during the Cold War.
The museum is free to visit but it’s in danger of running out of money in the next two years.
“A lot of people here in Miamisburg have no idea this is here,” says April Hauser, the Site Property Manager at Mound Business Park. “The Mound Lab was secret. It was top secret. It wasn’t discussed with anyone.”
From 1948 to 2003, The Mound Laboratory was so secretive, decades later some people still don’t know about it.
“Now that it’s unclassified and we’re talking about it, people still don’t realize that it was right here,” states Hauser.
History is now housed and on display in the very location where it all took place.
“Our father was part of the Dayton Project,” says Linda Taulbee, who’s lived in the area her entire life.
She paid a visit to the center along with her sister and brother-in-law.
“We’re pretty proud of what we know. He couldn’t tell us a lot when he was working here. Actually, he couldn’t tell us anything,” laughs Taulbee.
“He would bring home a wooden box with a handle on it, put it in the bathroom under the sink, take it back on Monday,” describes Taulbee. “He did work with the polonium, and they were just so safety conscious here.”
On the site of the former Mound Laboratory complex, the museum celebrates the work of the Nuclear Age while also detailing untold accomplishments and even unveiling the tale of a spy.
From mementos to artifacts, within the walls are the Mound’s contributions to science.
Jaclyn Miller is the Site and Project Manager for the Mound Cold War Discovery Center.
“There are still Mound employees that are living and willing to tell us their stories,” says Miller.
To keep sharing those stories, they’ve created a task force because the center’s funding will run out in September 2025.
“Currently the discovery center is funded by the Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management,” states Miller.
“There was a set time period for them to become self-sustainable, and through free admission and stuff, that just hasn’t happened,” says Hauser. “We are working through donations, through grants, other funding sources and also trying to get the public involved.”
“We also have a scholarship program that Mound Development Corporation has created. And what we want to do with that scholarship program is basically invite students and school groups to come and participate in the education programs here,” states Hauser, as they work on ideas to secure funding.
Giving visitors a tour through time, they’re now working on ways to preserve the past into the future.
“I think this is just an important part of Dayton’s story,” says Taulbee.
The Mound Cold War Discovery Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. They also offer guided tours and educational program for a small fee.