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Civil War Life Museum Store to Close

The Civil War Life Museum closed last year because of the economy. Now, owner Terry Thomann can't afford to keep the gift shop open, either. He will close shop at the end of November.

Terry Thomann's Civil War Life Museum Store will close at the end of November.

Thomann moved the museum and store to 829 Caroline St. in downtown Fredericksburg 2 1/2 years ago from a spot near the Visitor's Center in Massaponax.

He closed the museum last year and expanded the gift shop and wet-plate photography studio areas, but neither have been enough lately to cover the lease for the building.

"The economy and the price of gas is just killing business," he said. "We don’t get the number of tourists that we used to, and the ones that we do get don’t spend the amount that they used to."

Thomann has already packed away some of his prized artifacts, such as an engraved Revolver that belonged to a colonel from the 5th New Hampshire that attacked near Marye's Heights.

"That's a major historic artifact," Thomann said at his store Sunday afternoon. He also showcased Civil War sewing kits, eating utensils, clay pipes, Civil War band instruments and a complete surgeon's amputation kit.

The wet-studio photography has been a successful side business, Thomann said, so he plans to continue a mobile version of the studio for reenactments and other events.

"I am looking forward to semi-retirement and focusing more on the photography," he said.

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