2017 Exhibits

New for the year:

Exhibit Room 1

Flax: Field to Fabric

Outside – Blue flax plants, sprouted from eatable golden flax seeds.

South Wall – various handmade wooden tools used to process flax plant fibers into yarn or thread. Flax brake, scutching board & knife, hatchel/hackle, clock reel & spinning wheel complete with 3 bobbin options.

West Wall – rug loom, not quite the same as those used to weave cloth but principle is the same. Lengthwise threads on loom are warp, weft threads woven in at right angle with shuttle.

Additional spinning wheels, missing some parts.

North Wall – pages of Williamsburg magazine article about flax and hemp in colonial USA.

Also contract for new business retailing flax threshing machines by original owner of Woodward Inn

Linen duster, ours is a women’s but men wore them too. Child’s simple dress made with homespun fabric.

East Wall – cupboard contains homespun household items, all homespun fabrics but a mix of linen & cotton

Early Singer sewing machine, like hand weaving, painstaking hand sewing gave way to machines when Isaac Singer produced the first commercially successful machines, early-1850s.


Exhibit Room 2

Christmas of Yesteryear

South Wall – corner, rare German feather tree with Czechoslovakian ornaments, 1890. Glass case & tree, antique & handmade ornaments from Musser/ Gramley family, late 1800 & early 1900s. Note Christmas cards on south window, early 1900s..

West Wall – section of 2-story staircase salvaged from Keene Farmhouse, carefully disassembled and numbered by Harry Ward. Painstakingly cleaned and repainted by Ralph & Kay Gray, then reassembled by Harry Ward & Sam Yoder.

Antique gramophone wound with hand crank (missing) manufactured by Victor Talking Machine Co., 1911.

North Wall – newly acquired fireplace mantel with andirons & logs

East Wall – rockers by Bollinger and Jesse Mauck, local chair-makers, 1826 – 64

Doll under glass dome by German Schoenhut doll makers (191), wooden w/metal joints, porcelain face restored by dollologist


Alcove Exhibit

Hats by Hess

South Wall – copies of portraits of some Hess family members, generously shared by  Boalsburg Heritage Museum.

Also note fracktur/birth & baptismal certificate, Suzanne Hess (niece of hatter John Hess.)

West Wall – Sample of receipts found in John Hess Estate. Notable quotes highlighted in smaller frame on right

East Wall – table, examples of type of hats made by John Hess in workshop west of house. Bowler hat form in case used by Hess (1800 – early 1900s), also small booklet with instructions and recipes relevant to art of hat making. Top of case is top hat made by Adam Hess for A.M. Biddle wedding, 1845 (on loan from Centre Co. Library & Historical Museum.)

See interesting tidbits in frames on wall regarding hat making in general

North Wall – on floor, Watson Fort bell recently acquired in trade-deal with Penns Valley Area School District, formerly used as roving prize for soccer games


Stairway Portraits

Daniel Musser (1822-1888)

Maryjane Belle Musser Sturgis (died 1883 at age 23)

Bessie Sturgis, Maryjane’s daughter (age 3 at time of mother’s death)

Bessie Sturgis Gramley – as adult

S.Ward Gramley – husband of Bessie Sturgis

Samuel & Titus Gramley – grandfather & father of Ward

June Goyne Corotto – family connections & miniature photograph at age 3

Oil painting by June’s mother, Lucille (1925)


Second Floor

Ruth C. Rudy Foyer

Memorabilia from Mrs. Rudy’s 14-year service as Representative of 171st district in General Assembly & other political activities.

Note family photographs and fraktur of Mrs. Rudy’s parents’ marriage certificate, world map with push pins marking all locations visited by the Rudy’s.


Exhibit Room 3

The Aaronsburg Story

Expanded exhibit of photographs, programs, books, music, articles, 1949 pageant stage plan, newspaper pages, & other memorabilia from the original Aaronsburg story of October 23, 1949

Round Table – Booklets about the Aaronsburg Story available for donation, please

  1. Essay by Robert Weible
  2. Narrative by Maryann Yoder

Right Corner of Room – Clothes & photographs from 1949 event.

North Wall & Table – Map of Aaronsburg, Aaronsburg Story slide presentation & quotes from famous people who attended original 1949 event, follow-up event in 1953. Also pages from the 1949 Millheim Journal

West Wall – original shields from 1949 event. Table, articles and newspaper clippings about “perpetuation” of the story and formation of The Aaronsburg Story, Inc., erection of historical marker in 1997

South Wall – glass case, programs from The Story events since 1949

Table, photographs of Aaron & Rachael Levy, pewter communion set, article reporting rediscovery of ‘lost’ communion set in the Salem Lutheran Church building & other memorabilia from Aaronsburg and its story.


Genealogy Room

Genealogy records, books & papers

High school yearbooks, family & school pictures

Cemetery records

All available for research

New microfilm reader for old Millheim Journals containing local history and obituaries



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