Allison-Antrim Museum 

                                     Greencastle, PA

ENTER      Last update: April 13, 2014



Allison-Antrim Museum is tucked into the residential community on South Ridge Avenue across from the Greencastle-Antrim Middle School, and for this reason it is somewhat camouflaged to the
passersby.  Inside its front door though, lies a gem where one may discover Greencastle-Antrim's Heritage. 

Admission is free, so it makes the perfect family destination during these difficult economic times.  It's located directly across from the GA School District campus and provides opportunities for students at all grade levels with educational field trips.  The Pennsylvania Department of Tourism has designated Allison-Antrim Museum an official site on the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails of History.

Museum Hours:
● Weekdays 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm
● Any other time by appointment
● Visit Website for special weekend events and dates. 
● Groups welcome, reservations required.
Handicap information

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Contact Information:
365 South Ridge Avenue
Greencastle, PA 17225
Email  Directions 

Membership Information

Note: For those looking for
Antrim, PA,
click here.

Please Help Support The Museum

Allison-Antrim Museum is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

PayPal will allow you to use your credit card or PayPal to make a donation. .

Mission Statement
Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc. will serve as an educational resource and develop partnerships for and with the Greencastle-Antrim School District and other educational institutions enhancing the study of local and regional history, including: social/cultural/political development; military history; and history of industry/commerce/agriculture. Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc. is dedicated to upholding the professional and educational standards as set forth by the American Alliance of Museums.

Civil War Letters and Transcriptions and Soldier's Stories
One hundred and fifty years ago on August 4, 1862 President Lincoln issued a request for 300,000 additional troops from the Northern states to step forward and serve the Union in the American Civil War.  The men of Franklin County answered that call by enlisting in nine-month regiments.  Some of the letters written by two men, George Frederick Ziegler I from Greencastle and Samuel W. North from the Mercersburg area were kept by several generations of each family.   The Ziegler letters were donated to Allison-Antrim Museum by the late David O. Nicodemus and his son John in 2004.  David married Anne Ziegler, granddaughter of G. Fred Ziegler I.  The North letters were acquired by the former Greencastle Civil War Round Table, which donated its full collection to Allison-Antrim Museum on July 9, 2003.  A third soldier from this area was Joseph A. Davison, Antrim Township, who enlisted for three years after President Lincoln’s April 1861 call for 75,000 volunteers, after the fall of Fort Sumter.  The Davison family still has Joseph’s Civil War letters but has been generous enough to share them with the museum. 

Underground Railroad
The 1858 and 1868 Antrim Township maps show M. (Moses) Anderson (eldest son of Timothy) on Ridge Road.  On the 1868 map an additional site off of Route 11 south of Greencastle is indicated, where the Anderson family owned a lumber mill. It was here that the Andersons employed former slaves.  If the Andersons employed escaped slaves and, post-war, freed slaves, then perhaps they did more than just employ fugitives.  In September 2009, a book written in 1897 by Rev. Dr. Matthew Anderson entitled Presbyterianism: Its Relation to the Negro was discovered to exist.  Part One was about the establishment of the Berean Presbyterian Church in northwest Philadelphia for African Americans.  Part Two…was his autobiography, where Matthew wrote, “Among the earliest impressions made upon our childish mind were the tales of horror about the South told by the fleeing fugitive as he lay in the secret enclosure of my father’s house where he was concealed.”  There it was, a primary source, a firsthand account of his father’s participation in the UGRR.

April Exhibit
Allison-Antrim Museum’s rotating exhibit, in the South Exhibit Bay in the German bank barn, during April, will remember the life of Maria Elizabeth Ziegler.  The exhibit will include her personal items, which were lovingly kept by her father George W. Ziegler, in the little red leather trunk.  The portraits of her mother and father, along with the daguerreotypes of family members, will also be displayed.   Visitors will also learn about some of the mourning customs of the era.  The exhibit will open April 2 and close on April 29.

April 10, Speaker Meeting
The history of the Greencastle Police Department will be presented over the past 137 years, along with the history of law enforcement. Officer Ben Thomas, Jr. will present a PowerPoint presentation of photographs, research, municipal minutes, and newspaper articles that date back to 1877. Displays will include former police uniforms, badges, and a modern police vehicle.

Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc. will hold its second family movie event “Night at the Museum” on Friday, April 11 in the restored German bank barn at 365 South Ridge Avenue, Greencastle, PA, beginning at 7 p.m., with a showing of “Night at the Museum Battle of the Smithsonian,” which has a PG rating. Watch history actually come alive in this hilarious comedy starring Ben Stiller. See Theodore Roosevelt as a Rough Rider and Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Do you know what the first mammal was that flew into space? Meet Albert, a rhesus macaque monkey, the first mammal, who flew into space in 1948, in a V2 rocket. The event is FREE! Popcorn and bottled water will be available for purchase at 25 cents a serving. The barn is heated and folding chairs are provided. If you choose, please feel free to bring a pillow for the chair.

The movie script supposedly takes place behind-the-scenes in one of the many storage facilities of the Smithsonian and on April 11, parents and children will get a behind-the-scenes tour of Allison-Antrim Museum's storage bays, between 6:30 pm and 7 pm.

May 8, Speaker Meeting
Bob O'Connor, local author and historian who lives in Charles Town, WV will talk about his favorite baseball player, Nellie Fox.  more

May 4, Sunday
Tea in the Barn

June 14, Saturday
Civil War Speakers and Pulled Pork BBQ

July 10, Speaker Meeting

September 11, Speaker Meeting

September 27, Saturday
Fall Harvest Fundraiser Dinner

October 9, Speaker Meeting

November 1, Saturday
Green Grove Gardens Civil War

November, Speaker Meeting

December 5, Friday
Heritage Christmas Open House and Garden Smiths

Ulsterscots of Cumberland Valley
History and Genealogy Resources by Gordon Crooks
Go to Ulsterscots

(opens in new window)

History of Museum Property
Alexander L. Irwin bought 14 acres and 76 perches of land from Jacob Stover May 3, 1860. This piece of land was part of the original tract of land belonging to John Allison that is now known as the Tayamentasachta Environmental Center. The 1860 county tax records indicate that Irwin built the house, that is now Allison-Antrim Museum, in that same year.  The Irwin family owned "Walnut Hill" for 73 years, from May 1860 until the death of Sarah Annie, his last surviving child, in December 1933. The two youngest daughters, Sarah Annie and Margaret Belle, never married. Upon the death of Sarah Annie the property was willed to the United Presbyterian Church of North America in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  We surmise that the property, while under the 2 1/2-year ownership of the church, was rented. The church then sold it to Cletus L. and Maude C. Zimmerman in September 1936. The Zimmerman's owned the property until 1988 when they sold it to the May's. Allison-Antrim Museum then bought the property in April 1998.

(use back-arrow to return to this page)

The Barn
When the long-range plan for AAMI was developed in 1999, one of the objectives was to provide the proper storage environment with climate control for the museum’s collections, which would be built according to archival standards.  The primary action plan to fulfill that goal was to build a separate curatorial storage facility.

Some of the considerations included in the concept were maintaining the historic integrity of the property, the aesthetics of placing another building in proximity to the 1860 house, and the stated purpose of AAMI which is to preserve, exhibit, and interpret, items that will serve to illustrate the history of the Borough of Greencastle and Antrim Township.

The barn itself is an exhibit and the upper level provides exhibit, meeting and workshop areas. The lower level has storage for the collections.

The addition of the barn facility allows Allison-Antrim Museum to expand its programs and become more of an integral part of the Greencastle-Antrim community by strengthening its partnership with the school district and helping to increase the economic vitality of the area.