January 2002, Volume 5, Issue 1
From the President's Desk
Each month as I place the exhibits at the museum, I marvel at each artifact, textile, or archive that I handle. I think about the people who owned the pieces, made them, or wrote them. As a collector of antiques, I've realized, for me, that the important part of collecting is the feeling of comfort and security that I sense when I'm around antiques. It's akin to the warm feeling I get when I put on an old pair of slippers or an oversized bathrobe. Although the psychological and physiological shock every American was unwillingly thrown into on September 11 seems to be subsiding, what has taken its place is an even greater search or yearning for comfort and security than before September 11 and wishing for things to be the same as they were.
One of the things I collect is antique linens - napkins and handkerchiefs. Many find the ironing of such pieces drudgery. But for me, the time it takes to care for linen, from washing to ironing, is a time of peacefulness. Linen, like a fine wine, improves with age becoming softer and its fibers become more lustrous. Being able to touch and feel the fiber, working with it to straighten the edges, and bring it back to its original form - crisp and wrinkle free - gives me much satisfaction. Why? These articles have survived for a very long time because of the strength of the flax fiber. Several generations of ladies, I, being the most recent, have cared for these items over the many years since they were made. There is continuity, and in continuity there is comfort.
The artifacts, textiles, and archives safeguarded by museums and those in your care are proof that there is continuity; life goes on. Society endures. There is comfort and security in this realization. Allison-Antrim Museum is a place to which anyone can come when he/she might be in search of some extra comfort and security. Although you cannot physically touch the exhibits, just being in their presence has a calming effect. For however long you want to spend, you can briefly return to the way things used to be, until we all adjust to our new normal way of life as we enter 2002.
J.E.B. Stuart Raid Commemoration
A committee has been formed, in conjunction with the Mercersburg Historical Society, to commemorate the 140th anniversary of J.E.B. Stuart's raid through Mercersburg. The event will be held October 12 and 13, 2002 and will include a Civil War Round Table, town reenactment with cavalry and cannons, Civil War Ball, and black-powder skirmishes on a nearby farm.
In addition to the above activities, the Historical Society is also printing a beautifully illustrated "Memorial Roll Call". Anyone in the greater Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia states who had an ancestor who fought in either the Union or Confederate Armies, are invited and asked to submit their ancestor's name, company affiliation, and which Army to the Society. It does not matter whether you are a native of this area or if you have moved into the area, your Civil War ancestor's name is eligible for the "Memorial Roll Call". Those listed on the "Roll Call" will be honored with a "black-powder salute on the "battlefield".
Send names to Betty Stenger, Stuart Raid Commemoration, P.O. Box 202, Mercersburg, Pennsylvaniam 17236 or submit the name(s) online at www.pathsofthecivilwar.com. All names must be received by May 30, 2002 to be included on the "Memorial Roll Call". For more information or if you have questions write to the above address or check out the above Web site.
Franklin County Museum and Historical Organization Task Force
One representative from seven museum and historical organizations in Franklin County met on November 1, 2001 to begin the process of establishing objectives that will help reach the goal of collectively promoting our organizations. This, in turn, will bring visitors from outside Franklin County through our doors.
After presenting the first six voted upon objectives to their respective boards and getting feedback, the committee will meet again in January or February.
We will keep you updated on the progress.
Enclosed with this mailing is a self-addressed stamped postcard. Listed on the card are areas in which Allison-Antrim museum can use your help. Please look the list over and check as many of the areas in which you are interested in volunteering and return the postcard by January 15.
The board is still working on establishing guidelines, such as the minimum number of hours per year, which will qualify our members for volunteer recognition. The board is also taking under consideration what form the "thank you" will take - a bus trip, dinner, or something else.
Every museum relies on its volunteers for existence. Volunteers are the backbone of their success.
'Thank You' to…
January: On Sunday, January 13 and Thursday, January 17, pewter ware from the collections of Joe Henson and Al Bonnell will be on display. The museum is coordinating this exhibit with the guest speaker's presentation for the monthly meeting on January 10. Tom Steiger, Mercersburg will talk about "Pewter in America, 1750 - 1850". Those present for the meeting are welcome to bring pieces for assessment by Steiger.
February: Antique inkwells, and writing instruments will be the featured exhibit during February's open houses on Thursday, February 7 and Sunday, February 10. The exhibit will include ceramic ink wells from the collection of Doug Stine of Waynesboro; glass inkwells belonging to Al Bonnell, Greencastle; inkwells from the mid to late 1800's and fountain pens from the early 20th century from the collection of Joe Henson; and pieces belonging to Shirley Baker and Bonnie Shockey.
Dip pens were used everyday until the late 1800's when fountain pens became widely available. Except for the pre-printed parts, the writers of all the script on the documents in the dining room would have used a dip pen - either quill or steel nib.
Visit this exhibit and try your hand at writing with a quill or dip pen. How many times do you have to dip the pen to finish writing a sentence? You'll experience what it was like during a much slower-paced daily lifestyle - pre-computer, pre-typewriter, pre-fountain pen.
Calendar of Events
Thursday, January 10, 7 p.m. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church: Tom Steiger, Mercersburg will speak about "Pewter in America, 1750 - 1850.
Sunday, January 13, 1 - 4 p.m. and Thursday, January 17, noon - 3 p.m.: Open House, Pewter ware from the collection of Joe Henson.
Thursday, February 7, noon - 3 p.m. and Sunday, February 10, 1 - 4 p.m.: Antique ceramic and glass inkwells; mid to late 1800's inkwells and fountain pens from the early 20th century.
Thursday, February 14, 7 p.m. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church: Jerry Holsworth's presentation will be "Washington and Lincoln - The Indispensable Men"
Thursday, March 7, noon - 3 p.m. and Sunday, March 10, 1 - 4 p.m.: Open Houses,
Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church: John Schildt will present the topic "The German Brethren - the Dunkards and Other Brethren"
Have You Seen…
from where the many distant visitors came to stay overnight in Greencastle during 1865 and 1899?
The answer to November's "Have You Seen…" is a liturgical book printed in London, England in 1630. The name Henry Pawling is printed on the inside cover. The first Henry Pawling to arrive in the Colonies about 1670 from Padbury, Buckinghamshire, England brought this book of liturgy with him. He died between 1691 - 1695 in Marbletown, Ulster County, New York.
This book was cherished and passed down through the generations of Pawlings. There were a number of Henry Pawlings, the most notable to Greencastle-Antrim being the Henry Pawling who entered our area before the Mason-Dixon Line was established. This Henry, by 1750, had built a log tavern at the intersection of today's northeastern quadrant of Williamsport Pike and Milnor Road. It was an important resting-place for travelers going north or south and was the last tavern along a pack trail that joined other trails going to western Pennsylvania.
A gift from Claude I. Coffey, Vivian Coffey Scull, Helen Coffey Donaldson, William, Edward, and Brian Donaldson, descendents of Henry Pawling
Seven copies of the book "From Terror to Freedom" written by William P. Conrad are available for sale at the cost of $40 each on a first come-first served basis. Allison-Antrim Museum thanks Michael Conrad, son of William and Pearl Conrad for the generous gift. Call the museum at 597-9010 and leave a message to reserve your copy.
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