Last update: April 13, 2015
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
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.
12:00 noon - 4:00 pm
● Any other time by appointment
● Visit Website for special weekend events and dates.
● Groups welcome,
Calendar of Events
5th Annual Spring Garden Tour
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365 South Ridge Avenue
Greencastle, PA 17225
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.
will allow you to use your credit card or PayPal to make a donation. .
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
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.
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.
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.
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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.