Construction continues at Muncy Heritage Park, located in Muncy Creek Township, Lycoming County. Plans were developed through the SEDA-COG Community Resource Center (CRC). An access road, parking area, and pavilion are being constructed, in addition to a trail linking the parking area with the pavilion, bridge, fishing platform and wildlife observation blind.
Known as the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail, it is a project of the Muncy Historical Society and Muncy Creek Township, based on the master site plan prepared by the SEDA-COG CRC. Funding assistance has been provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
According to Bill Poulton, president of the Historical Society, “This has been a shared vision for the past five years, but soon we are hoping to move earth and create park access. Instead of parking in a soggy pasture, soon visitors to the park will have a handicap-accessible parking lot and marked trails. They’ll be able to meander through the park and learn about the local wildlife, birds and trees, as well as the history of the West Branch Canal and how a canal lock works.”
Over 170 years ago, two locks of the Pennsylvania Canal were located on the 11-acre site of the Park. Archaeological research has also uncovered the foundation of the lock-tender’s house, i.e., the individual responsible for opening the closing the locks for boats on the canal.
Plans for the new timber-frame pavilion are patterned on construction techniques one might have experienced during the peak of the Pennsylvania Canal era.
Brian Auman, a landscape architect with the CRC, sees the project as something more than a community park. “This park gives you a glimpse into the past in a beautiful natural setting,” he said, “and the Muncy Heritage Park hopes to one day link with the Williamsport River Walk and the West Branch Water Trail.” SEDA-COG is the Regional lead Organization for the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership’s Middle Susquehanna Region.
Muncy Historical Society
American Civil War
2011 Calendar of Events
Check time & location details at http://www.MuncyHistoricalSociety.org or call 570.546.5917. All activities and events are open to the public. Unless noted, there is no admission fee; parking is always free. Join the presenters and event volunteers in period costumes if you desire!
PA Civil War 150, the state’s official program commemorating the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, 2011-2015, was launched on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 in Harrisburg.
The Honorable Tom Corbett, Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, greeted stakeholders and guests in the main hall of the Capital. PA Civil War 150 is governed by a statewide alliance of history, arts and cultural organizations including the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Pennsylvania Heritage Society, the Senator John Heinz History Center and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania along with partner organizations across the state.
The Muncy Historical Society is proud to be a sponsor of high-quality programming during 2011, in this, the first year of commemoration.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The opening event of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration was the arrival of
Civil War Gen. John Fulton Reynolds.
Reynolds was born in Lancaster, PA in 1820. He graduated from West Point in 1841. His career in the Regular Army included service in the Mexican War in which he received two brevet promotions for gallantry and meritorious conduct; service in the Utah Expedition and various campaigns against the Indians. In 1860 he was appointed commandant of cadets and instructor of tactics at West Point, where he served until the outbreak of the Civil War.
In June 1862 Reynolds served as military governor of Fredericksburg, VA. After the battle of Gaines Mill he was captured by Confederates and was later exchanged. He commanded the PA Reserve Division at Second Manassas and led the PA militia during the Maryland Campaign. Promoted to major general, he commanded the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. The day before the Battle of Gettysburg, General Meade placed Reynolds in command of the three corps which formed the left wing of the army. On July 1, 1863, Gettysburg, Reynolds came to the aid of General Buford’s cavalry, urging his men to advance on the persistent Confederate forces. Major General Reynolds, one of the most respected, courageous and most competent Union officers was struck in the neck by a mini ball and died instantly.
Michael A. Riley has become one of the country’s foremost authorities on General Reynolds and his book, “For God’s Sake, Forward!” is considered required reading for Civil War enthusiasts and fans of its officers. He served as historical consultant and actor’s double for Ron Maxwell’s Civil War movie epic, “Gettysburg,” and also appeared in “Gettysburg: Boys in Blue and Gray.” He is president of the Confederation of Union Generals, a group of historical interpreters dedicated to education, commemoration and preservation.
Malcolm Barlow, a presentation attendee, had this to say: “The Historical Society’s Civil War commemoration got off to a wonderful start with the General Reynolds living history presentation… an informative, balanced, and entertaining experience.”
John Deppen’s first-person dramatic portrayal of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock was the second collaborative event for the Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
Deppen, who has portrayed Hancock since 1997, focused on the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, and the critical decisions made by Hancock on each of the three days that contributed to Union victory. Known to his colleagues as “Hancock the Superb,” a title attributed to him by General George McClellan, he was noted in particular for his personal leadership at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.
After his friend, Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds, was killed early on July 1, Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, the new commander of the Army of the Potomac, sent Hancock ahead to take command of the units on the field and assess the situation. Hancock thus was in temporary command of the “left wing” of the army. Details of Hancock’s momentous life and military career will be disclosed. Hancock’s 2nd Army Corps received and repulsed Pickett’s direct assault on the third day of the battle during which Hancock was seriously wounded. His wound was a severe injury caused by a bullet striking the pommel of his saddle, entering his inner right thigh along with wood fragments and a large bent nail. Despite his pain, Hancock refused evacuation to the rear until the battle was resolved.
Deppen, of Northumberland, is a writer and speaker who focuses on military history and veterans’ issues. Since 1994, Deppen has published more than 500 newspaper and magazine articles, including several in national publications such as Military Heritage, Blue and Gray, Civil War Historian, Reminisce Extra, and Gettysburg Magazine. Deppen, who is active in many heritage organizations, is the current commander of General John F. Hartranft Camp No. 15 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and the senior vice commander of General J.P.S. Gobin Camp #503 of the SUVCW. He is a lifetime honorary member of the Snyder County Veterans Council, an honorary member of the Korean War Veterans of Lycoming County, and a frequent guest at meetings of Chapter #656 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Lewisburg.
In addition to giving presentations to nearly two dozen Civil War Round Tables in six different states, Deppen has appeared before thousands of school children in the Susquehanna Valley. Prior to his evening presentation, Major General Hancock spent the morning and afternoon with fifth and eighth graders in the Muncy, Hughesville and Montgomery school districts.
“LIFE OF THE CIVIL WAR SOLDIER”
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Presenter: Dave Richards
Hosted by Montgomery Area Historical Society; Location: Christ Lutheran Church, 50 E. Houston Ave., Montgomery
(refreshments following presentation)
The program Life of the Civil War Soldier is an in-depth look at the life of the common soldier during that cataclysmic event, 150 years ago. What motivated these young men and boys to leave home and offer up their lives, if need be, for the cause of Liberty and Union? Why did they enlist? Why did they serve? How did they exist day to day? What did they eat? How, and why, did they die? These and other questions will be discussed in this presentation commemorating America’s costliest war.
Richards, an authority on Civil War soldiers from the lower Lycoming County vicinity will utilize a large number of letters and diaries written by men from this area to illustrate the incredible sacrifice this generation of young Americans experienced in a War that still haunts us today.
David L. Richards, a Picture Rocks native, has been a licensed battlefield guide at Gettysburg National Military Park since 1985. Richards has been a guest lecturer at historical organizations, educational institutions and social and heritage societies and roundtables. Over the years, he has introduced literally tens of thousands of school students to the story of the American Civil War, in general, and the Battle of Gettysburg, in particular. Instilling a sense of history is the work that Richards finds most rewarding. He is a teacher and the battlefield is his classroom.
Richards has written numerous articles for historical society and veteran publications and his first book, Priceless Treasures, was published in 2001by the Muncy Historical Society. Priceless Treasures is a detailed study of the Soldiers’ Memorial in Muncy Cemetery along with individual biographies of the seventy-one soldiers from the Muncy vicinity who lost their lives during the Civil War.
Muncy Historical Society is pleased to announce partnering with Richards who is currently researching and collecting information for Priceless Treasures II. This new effort will include biographies of those local soldiers who died from illness, wounds and/or imprisonment during the Civil War and whose names were omitted from the Soldiers’ Monument. We have already confirmed 68 soldiers, and have recognized their sacrifices by placing inscribed bricks around the monument base and are researching another 20+ names for possible inclusion. The public is encouraged to participate in this effort by submitting photos, diaries, letters, etc. for scanning to help document and preserve the heritage and legacy of these brave young men.
BOOK DISCUSSION: THIS REPUBLIC OF SUFFERING:
DEATH AND THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR (Drew Gilpin Faust, author)
THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011, 7 p.m.
Hosted by the Muncy Historical Society
Location: Muncy Historical Society, 40 N. Main Street, Muncy
In her book, historian Faust notes that the Civil War introduced America to death on an unprecedented scale and of an unnatural kind – grisly, random, and often ending in an unmarked grave far from home. [She} exhumes a wealth of material – condolence letters, funeral sermons, ads for mourning dresses, poems and storied from Civil War-era writers – to flesh out her lucid account. Faust is president of Harvard University, where she also holds the Lincoln Professorship in History.
Steve Fairchild and Amy Rogers will highlight portions of Faust’s book during this engaging book discussion. Dr. Rogers, a professor in the Education Department at Lycoming College since 2007, taught social studies in both middle and secondary classrooms and has studied the effects of local history in relation to civic mindedness and civic engagement. Dr. Fairchild, James Madison University Professor Emeritus and Associate Dean Emeritus, is now working at Lycoming College as an adjunct professor in the Education Department. Fairchild, a member of the Society’s board of directors, began his career in elementary education and has directed many of the Society’s educational initiatives.
Forty copies of the featured book will be available to attendees through the generosity of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Light refreshments will be served from 6:30-7 p.m.
MUNCY IS PROUD TO BE THE FOURTH HOST OF THE PA CIVIL WAR 150 ROAD SHOW
FRIDAY – TUESDAY, MAY 27 – 31, 2011
Location: Muncy High School, Schuyler Avenue at the Sports Field Complex, 200 W. Penn Street, Muncy
Friday & Saturday, May 27-28, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.;
Sunday, May 29, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.;
Monday, May 30, noon-8 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
(HOURS SUBJECT TO CHANGE – WEATHER DRIVEN)
The PA 150 Civil War Road Show is taking the story of Pennsylvania’s role in the great conflict to all 67 PA counties over a four year period. Based in a 53 foot expandable trailer, the CWRS is bringing interactive exhibits and special programming on the Keystone State’s vital role in the war to local communities across the Commonwealth. It is an emotionally powerful mobile exhibit experience with interconnected programs that focus on the ways the War transformed the lives of Pennsylvanians and their communities, and the ways in which Pennsylvanians impacted the War.
Through stereoscopic photographs, original compositions of Civil War era music and sound effects, interactive maps, hands-on objects and animated storytelling, the Road Show conveys accounts of the many different ways Pennsylvania’s men, women, children and communities experienced the Civil War – both on the battlefield and the homefront.
The exhibition is organized into four thematic “arcades” that visitors can approach in any order: How Pennsylvanians Responded to the War; How Pennsylvanians Aided in the War; How Pennsylvanians Waited During the War; and How Pennsylvanians Commemorated the War.
The Road Show will also collect the stories of Pennsylvania’s Civil War history, county by county, in a “Share Your Story” recording booth and the public is invited to share their own Civil War-era family photographs, artifacts and stories digitally and/or orally to be uploaded to PACivilWar150.com.
CIVIL WAR QUILTS & CARE PACKAGES:
SUPPORT FOR SOLDIERS FROM THE WOMEN AT HOME
FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2011, 7 P.M.
Presenter: Ann F. Diseroad; Hosted by the Muncy Historical Society;
Location: Community Room, First United Methodist Church, 602 S. Market Street, Muncy
When President Abraham Lincoln issued his call for 75,000 troops in April of 1861, the United States standing army had never numbered more than 15,000. The Federal Government was incapable of provisioning a force as large as the one assembled. Spontaneously, women throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation rose to meet the challenge, collecting supplies and money and producing materials needed to equip the Union Army.
Ultimately as many as 10,000 Ladies Aid Societies were united under the umbrella of the United States Sanitary Commission, a civilian organization which provided millions of dollars worth of food, clothing and medical supplies to Union soldiers. Their support not only contributed to soldiers’ comfort but significantly reduced loss of life.
This presentation tells the story of women’s efforts drawn from Civil War era newspapers, diaries, letters and other contemporary sources. On display will be Ann’s reproductions of many items produced by Civil War women including quilts, hospital garments and knitwear, made from period instructions or based on photographs of surviving objects. This collection is probably the most diverse and complete one of its type.
Ann F. Diseroad is a retired librarian and local historian in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. She serves on the board of the Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society, was a member of the Selection Committee for “Pennsylvania Quilts: Studies in Color,” the highly acclaimed quilt show held at the Packwood House Museum, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in 2009, and works with the Barton House at the Bloomsburg Fair to provide a living history experience for visitors. She is one of twelve artisans nationwide who will participate in creating textiles for the Robert E. Lee House in Arlington, Virginia.
149TH PA BUCKTAILS
SATURDAY, MAY 28-MONDAY, MAY 30, 2011
SATURDAY, MAY 28, 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.; SUNDAY, MAY 29, 11 A.M. TO 7 P.M.;
MONDAY, MAY 30, NOON TO 4 P.M.;
Location: Schuyler Avenue & Muncy Hgh School Sports Complex
The 149th Pennsylvania Bucktail Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a reenactment unit representing the original 149th PVI, will join Muncy’s for its Memorial Day weekend activities. The modern reenactment unit pays tribute to the men and the sacrifices that the original 149th made during the American Civil War. The 149th was a special Union infantry regiment formed in August, 1862 from 11 different Counties from Pennsylvania. It played a minor role at the Battle of Chancellorsville, but their first major engagement occurred July 1, 1863 on McPherson’s Ridge at the start of the 3 day Battle of Gettysburg. The 149th also took part in many of the Virginia battles from the Wilderness to Petersburg.
The Bucktails will have a “Recruiting Station,” a living history camp of instruction, and a civilian surveyor, chaplain and medical professional on hand to explain their 19th century duties during the War.
[Thompson’s Independent Battery C, PA Volunteer Light Artillery reenactment unit will join us on Saturday, May 28. In many heated battles, Battery C was also at Gettysburg, taking up position in the Peach Orchard. Cannon firing demonstrations will occur throughout the day.]
“CAPTURE THE FLAG!CIVIL WAR KIDS TELL THEIR STORIES”
A Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble Performance
SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2011, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Location: High School Auditorium, 200 W. Penn St., Muncy
“Capture the Flag! Civil War Kids Tell Their Stories” is a Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble production which features the adventures and misadventures of kids – soldiers and civilians, Yanks and Rebels, boys and girls, heroes and spies. Told in their words, from their perspectives, it is a snapshot of what three kids were doing – in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in Richmond, Virginia and in Gettysburg, PA – as they lived through the most tumultuous days in our nation’s history: July 3 & 4, 1863.
Songs, story-telling and staging combine in BTE’s unique and popular style to bring to life tales of brave young people whose hearts are ready to Capture the Flag! Shows are presented by actors in an animated story-theatre style followed by a lively post-performance discussion.
PERIOD CHURCH SERVICE
SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2011, 2 p.m.
Location: Schuyler Avenue at Muncy High School Sports Complex
Rev. Herring, a retired minister, will impersonate Pastor James Frederick Calkins, the only Chaplain who served with the 149th Voluntary Infantry Regiment during the Civil War, in a period worship service.
“DEAR HOME – CAPTAIN JOHN RISSEL LETTERS”
SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2011, 7 p.m.
Location: Muncy High School Auditorium, 200 W. Penn Street, Muncy
The Muncy Historical Society and Custom Taylored Productions proudly present “Dear Home” – a living history “world premiere” stage production of one soldier’s civil war experiences from his enlistment in 1861 to his discharge in 1864. Captain John Rissel of Company F of the 84th, a Pennsylvania regiment, experienced some of the most horrific fighting of the Civil War. Rissel captured his time spent in camp, on what seemed like endless marches, and on the battlefield. His letters convey his pride in his comrades’ bravery and incredible sorrow as he writes of the death of so many of his friends.
John Rissel anxiously sought his parents’ permission to enlist in the Civil War. The excitement of war soon turned to anxiety and fear as sickness and the ravages of battle took a toll on those around him.
Rissel sent more than 120 letters home during his three years with Company F of the 84th, a Pennsylvania regiment that experienced some of the most horrific fighting of the Civil War. In this collaborative effort, adult and student performers will share Rissel’s impatience, fear, guilt, loyalty, hope, confusion, patriotism, and deep mourning.
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE
MONDAY, MAY 30, 2011, , 11 a.m.
N. Main Street to E. Penn Street to Muncy Public Cemetery
Starts promptly at 10 a.m., Parade lead by Tom Taylor, Bag Piper and will include the 149th Bucktails and their families, the PA 46th Band, a Civil War period horse-drawn hearse and others
Guest Speaker: David Richards, Gettysburg Battlefield Guide
7th Annual Quilt Show & “Civil War Quilt” Challenge and Presentations
FRIDAY – SATURDAY, JULY 15 – 16, 2011
Civil War Quilts
July 15, 4:00 – 9 p.m. (Quilt Show Only);
July 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Quilt Show & Two Living History Presentations)
· 11 a.m. – Louisa May Alcott: Writer, Abolitionist & Child of the New Education
· 3 p.m. – Clara Barton: Civil War Nurse & Founder of the American Red Cross
Quilt Show Location: Myers Elementary School, 125 New Street, Muncy
Presentation Location: Community Room, First United Methodist Church, 602 S. Market Street, Muncy
The quaint and beautiful river town of Muncy, Pennsylvania is the setting for this annual 2-day Quilt Show. Show guests have the opportunity to view antique, traditional and new quilts, representing virtually all styles. Diversity and artistic interpretation are highlights of the show and each year, the event is a showcase of stunning hand and machine workmanship, appliqué and quilting techniques, reflecting the originality of the makers and their expertise with needle and thread. The vintage quilts, which help to set this Show apart from others, are from private and museum collections from across the state of Pennsylvania.
The Show also includes quilts entered in the Challenge Theme category, special Civil War-era relevant exhibits, lectures and/or workshops, fabric and specialty vendors, quilt appraisals and a variety of hands-on demonstrations. Judy Howard’s “God Bless America Touring Quilts” and the Colonel Eckman Military Collection will also be on display.
The show activities are selected to appeal to all ages and young people are encouraged to participate.
Presenter: Pat Jordan
On Saturday, Pat Jordan, professional singer-actor, published writer and director from southeastern Pennsylvania, will present two different one-woman living history plays. Pat’s entertaining and highly-researched historical interpretations have been enjoyed at theatres, colleges, libraries, historical groups, schools, businesses and national historical sites throughout the country. Pat is a member of SAG and AFTRA, a drama instructor, stage director, and Program Director of a foundation-sponsored youth-at-risk arts initiative.
Louisa May Alcott, abolitionist, feminist, advocate for woman’s suffrage and acclaimed author will make her appearance at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Alcott was an avid women’s rights advocate and the sole support of her family for many years. Her character, in many ways, is revealed through the beloved tomboy Jo in Little Women, Alcott’s classic story of four sisters who lived during the Civil War. The Alcott family was on intimate terms with many of the greatest thinkers in New England during the mid-19th century and Louisa’s teachers included Emerson and Thoreau. Later, her father’s utopian experiments provided the youthful author with a colorful background against which to spin her tales. Louisa served as a nurse during the Civil War and her book, “Hospital Sketches” tells of her experiences at the Union Hospital in Georgetown. The renowned writer later authored many books which became popular top sellers.
Woman’s and civil rights activist Clara Barton is scheduled to perform at 3 p.m. Clara Barton was born on Christmas Day, 1821, in North Oxford, MA. Her father’s stories of his military career enthralled Clara and inspired dreams of doing some glorious service for her country. The bright, sensitive girl grew into a strong advocate for education, becoming a teacher in her teen years. When the Civil War broke out, Clara headed for the front lines, taking supplies to wounded soldiers and earning the title “Angel of the Battlefield.” Her middle years took her to Europe where she became a passionate supporter of the Geneva Convention and the International Red Cross. On her return to America, she established the first chapter of the American Red Cross, bringing disaster relief to countless thousands throughout the nation and abroad. Clara’s indomitable strength, dogged determination and boundless good will are a model for all Americans. Free Parking; Free Presentations; Quilt Show Admission $5.
37TH ANTIQUES SHOW AND SALE
FRIDAY – SATURDAY, AUGUST 26 & 27, 2011
Juried Antiques Show
Fri., August 26, 5:30 – 9 p.m. (opening night reception); Sat., August 27, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Geringer Social Hall, 213 N. Main Street, Muncy
Lycoming County, Pennsylvania’s finest juried show, known for the diversity and quality of antiques, offering a relaxing indoor, air-conditioned atmosphere with outstanding antique dealers. This Show offers an impressive range of antiques: 19th and 20th century American and English furniture, fine early porcelain and glass, stoneware and pottery, quilts and vintage textiles, estate jewelry, folk art, primitives and Americana, smalls and accessories.
Keeping with our 150th anniversary Civil War commemorative efforts, in addition to the “stepping back in time” with antiques available for sale, the 37th annual show will feature a special Civil War era display with exhibited memorabilia on loan from private collections. Free Parking; Admission $4.
DESERTER COUNTRY: CIVIL WAR OPPOSITION IN PENNSYLVANIA
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2011, 2:30 p.m.
Presenter: Robert Sandow, PhD. (Commonwealth Speakers Bureau)
Hosted by the Muncy Historical Society
Location: Community Room, First United Methodist Church, 602 S. Market Street, Muncy (refreshments following presentation)
This lecture explores the widespread and sometimes violent opposition to the Civil War by people in the Appalachian lumber country of northern Pennsylvania. Many are unaware that this sparsely-settled region was home to divided communities that provided a safe haven for opponents of the war and deserters form the army, prompting federal officials to lead a military expedition in 1864. Sandow will examine the social, political and economic factors that explain antiwar opposition, much of which stemmed from the difficulties of Appalachian life. Timely themes are highlighted including the meanings and traditions of dissent in wartime, the debate over loyalty to the nation, the impact of partisan politics and the difficulties faced by the state in enforcing unpopular laws.
Family trips to famous battlefields sparked a lifelong passion in Robert Sandow for Civil War history. His research specialties include the northern homefront during the Civil War, with particular interest in issues of dissent, partisan politics, and opposition. He is an Associate Professor of History at Lock Haven University, where he teaches classes on American History, Military History, Japanese History and introductory courses on Public History and Museum Studies. A Pennsylvania Humanities Council 2011 Speaker, Dr. Sandow is also a writer, publishing among other works, a monograph entitled Deserter Country: Civil War Opposition in the PA Appalachians in April 2009.
REPASZ BAND CONCERT
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011, 2:30 p.m.
Location: Muncy High School Auditorium, 200 W. Penn Street, Muncy
The Repasz Band was founded in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1831 and it is the oldest non-military band in continuous existence in the United States. It has a proud musical heritage, having performed for a variety of civil and military events.
In 1861, the Band enlisted in the 11th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and after three months’ service, enlisted in the 29th Pennsylvania Volunteers. After completing its second enlistment, the greater part of the musicians next enlisted in the 8th PA Cavalry and served until the end of the Civil War, seeing action in the Shenandoah Valley as well as at Lee’s surrender. At Appomattox Court House the Repasz Band played the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Rally Round the Flag.” The Band performed at the original dedication of President Ulysses S. Grant’s Tomb on April 27, 1897 and returned one hundred years later to perform at the rededication of Grant’s Tomb. At ten o’clock in the morning on October 23, 1869 the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad delivered the Repasz Band to Muncy so that they could perform at the dedication of the Civil War Soldiers’ Monument at the Muncy Cemetery. It rained that day and the plan to hold the exercises on the cemetery grounds had to be abandoned. The dedication ceremony was moved indoors and the Repasz Band performed “without missing a beat.” The Repasz Band returns to town and to present a concert of Civil War music.
HISTORIC HOMES & WALKING TOUR
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2011
Noon to 4:30 p.m.
Civil War Era properties that have stories to tell plus a special exhibit at the museum!
For the one-day annual homes tour, guests will walk through Muncy’s historic district where period costumed reenactors will share their stories of life on the homefront, in camp and on the battlefield. On the public library steps, guests will have the opportunity to hear a Quaker’s position on slavery and experience the crowd’s fervor which led to Muncy’s “Abolition Riot of the 1840s.”
The historic homes and churches, for touring and sidewalk conversations, will be selected based on the “story they have to tell” i.e. Captain Peterman’s (killed at Chancellorsville), Rissel’s pre- and post-Civil War homes (legacy in letters’ home), John Bowman’s (brother-in-law to Lt. Col. John Musser, killed at Wilderness), Mary Jane Levan’s (her tireless efforts raised the funds to erect the C. W. Monument), etc. In addition to refreshments at the museum, tour guests will view a special Civil War era display with exhibited memorabilia on loan from private collections. Admission $12; $10 advance.
5th ANNUAL ART EXHIBITION & SALE
FRIDAY – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4-5, 2011
Fri., November 4, 5:30 – 9 p.m. (opening night reception);
Sat., November 5, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Geringer Social Hall, 213 N. Main Street, Muncy
This Regional Invitational Art Exhibition features some of the most talented artists in Central Pennsylvania. The sho
w features twenty-four renowned artists, each specializing in a unique genre. Many of them are exhibited and collected nationally; all of them share a close relationship with Muncy and the surrounding area. It includes a wide range of arts and craftsmanship, including photography, oil painting, jewelry, fashion, pottery, woodworking, quilting, ceramics, watercolor, sculpture, home décor and unique holiday decorations. The juried show includes a rich and varied collection of original work along with signed and numbered limited-edition reproductions. Friday night’s opening includes a reception and an opportunity to meet the artists.
In addition to the contemporary artists, guests will experience a special art exhibit representing a cross-section of work from the Civil War era; exhibited memorabilia on loan from both the museum’s and private collections. Admission: $4.
The Muncy Historical Society commemorates the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, partnering with the Muncy School District, the Historical Organizations of Lycoming County (HOLC) and other non-profit organizations throughout Lower Lycoming County to provide varied events and activities to appeal to a wide audience in 2011.
Program support for the Muncy Historical Society’s 2011 Calendar of Events was made possible in part through donations and grants from The Muncy Bank & Trust Company, the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau and the PA Council on the Arts.
The public archaeology dig at Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail, just one more of Muncy Historical Society’s wonderful contributions to local history, has concluded.
Thousands of individuals and hundreds of families participated in the Public Archaeology Dig at Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail, an 11-acre recreational area along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Muncy. Beginning in 2005, visitors and archaeology college students volunteered to investigate history and identify and preserve the natural resources at the park owned and under development by Muncy Historical Society.
While archaeological excavations were held at the Heritage Park, Muncy Historical Society focused on developing the Nature Trail and installing colorful and informative signs along the major trail, a towpath along the West Branch Canal.
Muncy plans to begin building a parking lot with a native flower bioswale for stormwater runoff. It also will construct a pavilion for educational workshops and meetings.
“It’s been a long journey but we are finally able to make definite plans for the park,” said Bill Poulton, president of Muncy Historical Society. “It’s been a shared vision for the past five years but now, with the comprehensive Master Plan developed by SEDA-Council of Governments and funding from public and private sources, we are hoping to move earth and create park access. Instead of parking in a soggy pasture, soon visitors to the park will have a handicap-accessible parking lot and marked trails. They’ll be able to meander through the park and learn about the local wildlife, birds and trees, as well as the history of the West Branch Canal and how a canal lock works.”
The Pennsylvania Canal Packet Boat Project began with the salvaging of the cabin and ended with the reconstruction of an authentic 1860s packet/passenger cabin that has become the Society’s traveling educational exhibit. The project received 2004 Honorable Mention Award from PA Federation of Museums & Historical Organizations and 2004 Certificate of Commendation from the American Association of State and Local History.
The Last Raft project is a documentary about a March 20, 1938 tragedy when a lumber raft collided with a railroad bridge spanning the West Branch of the Susquehanna at Muncy. Of the 45 people who plunged into the icy river, all but seven were rescued. Although it took weeks of grappling the river and shores, all of the deceased eventually were recovered.
It’s not just a story about the crash. It’s the story about the journey. Many people don’t know that the Last Raft finished the journey.
Last RafT Documentary DVDs
The Last Raft …
A Story of Courage and Tragedy on the Susquehanna
The Last Raft captures the glory and tragedy of the March 1938 journey using archival film footage, still photos, eyewitness interviews, and new footage shot at the actual locations of the events. This one-hour documentary tells this story as never before, with a wealth of previously unshared material. $20/DVD
Produced by Karen L. Frock; Directed by JD DiAngelis; In conjunction with WVIA PBS Channel 44; Made possible in part by The Muncy Historical Society and Museum of History
[wp_cart:Last Raft DVD:price:$20.00:end]
Last Raft Lapel Pins
“Last Raft”casted lapel pins ($5).
[wp_cart:Last Raft Lapel Pins:price:$5.00:end]
Sponsored by the Muncy Historical Society, the components of the project are eyewitness interviews, vintage photographs and film footage of the event and its aftermath. The documentary is be an educational tool that will let viewers relive rafting days on the Susquehanna, as well as the horror of its most calamitous event.
Karen L. Frock of Creekside Creative Media is the researcher, writer and producer of “The Last Raft” documentary.
The story of the Last Raft began with brothers R. Dudley Tonkin of Tyrone and V. Ord Tonkin of Cherry Tree. A lumbering family, the Tonkins came to the town of Cherry Tree 100 years before The Last Raft. Vince Tonkin, Dudley and Ord’s father, had left timber standing with the request that the two brothers occasionally cut the trees and build a raft to float as a living history lesson. The elderly Tonkin thought that the event would help to preserve the days gone by and he wanted share that experience with new generations.
Piloted by Harry Conner of Burnside, a river raft pilot for 50 years, the 112-foot long timber raft was launched March 14, 1938 in Bell Township, Clearfield County, and was to end 200 miles away in Harrisburg.
The event garnered worldwide publicity as newspaper journalists, photographers, and radio and newsreel crews tagged along. The raft was seen by many thousands of Cambria, Indiana, Clearfield, Centre, Clinton, and Lycoming County residents as it floated the river, tying up at cities along the West Branch route.
School children – some of whom remain and remember the experience – lined up along the riverbanks, many waving American flags as the raft followed the current from Clearfield, to Renovo, then to Lock Haven and Williamsport. There, Conner turned the piloting over to another person who was, the producer said, familiar with the lower river.
Barely hours after the raft “ran the chute” in Williamsport, it collided with the Reading Railroad Bridge in Muncy. Florence Leiby Smith, then a 22-year-old student at Bloomsburg Hospital School of Nursing home for the weekend, joined friends on the bridge to watch the raft. In a later interview Leiby Smith said, “The bridge was filled with people and later newspaper accounts said there were hundreds, which is probably true. I had my box camera with me and took a picture of the raft as it approached the bridge, then walking to the other side we could see the raft was going to hit.”
She took photos before, during and after, which have been included in several publications. Her memory of the event, along with many others, is part of the Last Raft documentary, which describes the heroic efforts of the people of Muncy to rescue the raftsmen.
The 38 people swept into the icy waters were saved by onlookers.The project team located several archival “Last Raft” films from 1938, three of which they have had transferred to digital video. One of those films is from the collection of the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society, a film made by amateur filmmaker Charles Askey, of Williamsport. It includes a lengthy sequence shot in color, which the project team has had restored from faded blue to its original hues.
People may contribute directly to the Historical Society, P.O. Box 11, Muncy, PA 17756, or by calling 570-546-5917.
“Whereever there is lumber being harvest today, there is a story to be told. We honestly believe that the Last Raft story will be told in virtually every lumbering community in the United States and Canada. It’s a story of our heritage, but it has a wide range impact. It’s the story about what happened on the Susquehanna River. It’s the story about lumber heritage.”
William Poulton, President, Muncy Historical Society
There are numerous stories within the larger story of The Last Raft’s journey.
In March 1938, the raft collided with the railroad bridge near Muncy. There were 45 or 48 people on the raft at the time it crashed; all but two were swept into the water. Hundreds of people on the bridge and shoreline watched in horror.
Sea Scouts and Boy Scouts who were passengers helped save lives, pulling some people back onto the raft, throwing firewood to others. Some spectators already out on the river in small boats moved to help passengers desperately trying to stay afloat in the icy water.
A 14-year-old boy on shore, Paul Fenstermacher, went right into the river and pulled at least one man to safety. His uncles ran for the wagon barn to get their boats into the water; his grandmother and aunts ran for the farmhouse, to put the hot water on. Soon people began bringing in survivors, nearly dead, full of water, chilled to the bone.
Besides Dudley and Ord Tonkin, the raft’s sponsors, Harry C. Conner, of Burnside, the pilot for the journey until Williamsport, was among those who perished, after taking the raft through the dangers of the upper river.
Dr. Charles F. Taylor, the Burgess of Montgomery who went to Lock Haven to ask the raft sponsors to stop in his town so that people could see the raft up close, perished. Taylor joined the trip in Williamsport, but did not live to arrive in his Montgomery.
The others who died were Malcolm McFarland, Harold Beringer, W. Holley, W.C. VanScoyoc, and Thomas Proffitt, a Universal Newsreel cameraman who died in the line of duty while filming the journey. Proffitt literally went down cranking, filming up to and including the impact with the bridge. He was still shooting after he was in the water, looking up, before he and his camera disappeared. They recovered Proffitt’s camera from the river a few days later. Universal paid volunteers each $25, took the camera to a lab and dried out the film. The planned documentary contains the moment of impact frames, as well as magnificent archival footage It was nearly a month before Thomas Profitt, himself, was found.
Among those who survived was another medical professional, Dr. Dudley Turner, whose son, also a Williamsport osteopath, recounts his father’s ordeal for the documentary.
Helping to save lives were many people, including Frank Stevens, Boy Scout, who documented the journey in photos that will be used in the program; Ollie Helmrich, Sea Scout, of the Williamsport family that still operates Helmrich’s Sea Food; and Paul Fenstermacher, a 14-year-old boy who went right off the riverbank into the water and began to pull people to shore.
Volunteer firemen and others went out, day after day, dragging the river in boats, hanging hooks from bridges, and searching the numerous small islands that line the Susquehanna. It was a large professional search effort, too: including a Navy diver, Coast Guard boat, state police, and aircraft. Employers let their people out of work to search; kids cut school to watch. They even dynamited near the bridge, in hopes of freeing submerged bodies.
But the river gave up its dead on its own schedule. Harry Conner was found down river, almost across from Montgomery Park, at around 6 on Easter Sunday morning. Soon after, the rest were recovered. Dr. Taylor was missing the longest: a full month. The Rotary in his town put up a $100 reward for his body.
Muncy Historical Society operates the “Eight Square,” a fully restored one room schoolhouse, built in 1872, on the site of Lycoming County’s first public school. This frame structure replaced the original right-sided log structure built in 1796. Volunteers conduct one-room living history programs by appointment.
The Eight-Square is a fully restored schoolhouse built on the site of Lycoming County’s first public school. Recognizing the importance of education, American Revolution veteran George Smith donated a portion of his land so that the children of Moreland Township could come together to learn. The original school, an eight-sided structure built in 1796, was replaced by the current frame building in 1872.
First- through eighth-grade classes were taught in the one room frame school until 1958. In 1999 Loretta Raup donated the 8-Square to the Muncy Historical Society.
Society and community volunteers donated over 10,000 hours to the school’s restoration and their efforts were rewarded when the project received the prestigious Community Service Award from Pennsylvania Preservation.
In addition to the annual fundraising social, the society hosts on-site living history programs during the spring through fall months, putting students through lesson plans dating to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Proceeds from the social and living history programs help to offset the costs to maintain the school property.
Muncy Historical Society’s fully restored one-room school is located in Moreland Twp. Directions: Click on the View Larger Map to use the Google Map tool and find your way to the 8-Square, One-Room Schoolhouse.
GPS LAT/LONG Coordinates: 41.187401, -76.640263
Please enjoy the slide show below; it should start automatically. If it doesn’t, just click your mouse on the black box. This is a Flash-based slide show made using Google’s web album software Picasa.
Muncy’s Kiwanis Club, Historical Society
Announce 2012 “Muncy Cup” Winners
The Vintage Course at White Deer Public Golf Course was an ideal setting for this year’s co-sponsored 2012 Muncy Cup golf event. Muncy’s Historical Society and Kiwanis Club partner for the annual outing that helps both organizations achieve community-minded objectives: preserving local history and heritage for future generations and helping the young people of the community.
Receiving Muncy Cup flags and gift certificates were the first-place winning team (gross) of Gilbert Balliet, Matt Joy, T. C. Reynolds, and Steve Goodman, and the first-place winning team (net) Tom Ward, Travis Ward, Rick Quimby, and Bill Herman. Second-place gross winners were Dave Mayer, Dan Berninger, Kate Bower, and Jason Fisher and second-place net winners were Marilu Way, George Way, Dennis Mayer and Mike Cromis. Taking third place gross were Don Hendricks, Bill Yeagle, Bill Cyphers, and Brent Myers and third-place net winners were Bill Poulton, Richard Poulton, Ed Hannan and Mal Barlow.
Bill Herman, Don Hendricks, Matt Joy, T. C. Reynolds and Steve Goodman all had in-the-hole-putts which forced a contest playoff with Goodman’s putt inching out his competition. Dan Berninger won the men’s straightest drive, Bill Herman had longest drive, and Kate Bower had ladies longest drive.
Proceeds from the event benefit both the historical society in its quest to develop a Heritage Park and Nature Trail, a multi-year plan that is transforming an 11-acre section of Port Penn into a walking trail and hands-on history lesson, and the Muncy Area Kiwanis Club.
Located along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, the park is in an historical and environmentally region. The park will highlight Port Penn, a present-day commercial center and residential area that grew out of, and around, the bustling West Branch Canal industry of the 1800s. This year’s efforts will include a boat-building facility which will house a recently salvaged cargo boat removed by volunteers from the National Canal Museum in Easton.
The Kiwanis Club supports programs that benefit underprivileged youth, needy families and is a supporter of community-focused projects like the Heritage Park and Nature Trail. Both all-volunteer, not-for-profit organizations encourage and support a number of educational initiatives including special exhibits, living history programs, and scholarship awards for graduating seniors.
Business and individual supporters of the annual event include Alley Cat Hair Shop, Baxter Plumbing & Heating, Bennardi & Barberio Family Dentistry, Blessing Insurance, Brelsford Motors & Equipment, Charlotte Pipe & Foundry, Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, Construction Specialties, Dunkin’ Donuts, Eck’s Garage, Economy Locker Storage, Edward Jones Investments, First United Methodist Church, Betty Fisher, Michael Friscia, MD, Gary’s Furniture, Grenoble Funeral Home, Inc., Hall’s Marine, Hull’s Landing, H&R Block, Jersey Shore State Bank, Keystone Bingo Supply, Keystone Filler & Manufacturing, Lockard Agency, Lori A. Moore, CPA, Lowe’s Great Valu Markets, Kellogg’s, Little League Baseball, Lycoming Mall, Michael’s Insurance Agency, Muncy Bank & Trust Company, Muncy Historical BOD & Trustees, Muncy Professional & Business Association, Murray Motors, Myers-Pepper Insurance Agency, Olde Barn Centre, Orlando’s, Pepsi Cola Bottling, Sones Farm and Home Museum, Stanley & Gray Printing, Peter Trevouledes, MD, Twin Hills Health Center, Weis Markets, Williams & Smay, Williamsport Crosscutters, and Woodlands Bank.
Muncy’s 2011 Historic Homes & Garden Tour will be held Sunday, October 16, 2011 from Noon to 4 p.m.
Civil War properties that have a story to tell will be highlighted this year. Consider spending a weekend in Historic Muncy and tour a medley of unique and notable historic properties and special exhibits. This year’s exhibits will feature Muncy-area Civil War-related memorabilia and a “presentation” exhibit from a private collection. Includes light refreshments and living history event.
Dating to the late 1700s, the House of Many Stairs is one of Lycoming County’s most significant historic properties and tradition includes this house as one of the stops on the Underground Railroad. Steeped in history, this “bank house” served many a weary traveler while doing business as the Bull’s Head Tavern. One can only imagine the difficulties presented by its 11 sets of stairs. Period costumed colonials, located throughout the house, will share many a tale with the tour’s guests.
Located directly across the village road, ticketholders can find parking and light fare at the First United Methodist Church.
John Adlum, recently back from visiting with Thomas Jefferson, entertains guests who stroll through his period gardens where boxwoods create the formality, while wisteria vines surround the teahouse. Perennials, which bloom through the three growing seasons, provide a relaxing atmosphere.
The first stop and main ticket center for the tour is the Muncy Historical Society, housed in one of Muncy’s earliest homes. The two and one-half story, seven-bay frame building represents the Greek Revival style. This year, the museum features a one-day-only exhibit focusing on “Women in Uniform.” Women have had varied roles during wartime that evolved from support functions, to wartime protest, to the more active role of women in the military today. War, for all its horror, actually broadened women’s lives. From more restricted roles centered on the home, war brought women out into the workforce, into support roles on the home front, to the front lines, and to anti-war protest rallies. The exhibit features military, medical and homefront attire, from both private and museum collections, spanning the years from World War I through World War II.
Before or after touring the exhibit, ticketholders are invited to sit a spell and enjoy complimentary ice cream sundaes served in the museum’s meeting room-turned-ice cream parlor.
Ticketholders will be welcome at Muncy’s historic St. James Episcopal Church, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. St. James is a two and one-half story stone, Gothic Revival-style church. It features a 107-foot tower topped with a hexagonal spire, double and single lancet windows in each of the four-bay southern and northern sides, and a beautiful 12-light rose window graces its Main Street façade. Located just behind, visitors will be greeted in the quaint Parish House for refreshments. Beautifully landscaped gardens surround the property and visitors are invited to sit a spell on one of the benches before walking across the street to the Murray Brown House.
In Muncy, the featured gardens offer a variety of styles and reflect the personal tastes of their owners. Some gardens have been designed to bloom throughout the growing season beginning with bulbs and irises progressing to clematis and peonies, and then to lilies and butterfly bushes. Annuals and perennials add color, fragrance and texture to the landscape and they transform the yard into an alluring place. Boxwoods and hostas add formality to some gardens; wildflowers and vines provide a more colonial feel and flavor, attracting birds, bees and butterflies to their nectar. Variety also will be seen in the way owners have defined their gardens and walkways with the use of brick, stone, wood, shrubbery and Pennsylvania bluestone along with their shade- and sun-loving plant life. Each garden is more than a group of plants; the gardens have been carefully chosen to showcase diversity, enticing ticketholders to explore and discover a feeling of privacy, richness or serenity. Shade trees and patio areas offer a cool place to appreciate the colorful surroundings and complimentary light refreshments will also be available in some of the gardens.
Advance tickets, at the discounted price of $10 for the Historic Homes and Garden Tour and Quilt Show, may be purchased from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. July 13 through July 17, or by mail at P.O. Box 11, Muncy, PA 17756. Tickets the day of the tour are $12 and may be purchased at the society or at the Muncy High School or at the House of Many Stairs.
Did you miss previous Home Tours? Well, you’re in luck. We’re providing you with a virtual tour of portions of Homes and Garden Tours. Hopefully, you’ll be able to visit us in 2010 when Muncy Historical Society hosts its annual Quilt Show and the Historic Homes and Garden Tour.
William Lowmiller House (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
William Lowmiller House
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
William Lowmiller House
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
This charming, simple 3-bay, 2-story I-house once housed Lycoming County’s only Jacquard coverlet weaver. William Lowmiller moved his family from Level Corners, now Linden, to Muncy in the late 1830s and it was on these grounds that he dyed his yarns and weaved the highly prized one-, two-, and three-color bedcoverings that have stood the test of time. A sampling of his work will be on display both here and at the museum.
The house, located in Muncy’s Historic District, has a front gable, a characteristic found almost exclusively in the earliest structures in Muncy. The front door, which is on the home’s south side, leads into the main foyer that opens into the front parlor. The foyer is substantial, housing the main staircase, a hallway leading to the back of the house, and the entrance to the formal parlor. The parlor, beautifully decorated with family heirlooms and portraits, is charming, with an air of formality, yet cozy and inviting. As you move through the first floor, into the comfortable family sitting room, dining room and kitchen areas, listen carefully. Can you hear the shuttle being thrown back and forth on the loom? Can you hear the cards advance as the yarns are pulled to make the coverlet designs? Can you smell the dyes that Lowmiller used to color the yarn those many years ago?
The Lowmiller House, which has been tastefully and lovingly restored and is currently on the market, is in wonderful, move-in condition.
Taggart-McBride House (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
Built in 1848 by Judge Thomas Taggart, his descendants lived here until 1925 when the McBride family bought the property at auction. In 1991, the home was sold and its new owners spent three years working on its ground-up restoration. The square-shaped brick home is Georgian in style, complete with its hip roof line and symmetrically placed windows. The transom and sidelights at the decorative front entrance add an air of formality to the house, while the double sun porches on its east side more typify the informality of a farmhouse.
The dentil molding at the roofline and on the portico is carried inside – similar dentil work graces the ceiling of the formal parlor. Rare for a farmhouse in central Pennsylvania is the walnut woodwork used in the formal dining room. As you walk through the kitchen notice the lack of wall space due to the original built-in cupboard, working fireplace and the room’s seven doorways. A quilt collection will be displayed throughout the second floor bedrooms. You’ll walk through the family room, a clapboard-sided addition, and out into the screened-in, newly painted porch. Light refreshments will be available here.
The recently overhauled gardens also are on the tour. Feel free to walk around the house and into the backyard. The boxwoods, assorted evergreens, and knock-out roses lend a more formal look out front, while the side and back gardens are informal with unusual trees and perennial gardens. Greg Renn, a local organic gardener, is responsible for the design and plantings selections, the installation and maintenance of the Taggart-McBride House gardens.
(The Taggart-McBride House features a shopping opportunity for Selinda Kennedy’s redware. Selinda is a nationally recognized artist whose work is an expression of her sense of color, craftsmanship and whimsy.)
Murray Brown House Bed & Breakfast (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
Murray Brown House B&B
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
This home was built in circa 1905 for Charles Waldron, a son of John Waldron, one of the co-founders of Sprout, Waldron & Company. Dating to the late Victorian Era, this is a rambling clapboard-sided Queen Anne eclectic-style house with a major addition made in 1928.
In 1943, Carrie R. Murray purchased the house, and her descendents live in the home to this day.
As you enter the large center hall, which opens to a front parlor on one side and a formal dining room on the other, notice both have bay windows. The dining room boasts a floor-to-ceiling, built-in china closet. The dining room table and hutch were hand crafted by Roy Egly, a highly regarded 20th century Muncy furniture maker.
As you move through the front parlor into the large living room take note of the original fireplaces. Following the turned stairway to the second floor please take note of the 3 bedrooms, bath, and master suite. When the addition was done, many of the hardwood floors were redone in the log cabin style, which can be easily seen in the upstairs hall.
Wood Family Homestead (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
Wood Family B&B
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
Wood Family B&B
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
A new generation, with immediate plans to turn this brick farmhouse into a bed and breakfast, has been renovating and redesigning this circa 1866 family homestead. As you walk the driveway to the front of the house, notice that the family has revitalized the tennis court, which was built in the 1940s, using the property’s soil as its clay surface.
Enter by way of the front porch and move through the entrance hall directly into the front parlor, newly renovated with Victorian period wallpaper, carpet and handcrafted crown molding. Then, you’ll move into the relocated dining area and you’ll exit the house through one of the home’s two kitchens. Take a moment to contrast the 1950s-style kitchen to the more modern version that will soon service the household. Here, at the back of the house, notice the beautifully carved mantelpiece recently added in the breakfast nook area.
Exiting, move to your right and onto one of the gardens several flagstone patios. Almost immediately, you’ll see a massive trumpet vine, which meanders its way high across the yard and then creeps almost to the top of the nearby tree. Don’t miss the small pond that is flanked by flagstone and impressive greenery and imagine sipping your morning coffee in the quiet that this area affords.
Feel free to move off the walkways as you make your way to the rear of the property. Notice as you go, the fireplace from the early summer kitchen that is long gone, and examine the patio’s beams, which were salvaged from the property’s original barn and recycled as its roof supports.
John Beeber Homestead (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
John Beeber house
Muncy Homes Tour 2007 Hurricane Crazy Quilt
(in John Beeber house)
The John Beeber House is a Federal-style brick home. Born in 1761, Beeber was a young man when he joined a Berks County militia unit as a substitute, first, for his brother Nicholas, and a year later, for his brother, Adam. His militia unit marched up the West Branch of the Susquehanna River to Shoemaker Mills and then on to Fort Muncy. Following the war, the three brothers moved to the Muncy area, with John Beeber settled in familiar territory along Muncy Creek. From 1792 to 1816, he received warrants for 754 acres and, on this land, he and his wife built their home.
Sidelights and a wide transom surround the impressive Beeber homestead doorway, which leads to a commanding entrance hall with plenty of doors. The woodwork is substantial and the beautifully turned stairrail makes its way to the third floor. The Beeber’s, both of German descent, had at least eight children and a copy of their eldest child’s fraktur, or birth certificate, will be on display.
The front parlor and dining room still have the original built-in cupboards next to the two first-floor fireplaces. The homeowners will have a special quilt, titled “Hurricanes Make Me Crazy,” on display on the stairway landing, visible from the front entrance hall.
Animals have returned to the Beeber property so visit the impressive 19th Century Pennsylvania bank barn across the street from the homestead. There, visitors will find sheep and goats, chickens and turkeys, and perhaps a cat or two. From the barn hill or just inside, Rich Nornhold will share the art of coopering, a skill that takes many years to learn and perfect. Coopering means to do the work of a cooper, a tradesman who makes or repairs casks. While the art of coopering dates back centuries, the basic trade has remained unchanged. The coopers will demonstrate “white coopering,” which is the earliest form of coopering and involved making buckets, churns, and other items associated with vessels that held both water and milk. It also was the first branch of coopering to die out because of the tinsmith. The other branches were “wet” (barrels) and “dry” coopering (nail kegs and flour barrels).
Beeber was involved in the establishment of the Immanuel Lutheran Church and served as one of the first trustees. It has been recounted that, “The Muncy Beebers walked to church and crossed the creek near where the Wyalusing Path crossed, the women and children taking off their shoes and stockings and walking over the smooth, flat stones at the fording place.”
Immanuel Lutheran Church (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
This first Lutheran Church in Lycoming County was built in 1791 and made available to other denominations, some occasionally, and others regularly. While Immanuel’s doors have been closed to regular worship for many years, they are opened for special services and they will be open for the 2007 Homes Tour. (Only a mile or so from the Beeber homestead, fording the creek is not the recommended travel mode on tour day. As you make your way across Muncy Creek, notice the gristmill stones that commemorate the site of Shoemaker Mills where John Beeber was initially stationed some 225+ years ago.) Historic memorabilia will be on display in the sanctuary and feel free to sit a spell in the straight-back pews.
The Reverend Jacob Miller, an itinerant minister from the 19th Century, will be in the church or out in the historic graveyard where John and Margaret Beeber are buried. Reverend Miller was born in 1811, and he began his life as a Lutheran here — first preaching the Methodist Episcopal doctrine, then the Methodist Protestant doctrine as he traveled the countryside, preferring not to hold a regular church charge. Miller never forgot his religious roots. He attended the centennial celebration of the Immanuel Church in 1891 where one of the guest speakers described him as an “apostle … who preached more sermons, traveled on foot more miles to do so and received less pay, in proportion to his labor, then any other minister who ever labored in Lycoming County…”
John Adlum House & Gardens (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
John Adlum House
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
John Adlum built this substantial limestone house which showcases some of the finest woodwork north of Harrisburg. Adlum, who held officer ranks in both the Provisional Army of the Revolution and the Pennsylvania Militia, was a highly regarded land surveyor. These 18th century frontier lands beckoned him and it was here that he perfected the growing of the Catawba grape for his winemaking.
The home, in high style Philadelphia fashion, has twelve over twelve windows, four fireplaces and a central chimney. In the dining room the hand-blocked wallpaper, a reproduction wall covering used by Thomas Jefferson, one of Adlum’s good winemaking friends, in his Monticello home. In the center hall, the “Magnolias:” wallpaper, a reproduction used in Washington’s Mount Vernon, was chosen to complement the magnolia trees found on the property. And, although John Adlum is away on business, he has left several bottles of chardonnay, named in his honor by a Virginia winery, for his guests to sample.
In the period gardens, boxwoods create the formality, while wisteria vines surround the teahouse. Perennials, which bloom through the three growing seasons, provide a relaxing atmosphere for unwinding at the end of a busy day.
Gernerd House Gardens (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
Muncy Homes Tour 2007
To access this home’s gardens, walk through the carport and past the wishing well. For the superstitious at heart, feel free to make a wish and throw a coin or two! And then, move through the iron gate to the well-manicured yard and garden area. A laid-up stone wall separates the gardens, which fall away from the rear of this clapboard-sided home. The flagstone and stone pathway beckons you into the yard. The garden’s greenery, lush and rich with shrubbery and evergreen beds and borders, dominate this backyard landscape. A wonderful wisteria vine ambles along the south side fence while garden statuary add an air of whimsy and interest on the property’s north side.
Russell Glass’ Carriage House (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
Russell Glass owned the Muncy Lumber Company and he had lumbering operations in Lycoming, Fayette and Somerset counties. A successful businessman, his interests included cement and paint products and storage facilities. In 1909, Glass purchased this corner property and we might presume that he wished to make some kind of statement to his fellow townspeople. First, he removed the much-smaller house that stood on this corner of Main and Penn streets and replaced it with the massive brick home. For this year’s tour, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the 2-story brick and clapboard-sided carriage house at the rear of the property.
While not attending to the horses, a young groom stands guard at the entrance to the carriage house, which has been carefully restored, adapted and converted into living quarters for people. The bay, where once the family’s carriage was stored, now serves as the main living room, with the ½ cast iron bars and wooden stall doors preserved, serving as room dividers for the kitchen and dining room areas. Notice the hay shoot — the vessel that supplied feed to the horses from the second-floor hayloft.
For the sure-footed, watch the first short step and ascend to the second floor where you’ll find another large sitting area, hallway master bedroom and bath. Notice the stained beadboard panels of varying widths, which, when first introduced in this country, were mostly used in less-formal dwellings such as cottages and carriage houses. And, for the really sure-footed, ascend the steep stairway to the loft, which seems so much steeper on the descent, and you’ll find yourself closer to the stained glass cupola area.
Gardener-McKee Gardens (Muncy Homes Tour 2007)
The beautiful gardens surrounding this family home whisper comfort, hospitality and respite. The gardens have been designed to bloom throughout the growing season beginning with bulbs and irises progressing to clematis and peonies, and then to lilies and butterfly bushes. Perennials add color, fragrance and texture to the landscape and they transform the yard into an alluring place. The gardens are more than a group of plants – it’s the room the owners have made to enjoy the show! From the front yard, along the side yard and into the back yard, perennial beds and borders abound, adding loads of personality and charm as they bloom throughout the season. Look carefully – you don’t want to miss the ornaments and lighting tucked into the garden foliage.
Birds are invited to share a meal at any one of the many feeders and the large wooden bird house provides a welcome shelter to many of the garden’s fine feathered friends. The patio offers a cool place to appreciate the colorful surroundings and light refreshments will be available; sit a spell or move out into the yard and rest awhile on one of the yard benches.
Rose Hill (Muncy Homes Tour 2006)
Joshua Alder was educated as a chemist and practiced his trade at his father-in-law’s company, Lewis Glass Works, in Eagles Mere. While the Glass Works flourished for several years, its owners soon found themselves in dire financial straits when their fragile product continued to shatter and break on the way off the mountain. When Alder left his position in 1817 he took up residence in Muncy and, in 1822, built the original brick section of this Federal-style home. Antique furnishings accessorize the updated kitchen and the backlighting complements the owner’s collection of yellow ware and early kitchen utensils and tools. Before moving into the large formal dining room, take a peek into the pantry which boasts of floor-to-ceiling built-in cupboards. The federal period furniture plays host to some of Alder’s glass, including a wonderful piece of bulls-eye and different colored chunks. (Dr. Musser married into the family and Mussers Lane is named for him.) As you move along, pay particular attention to the wood – heavily used in the built-in cupboards, for the crown moldings, on the fireplace mantels and surrounds, and around the windows.
The formal front and back parlors greet you next (and look for the coffin door built under the window) and then on into the grand hallway. On the deacon bench you’ll find a 1917 wedding signature quilt, an 1852 jacquard coverlet, a monogrammed carriage blanket, and framed needlework, all family heirlooms.
At the first landing, you’ll bear right and move through the guest bath and into the first bedroom. An heirloom canopy spotlights the 1930s high–posted bed. Along the wall, you’ll see the unusual hooded cradle and a standing Victorian-era medicine chest. The original pine floors beckoned you along into the sitting room with its built-ins and another of the home’s five fireplaces. Two of the other bedrooms can be glimpsed before making your way down the narrow, back stairway.
You’ll exit onto the slate and marble patio. Members of the Garden Club will be available to highlight the garden plantings and features. Feel free to walk all around the grounds and enjoy its special features, the monogrammed swing seat, Elizabeth and Joshua Alder’s foot stones, the lightning rod and fountain to name a few.
The Gortner House (Muncy Homes Tour 2006)
Colors and charm abound in this home – from the stained glass transom over the front door to the ceramic tile-adorned fireplace in the front parlor, you’ll find this home comfortable and inviting. Watch your head and your step as you move throughout the first floor – the door clearances are quite low in places and the original portion of this home had additions built all around it. Notice the original plank door as you take a peek up the back staircase – imagine this as your only way to the second floor when this section was built in the 1830s! In every room, you’ll find an artist’s special touches and family heirlooms abound. Built on the site of one of Muncy’s community wells, imagine the gossip that was whispered when people came here to fill their buckets.
Step outside to enjoy the colonial bed gardens, created as a bird- and bee-sanctuary. The artist’s creativity is everywhere you look – flowers blooming on the garden shed, the placement of the statuary, the use of recycled street pavers to create patio areas, and the restful lull of the wall fountain. Take time to visit the artist’s studio before moving on to your next stop.
Oh yes, perhaps, Lizzie, from an earlier time, will make an appearance – her presence has been felt in the house and she’s been known to walk this property from time to time.
The McCarty House (Muncy Homes Tour 2006)
Hundreds of perennials and plantings surround the property right next door. To fully enjoy the gardens, you’ll have to stray from the sidewalks and meander all around the property. Green- and brown-colored preying mantis help rid this garden of pesky insects and handmade inscribed bricks identify the plantings. From the herb garden, enjoy a glass of fresh mint tea!
The Douglas House (Muncy Homes Tour 2006)
When you step inside these fenced-in gardens, you’ll immediately forget that you are still on Muncy’s Main Street. The shrubbery and plantings have been carefully selected to create an air of privacy, richness and serenity. Imagine enjoying your morning coffee on one of the 1st- or 2nd-floor porches or sharing a cup of tea with friends in the courtyard. Notice how the garden is more than a group of plants – it invites you to explore the space.
St. James Episcopal Church (Muncy Homes Tour 2006)
One of Muncy’s finest buildings, the church was built under the direction of Sarah Hall, a wealthy parishioner, and was designed by the well-known architect, Richard Upjohn. Upjohn’s career spanned the middle years of the 19th century and New York’s Trinity Church and Boston’s Central Congregational Church are among his creations.
St. James is a 2 ½ story stone, Gothic Revival style church. The stone was brought from the Montgomery hills and was hauled across the frozen Susquehanna River on sleds. The church features a 107-foot tower topped with a hexagonal spire, double and single lancet windows in each of the four-bay southern and northern sides, and a beautiful twelve-light rose window graces its Main Street façade.
Before leaving the church property, visit its quaint Parish House for refreshments. The original Episcopal Church, built in 1832, was dismantled to make room for this larger structure and its bricks were recycled here. Beautifully landscaped gardens surround the property and feel free to sit a spell on one of the inviting benches.
The Bodine House (Muncy Homes Tour 2006)These gardens have provided a suburban hideaway to visitors since the bed and breakfast open its doors to guests in 1983. It is a maintenance-free, primarily perennial garden with a wonderful patio area that allows the garden visitor to sit a spell and to enjoy the colors and textures playing within the garden areas.
The Bailiff House (Muncy Homes Tour 2006)
The fieldstone Bailiff House on Muncy Farms was built in 1788 by Samuel Wallis. The middle brick section was added in 1840 and the western section was completed in 1926. The bailiff would have been Samuel Wallis farm manager. At that time the 5-square mile farm was called “Longreach” reflecting the location stretching between Muncy and Montoursville along the Susquehanna River.
The Bailiff House has been totally renovated keeping much of the colonial style intact. The original eastern section has an enormous cooking fireplace
The Riebsam House (Muncy Homes Tour 2005)This year’s tour includes Muncy Borough’s oldest brick dwelling, the Riebsam House.
Before entering, pay attention to the Colonial-Federal architecture: some of its unusual features are a fan-light doorway with eight panels, a Palladian window on the third floor of the north side of the house and several finely windowed roof dormers on its Main Street side. This home must be painted to preserve its soft brick exterior.
Although Johan Sebastian Riebsam and five of his sons came to Muncy in the 1790s, the original section of this home was not built until 1810. As their fortunes and family grew, the Riebsams added the front section some 10 years later. Just inside the front door, you’ll be able to see some of the early deeds for this property along with the Riebsam family German Bible. You’ll be welcome to ascend the front stairwell which turns you back toward the front of the house so you’ll be able to peer into the guest bedrooms and bath. Hold on to that handrail as you make your way back to the first floor, moving on through the front parlors to the rear section, make sure you notice the fine woodwork and prayer book mantel. Today, the kitchen and dining room are part of the oldest section – notice the change in ceiling height, the exposed rafters and built-in cupboards. You’ll depart this home by way of its newest addition, circa 1910.
Muncy Historical Society & Museum (Muncy Homes Tour 2005)
This early clapboard building is home to Muncy’s Museum of History. Take your time to appreciate the charm of one of Muncy’s earliest clapboard homes which still features the original beehive oven in the colonial kitchen, dating to 1812. This year Society volunteers have decorated the Museum using heirloom quilts and coverlets and a collection of Byers’ Carolers – both collections are on loan to the Society especially for the weekend festivities.
Listen carefully for the creaking of the pegged circa 1800 barn loom as our weaver pulls the beater bar toward her. Nearby find the “jacquard attachment” – one of only six known to still exist worldwide – which was used by Lycoming County’s only known jacquard weaver, William Lowmiller. The attachment revolutionized the weaver’s world, allowing him to produce a wide variety of designs using cardboard patterns. In addition to Muncy-made Lowmiller coverlets, you’ll also find examples of jacquard-produced bed coverings by other Pennsylvania weavers, including Netzly and Wunderlich of Lancaster County, Angstadt of Union County, Kaufman and Musselman of Bucks County, Dornbach of Luzerne County, and Kaley of Lebanon County.
In addition to the coverlet and quilt makers, there are other artists featured at 40 N. Main Street. Lining the front stairway wall is the Jean Mohr Collection which includes examples of his work in pencil, charcoal, watercolor, and oil. These works are very different than the wall murals featured in the restaurant section of the Fort Brady.
There are two worthy oil paintings in the front parlors (second floor) – over the fireplace hangs Miss Calder’s rendering of Muncy as it looked to her in 1856 and, above the tiger maple bureau, look for the still life painted by Jennie Noble Wood. As you stroll into the newer exhibit area, the Society’s pair of Severin Roesen oil paintings might just captivate your fancy.
On loan from both museum and private collections, the quilts illustrate hand- and machine piecing, appliqué and a variety of quilting techniques. Displayed on racks, in room settings, and on canvas, the bed coverings represent all categories – antique, traditional, grassroots and contemporary compositions. Many of the quilts and coverlets will be 150+ years old while some have just begun their life and will someday be family and community heirlooms. All are recognized and valued as art works. You will be entertained by a variety of color, design patterns and texture, with each piece depicting a personal art form that represents the artisan’s craft coupled with creativity.
“It was not a woman’s desire…to be forgotten. And in one simple, unpretentious way, she created a medium that would outlive even many of her husband’s houses, barns, and fences; she signed her name in friendship onto cloth and, in her own way, cried out, Remember me.” Linda Otto Lipsett
Fort Brady Hotel (Muncy Homes Tour 2005)
This circa 1810 large, three and one-half story, eight bay frame hotel and tavern has decided Victorian overtones. Six different additions give the present structure a rambling air which includes double bracketed eaves and thick window heads. The building has housed a tavern-hotel business since its initial construction by Robert Risk, a local landholder and merchant, and later owned by two of his sons, William and James. Step up to the impressive lobby desk and ‘register’ for the free door prize drawing.
Your room won’t be ready so pass the time with artist Jean Mohr who is madly working on the hotel’s wall murals. Step into the dining room – but stay away from the walls so you don’t get paint on your clothes! Jean has quite the story to tell and, if he likes you, perhaps he’ll spin you a yarn and will tip a ‘pint or so’ with you, too. Perhaps, he’ll share some stories about the family’s 13-room mansion or perhaps you can get him to describe his “Gibson Girl.”
This relatively unknown, but prolific, artist studied under Howard Pyle, a well-known teacher at Drexel Institute who developed quality illustrators, including Maxwell Parrish and N.C. Wyeth – persons who could tell a story with pictures and incorporate the most sophisticated artistic techniques into their work. He also studied portraiture under Cecelia Beau and several of his portraits will be on display as well.
The Wood-Rankin House (Muncy Homes Tour 2005)
In 1872, Jeremiah Gernerd, author of the Society’s publication, Now and Then, had this to say about the Wood-Rankin Home: “… contributing to the general advancement of a correct taste for architectural embellishment, and promoting sensible ideas of domestic enjoyment, [is] the new home of Adam Rankin.”
Purchasing the property from the Wood estate, Rankin proceeded to turn the existing house around and move it further back on the lot. For the tour, you’ll enter the 2-and-1/2-story Victorian style brick by way of its front door which served the family as the main entrance to their private residence. Throughout the day, there will be music coming from the front parlor/library and you’ll be captivated by the charm of the dining- and sitting rooms.
Next, you’ll find the original portion of this home is the rear 1-and-1/2-story section built in the style of Greek Revival. At one time, facing in the opposite direction and just off the sidewalk, this portion served as the medical office for one of Muncy’s earliest physicians, Dr. Thomas Wood. You’ll find some of the Wood Family’s 19th century medical instruments on display here – perhaps you might want volunteer to be “bleed” or sit still for a quick, but most likely, painful tonsillectomy! Make sure you go outside and look back to view the pedimented gable and columned porch.
If you’re up to the challenge, ascend to the second floor by way of the back narrow stairway – turning you first in one direction and then the other. You’ll exit by way of the front stairs.
St. Andrews Evangelical Lutheran Church (Muncy Homes Tour 2005)
This large stone church features a square three-story bell tower topped with battlements, a symmetrical floor plan interrupted by a number of small side bays, and Tudor arches enhancing the various entrances. Its first pipe organ was installed in 1914 and it was partially paid for by Andrew Carnegie, of Pittsburgh. The church was designed by M. I. Kast and constructed by J. A. Miller and Company using stone from the West Branch Canal aqueduct which traversed Muncy Creek at its confluence with the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Built in 1905, this is St. Andrews’ centennial year.
Shuttle Hill Ranch (Muncy Homes Tour 2005)
This home, which sits on lot’s 1 through 4, was built in the 1960s in what is known as Muncy’s Shuttle Hill development section. Entering through the front door, you’ll make the turn into the kitchen which features the owner’s springerle cookie mold collection and a 1840s Swedish-made sampler. In the garage-converted-to-family room notice the family heirloom trunk and tea cart, the hand-crafted coffee table and the Fenton House stemware collection. Windows span two sides of the home’s dining/living room area which has been decorated for the Christmas season.
Keeping with this year’s ‘quilt’ theme be sure you check out the hand-painted and numbered quilt-scene prints hanging in the guest bedroom.
In this house that seems to go on forever, also take time to descend to the basement which features an entertainment and guest suite, with its own mini-kitchen and bath.
For the children in all of us, the ever-popular reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s holiday story is held at the Muncy Historical Society Museum, 40 N. Main St., Muncy. Santa Claus is known to attend and hot chocolate and cookies are served after the reading. The society’s Museum Shop will be open for holiday shopping ideas.
This holiday’s reading is slated for Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011, 10 a.m.
The Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”