Experience the beauty and charm of one of Pennsylvania’s finest communities as the Muncy Historical Society hosts its annual Historic Homes and Walking Tour from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. The $12 tour donation includes admission to showcase properties, a descriptive brochure, special exhibits, shopping opportunities, interaction with living history performers, trolley rides and refreshments.
Society Executive Director William Poulton invites everyone to experience historic Muncy and as he commented in the recently-aired WVIA documentary “Our Town Muncy” that “Muncy is like Colonial Williamsburg but without the five hour drive.” The historical society offers its guests a different happening annually, and this year the focus will be on Muncy’s artistic heritage. On Oct. 21, guests will experience a combination of historic properties, special one-day only exhibits, and personal engagements.
One stop, and the event ticket center, for the Homes and Walking Tour is the Muncy Historical Society, housed in one of Muncy’s earliest frame homes. The two and one-half story, seven-bay frame building represents the Greek revival style. Muncy’s artistic heritage is readily apparent at this stop where the creative geniuses of more than 50 local past and contemporary artists’ works are on display. The museum’s collection includes a wide range of original art and exemplary craftsmanship, including photography, oil paintings, jewelry, pottery, woodworking, quilting, mosaics, watercolor, sculpture, and home décor. In addition to its own collection of Mohr’s, the Society has partnered with the Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission on Community Action (STEP) who will be displaying a partial exhibit of restored Jean Mohr murals that were salvaged from the basement bar area of the former Moran Hotel/Muncy Senior Center. Some of these large pieces help create the perfect backdrop for the Society’s meeting room-turned taproom where guests can taste test our non-alcoholic brew before moving on to the next venue.
The properties are always interesting since the Society features homes representing a variety of architectural styles, from Colonial to Federal to Victorian eclectic. Within walking distance, ticketholders will meet Benjamin Pott! Born in 1802, Benjamin Pott became one of Muncy’s premiere cabinetmakers and builders. While his early advertisements “invite the public to view all kinds of cabinet ware, manufactured by the most competent workmen, and finished in superior style, and sold on the most reasonable terms” Pott is remembered for his doorways! Two of his doorways are featured – the entrance to his home at 27 N. Main Street and across the street, the entrance to 26 N. Main.
Robert Risk and his sons were builders on a much larger scale than Pott as evidenced by the home located at 28 N. Main Street. This substantial brick is evidence of the vast wealth that many of Muncy’s merchants accumulated during the canal and lumber eras of Lycoming County. Mrs. Risk will greet visitors on the front porch and will welcome all to explore her home’s exquisite woodwork, built-ins, and its many rooms. Two handcrafted dollhouses, recently donated to the Society’s collection, will be on display.
Jean Mohr joins the event by making his appearance at the Fort Brady Hotel. The Brady’s wall murals are Muncy’s best preserved and Mohr welcomes all to come and sit a spell as he finished his work. The hotel desk manager will arrange for your bath as you take time to register for your lodging
As in bygone days, traveling theatrical companies arrived in town by stagecoach … their props, costumes and personal luggage were hoisted by block and tackle up to the side doorway, three floors above street level. The stage driver discharged his passengers in the alleyway, at the back entrance, reserved for the likes of them! He has a yarn or two to share and, perhaps, will issue a word of caution for a meeting with the “Real Widow Brown.” Widow Brown’s travels included performances in London, Berlin and New York City and she’s not quite sure what to make of this stop in Muncy. While the show is booked for two weeks, how will this quaint little town fill this brand new Opera House?
The trolley will be making its way up and down Muncy’s main street during the event hours and the on-board guide will regale passengers with pertinent facts about Muncy’s artistic and historical heritage. There will be a number of stops, clearly marked, so that passengers can embark and disembark conveniently near all of the tour locations.
Ticket holders may park in one of the centrally located designated areas and most of the Muncy properties are within easy walking distance.
Advance tickets, at the discounted price of $10 for the Historic Homes and Walking Tour, may be purchased from 9 a.m. to three, October 12, 15 and 19, 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 Muncy Historical Society.
More information is available by calling the Muncy Historical Society at 546-5917. On the Internet at http://www.MuncyHistoricalSociety.org.