The Best Places You've Never Seen: Pennsylvania's Small Museums: A Traveler's Guide

Overview

You know the Carnegie Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but have you ever visited the Toy Robot Museum in Adamstown or Bill's Old Bike Barn in Bloomsburg? The Tom Mix Museum in Mix Run? The Houdini Museum in Scranton? Pennsylvania's many small museums are easy to miss in an age of instant information and superhighways. After reading Therese Boyd's guide, however, you'll rush to get off the beaten track to find them. Pennsylvania's little wonders are as entertaining ...

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Overview

You know the Carnegie Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but have you ever visited the Toy Robot Museum in Adamstown or Bill's Old Bike Barn in Bloomsburg? The Tom Mix Museum in Mix Run? The Houdini Museum in Scranton? Pennsylvania's many small museums are easy to miss in an age of instant information and superhighways. After reading Therese Boyd's guide, however, you'll rush to get off the beaten track to find them. Pennsylvania's little wonders are as entertaining as they are educational.

Unlike large museums, which display masterpieces of art and other "important" items, small museums feature objects that would otherwise be thrown away and forgotten—everything from spittoons to high button shoes and trolley cars. Some small museums, such as the Richard Allen Museum, serve a serious purpose; others are playful, even eccentric. All offer a fresh perspective on how people have lived and worked.

Boyd, who has visited small museums throughout Pennsylvania, concentrates on the forty-two museums she considers most worth a detour. These range from Kready's Museum, where visitors can savor the simple pleasures of a country store, to the Vocal Groups Hall of Fame and Museum, where music fans can listen to "golden oldies" and pore over memorabilia (including sequined dresses once worn by the Supremes). Boyd's personal favorite is the museum in the home of Christian Sanderson, a man who collected literally hundreds of historical relics, not the least of which is the purse found in the apron pocket of Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. Boyd's book is a comprehensive, illustrated guide to the best small museums in Pennsylvania. It weaves amusing anecdotes about Boyd's own visits to the museums along with descriptions of their histories and collections. Her guide provides travel directions as well as complete information about each museum's visiting hours, website, and contact information.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with its famous Rocky staircase and Thomas Eakins masterpieces, is a must-see for most Keystone State visitors, the rest of the state's museums are largely unknown to outsiders. Writer Boyd has visited small museums throughout Pennsylvania and found 42 she says are worth detouring for; she details these little gems in this handy guide organized by region. In the Poconos, visitors should check out the Houdini Tour and Show, where they can see the padlocks the great escapist used, or Yuengling Brewery, dubbed "America's Oldest Brewery." While trucking through the Alleghenies, drivers might make a pit stop at Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum, a nondescript wooden building that features a range of "elephantania," from plaster elephants to elephant salt and pepper shakers. And in an around Philly, there's the Mummers Museum, which pays tribute to the city's version of Mardi Gras; the Shoe Museum (displaying South African clogs and a size 18 shoe); and more. It's a quirky travel guide that will undoubtedly be a godsend to anyone faced with a long drive on Route 80. 84 illustrations. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271022765
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 5/20/2003
  • Series: A Keystone Book ?
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Therese Boyd is a (nearly) lifelong Pennsylvanian. When she's not driving the back roads looking for somewhere fun or writing about where she's been, she edits books, writes book reviews, and teaches writing at Penn State York.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

List of Symbols

Introduction

1. Better in the Poconos

Bill's Old Bike Barn, Bloomsburg

Houdini Tour and Show, Scranton

White Christmas Chalet and Tree Farm, Slatington

Yuengling Brewery, Pottsville

Zane Grey Museum, Lackawaxen

2. Around the City of Brotherly Love

Boyertown Museum of Historical Vehicles, Boyertown

Christian Sanderson Museum, Chadds Ford

The Insectarium, Philadelphia

Lost Highways Museum, Philadelphia

Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, Doylestown

Mummers Museum, Philadelphia

Museum of Mourning Art, Drexel Hill

Richard Allen Museum, Philadelphia

Shoe Museum, Philadelphia

Wharton Esherick Museum, Valley Forge

3. Deep in the Lower Susquehanna Valley

Bob Hoffman Weightlifting Hall of Fame and Museum, York

First National Bank Museum, Columbia

Kready's Country Store Museum, Lititz

Le Petit Museum of Musical Boxes, Marietta

New Holland Band Museum, New Holland

The Toy Robot Museum, Adamstown

4. Heart of the Alleghenies

Gardners Candies, Tyrone

Grice's Clearfield Community Museum, Clearfield

Horseshoe Curve, Altoona

Johnstown Flood Museum, Johnstown

Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum, Ortanna

Pasto Agricultural Museum, State College

Rockhill Trolley Museum, Rockhill Furnace

5. Iron City Environs

Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Uniontown

George Westinghouse Museum, Wilmerding

Jimmy Stewart Museum, Indiana

Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh

Photo Antiquities, Pittsburgh

6. Heading for Lake Erie

John Brown Museum, New Richmond

Vocal Groups Hall of Fame and Museum, Sharon

Wild West Museum, Franklin

7. Top of the World

Eldred World War II Museum, Eldred

Ole Bull Museum, Oleana

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Galeton

Piper Aviation Museum, Lock Haven

Tom Mix Birthplace and Museum, Driftwood

Zippo Visitors Center, Bradford

Photo Credits

Appendix: Other Small Museums Mentioned

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