Juniata River Valley museums to participate in Museum Day
Goose Day event to feature 27 locations
LEWISTOWN – Observed for more than two centuries in the Juniata River Valley, Goose Day has become
a beloved part of the area’s heritage.
To celebrate this local holiday and to recognize all the area’s rich history, the Juniata River Valley Visitors
Bureau is organizing a new event for this year’s Goose Day celebration.
Museum Day, held in conjunction with the Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day, is a day to encourage
boundless curiosity by opening the doors of museums and cultural institutions across the country for
On Sept. 18 th , the museums in Mifflin, Juniata and Huntingdon counties will be open to the public for
tours. Some of the locations on the list have regular hours throughout the year, but many are open only
once a year.
“We are encouraging guests to take advantage of this opportunity to see some of these rare and special
historical locations in our area,” said Buffie Boyer, marketing assistant for the visitors bureau. “There is a
great distance between most of the museums, so make a plan now where you want to visit.” Rarely open locations include:
McVeytown Museum– Memorabilia from the former McVeytown-Oliver, Bratton-McVeytown-Oliver and Rothrock High Schools and local paraphernalia, are part of the museum located in the McVeytown Borough Building. Open once-a-year during Country Memories Day, now is an opportunity to see it again or for the first time.
Burnham Dog House- The dog house, sponsored by the Burnham High School alumni displays memorabilia from Burnham’s education system between 1914-1955.
Hoopes School- Built around 1873, the historic one-room school building has its original slate blackboards, wainscoating, and coat pegs, plus the room has been kept in its school room appearance with rows of wooden desks.
Lewistown Train Station-This station is the oldest surviving structure known to have been built by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society’s thousands of archives, which are housed in the station, are being organized while some railroad memorabilia is on display.
Mifflin County Model Railroad Club- The train display consists of two layouts, one O gauge, the other HO scale. Scale models of the historic Lewistown Train Station and East Broad Top Railroad are featured. Fort Pomfret- One of the oldest sites in Juniata County, this fort was built around 1755 as a defensive plan west of the Susquehanna River. The fort was built over a never-failing spring that provided all the water needed for the family.
Smith School- Smith School was purchased by a former student, Stan Sieber, who restored the school for the bicentennial celebration of our country. Sieber reopened the doors in 1976 and started giving tours of the nostalgic building. School students have often visited the school for the day to learn about the building, participate in activities, and wear clothing that reflect the time-period. Other participating locations include:
McCoy House Museum– Built in 1841, this home was the birthplace of Major General Frank Ross McCoy and now houses the Mifflin County Historical Society’s large collection of items from Mifflin County
history. A special room features the General McCoy collection that recognizes his family’s contributions to the welfare of the community and nation in both war and peace.
Mifflin County Historical Society Library– Located inside the Historic Courthouse on Monument Square, the research library handles all genealogical requests and assist patrons with information requests. Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center- Founded in 1986, the center collects and preserves artifacts of the Amish who came to Mifflin County in 1791. The seek to tell the stories of the area’s ancestors through displays and documents. Weather permitting, they will have outside demonstrations and exhibits including a cider press, butter churn, corn sheller, grind stones, Native American primitive tools, and horse shoeing. Open 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kishacoquillas Valley Historical Society– Since its inception, the society has been collecting local artifacts from the Kish Valley region and those items are on display in the nine rooms in the museum. Two featured artists’ work to look for are Isaac Peight and Samuel L. Plank. The 1830’s bank barn houses the genealogy room and agricultural artifacts.
Tuscarora Academy- The Juniata County Historical Society’s Museum is located in the only surviving building of the Tuscarora Academy, the site of the first secondary school in Juniata County. The museum is home to exhibits that highlight Juniata County’s past.
Juniata County Historical Society Archives– The archives room, located in the lower level of the Juniata County Library, is the location of the society’s resources for historical and genealogical research. Juniata Mennonite Historical Center- The Juniata Mennonite Historical Society was organized to preserve the accumulated historical materials from area churches and the surrounding community. The center’s collection includes family records and family Bibles, including the oldest book, a 1540 Froschauer Bible!
Greenwood Furnace History and Blacksmith Shop- The Blacksmith Shop and Education Center houses displays on the ironworks history of the site. The walking tour includes parts of the former ironmaking village, tramway, historic roads, and charcoal hearths.
Upon hearing about the Juniata River Valley Museum Day, the Huntingdon County History and Heritage Roundtable, who already host their own Museum Day, asked to join efforts, and invite visitors to their
locations, too. For a list of participating locations like the Isett Heritage Museum, visit huntingdoncountyhistory.com. Pre-registration, which is found on the website, is required for Huntingdon County.
All locations will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information, call (717) 248-6713, visit www.JRVVisitors.com or the Goose Day in the Juniata River Valley Facebook page.