House of history created in Greencastle

June 27, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - They don't own a building and their artifacts are borrowed, but a small, dedicated group of citizens have founded the Greencastle/Antrim Township area's first historical museum.

Leading the effort is Bonnie A. Shockey, a 47-year-old aerobics instructor who lives on Rabbit Road North. Shockey, a Greencastle native, is the first president of the Allison-Antrim Museum Inc.

The museum is named after John Allison, who founded Greencastle in 1782. The borough was incorporated in 1805.

Shockey said the new organization has a mailing list of about 45 members and has recently obtained tax-exempt status.

"Our initial focus is increasing our membership," Shockey said. "We need the help and support of Greencastle-Antrim area residents," she said.


The museum is also seeking donations of historic artifacts, she said.

A board of directors has been elected and committees established. Initial committee duties include recruiting, fund-raising, establishing by-laws and learning how to obtain and properly care for items that will be donated to the museum, Shockey said.

"The museum will be a place to retain items, memorabilia, antiques, papers and information from the area's past," Shockey said. "It will also highlight the area's Scot-Irish heritage."

Shockey said the museum's biggest challenge will be finding a building to call its own. It could be bought, leased or donated, she said. The building will serve as a museum, office and library, she said.

Meanwhile, members will set up displays and exhibits in storefront windows around town, she said. "We're trying to make ourselves more visible."

In May, the museum set up a display of loaned artifacts in the H&R Block office on East Baltimore Street.

A larger exhibit was set up in a First National Bank window on the square in Greencastle. It includes Civil War memorabilia and tools and other items used in conestoga wagons.

There also is the wooden railroad baggage cart used by George "Poley" Hamilton when he was a young man to carry passengers' luggage from the train station to the Antrim House Hotel as well as bags of mail from the station to the post office.

Hamilton died in 1984 at the age of 95. His father was a slave.

Shockey said the museum will start holding quarterly dinner meetings followed by speaking programs beginning July 10 at the Antrim House Restaurant.

The first speaker will be Ted Alexander, a local historian and former history teacher who now works for the National Park Service at the Antietam National Battlefield. Alexander will talk about the area's historic roots.

For more information on the museum, call Shockey at 1-717-597-9325.

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