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'Made in Greencastle' on display at museum

October 16, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Familiar southcentral Pennsylvania businesses like Frick Co., JLG and Flinchbaugh had strong ties to the Greencastle area, the president of Allison-Antrim Museum explained as visitors toured the October exhibit on Sunday.

"Made in Greencastle or Antrim Township" features a collection of tools, memorabilia, products and handiwork of the community's residents and businesses.

"Residents of Waynesboro (Pa.) are surprised Geiser had a plant in Greencastle," Museum President Bonnie Shockey said.

The exhibit, open from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday, not only highlights the work of locals, but also hints at concurrent national happenings.

"Our history is American history because it happened here," Shockey said. "It was everywhere."

The museum visitors on Sunday typically came to see one aspect of the exhibit, then discovered even more Greencastle ties, according to Shockey.

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"If they come for a specific reason, they look at the other items and realize how many came from Greencastle," she said.

Early in his tour of the museum, Brooke Althouse found that he was "recognizing things I remember from being a kid."

Althouse paused in front of a Victrola phonograph.

"We had one of these in the garage when I was a kid, and I'd crank it," Althouse said.

Next to the phonograph is an organ stenciled with "Greencastle Organ Company Pa." In 1877, Mathias Peter Moller moved to Greencastle and started making reed organs, according to the organ's label.

The one on display, loaned by the family of the late Carl Carbaugh, was built between 1877 and 1881.

The museum's second floor has a mantle clock donated by the family of David Warren, who is thought to have spent 200 hours designing and constructing the wooden piece.

In an adjacent room on Sunday, Henry Brechbill from the Duffield area near Mont Alto, Pa., looked at black- and-white photographs and tools used by James Craig Sr. in his tinning and plumbing business.

The highlight of the exhibit for Brechbill was a clover header used to harvest clover for seeds.

"I worked with farm machinery all my life ... and I never saw it implemented that way," Brechbill said. "Thank goodness there are people interested in collecting this stuff."

Shockey explained to a visitor that the clover header's nails show that it dates prior to 1820 - the time when the first factory-made nails were produced.

Area teachers toured the exhibit on Saturday in a Teaching American History grant program for continuing education. Shockey and other area historians spoke to the educators about local industrial history.

"It was an effort to get the schoolteachers to include the local history in with the state and American history," Shockey said.

Photo by Jennifer Fitch

Brooke and Terry Althouse of Quincy, Pa., read about the history of a Moller organ on display at the Allison-Antrim Museum in Greencastle, Pa.

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