Something to fiddle-dee-dee about

Allison-Antrim Museum hosts 70th anniversary exhibit of 'Gone with the Wind'

Allison-Antrim Museum hosts 70th anniversary exhibit of 'Gone with the Wind'

January 08, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - When the film "Gone with the Wind" was released in Dec. 15, 1939, it started a 70-year love affair between the public and Scarlett O'Hara.

Local fans who want to see a piece of "Gone with the Wind" history can visit the Allison-Antrim Museum on Sunday, Jan. 11; Tuesday, Jan. 13; or Thursday, Jan. 15; for a special exhibit of items related to the film.

Bonnie A. Shockey, president of the museum's board of directors, said this is an opportunity for those in the area to see memorabilia from the film as well as items that once belonged to Maria Ziegler, a local girl who lived in the mid-1800s.

"At the beginning of the movie, Scarlett was 16 and from a well-to-do Southern plantation family," Shockey said. "Maria Ziegler died at the age of 17 in 1864 and was from a well-to-do family from Greencastle."


Personal items including clothing that belonged to Ziegler, whose father was a merchant, are on display. Shockey said the exhibit shows a juxtaposition of local Civil War memorabilia and the history portrayed in the movie.

For instance, in the movie Scarlett is in one scene sewing with an embroiderer's group, Shockey said. Ziegler's personal sewing kit is part of the exhibit.

The idea to have a "Gone with the Wind" exhibit was two-fold, Shockey said. During the board's November holiday meeting, Juanita Leisch, a nationally known author on the Civil War, and her husband, Les Jensen, presented a talk on how historically factual the movie was. The next month, Shockey said she was listening to the radio when John Tesh mentioned that in 2009 the film would celebrate its 70th anniversary.

Shockey said local collectors, including her niece, loaned items for display. Items include a reproduction of a 1939 souvenir movie program and a first edition of Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer Prize-winning book. "The items that were actually used in the movie sets are pretty cool," she said.

On display are a beaded necklace; a straw hat that was worn by one of the slaves in the movie; liqueur glasses; a bugle; and wall decorations used as scene props, Shockey said. There are also original and reproductive stills from the movie as well as an original lobby card.

"We also have photos signed by Olivia de Havilland and Vivien Leigh," she said.

Shockey said "Gone with the Wind" was an accurate portrayal of the times, which she attributes to Mitchell's research. It might be one reason why the movie continues to be popular.

"It's the historically correct presentation of the world (at the time) and the love story," she said. "It depends if you're a man or a woman if you put those in first or second place."

If you go ...

WHAT: "Gone with the Wind" exhibit

WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11; 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13 and noon to 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15; other times by appointment

WHERE: Allison-Antrim Museum, 365 S. Ridge Ave., Greencastle, Pa.

COST: Free, but donations accepted

CONTACT: Go to or call the museum at 717-597-9010

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