Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc. was begun under the auspices of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce in 1994. We incorporated in 1995 and received our 50l(c)(3) status in 1997.
In January 1998 we were very fortunate to receive an anonymous gift of $200,000 with which to purchase property. In April 1998 we bought the property at 365 South Ridge Avenue that we now call home for the museum.
Research revealed that Alexander L. Irwin bought 14 acres plus 16 perches of land from Jacob Stover in April 1860. This tract of land was part of the original Tayamentasachta (Endless Hills) property. Irwin called the acreage “My Walnut Hill Property”. According to 1860 tax records, he a built brick on limestone foundation house in the style of late Greek Revival with Italianate elements. The property had only three owners before AAMI bought the house in 1998.
In October 1997 before the museum had a place to call home, we received the first acquisition - a collection of 15 paintings by the late African-American artist, Walter Washington Smith. The collection was given through the estate of Nedra Smith Bigosa, sister of Walter Smith. Smith, born in 1887, was internationally known for his paintings of Greencastle and Antrim Township. He had exhibits at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D. C., many other major United States city museums and galleries, and in Paris, France. His most famous painting, “Snowing”, and his favorite, “Love’s Walk”, are among the collection and on exhibit
AAMI was also given a sizeable collection of Pennsylvania governors’ signatures, on approximately 90 different documents, dating from the 1700’s to the late 1970’s. There are 38 different signatures which is a little more than 41% of the 91 men who have served as governor of Pennsylvania from the Provincial era up through modern times.
One of Greencastle-Antrim School District’s fourth grade classes is working on an ongoing project to collect missing signatures to add to the collection.
Also, on exhibit is memorabilia of Henry P. Fletcher, born in Greencastle, who rode
with Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders and served 51 years under eight presidents as a United States diplomat to six countries.
In the large parlor are artifacts from the original Carl’s Drug Store. Carl’s Drug Store is the oldest, continuously, operating drug store in the United States. Dr. Adam Carl started the drug store in 1825. Four generations of the Carl family owned the business until 1974 when the current proprietor bought the business.
The grand piano of Philip Baer, well-known opera singer during the Victorian era and founder, in 1902, of the triennial Old Home Week celebration, is in the large parlor.
And, don’t forget to listen carefully and watch for our resident ghost, Sophie.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Currently, Allison-Antrim Museum at 365 South Ridge Avenue, Greencastle, PA 17225-1157 is open on the second Sunday of each month from 1 pm - 4 pm, featuring special exhibits, or by appointment by calling 717.597.9010. Docents provide guided tours and share local history. Group tours are available.
A successful, monthly, speaker series is held on the second Thursday of each month and is free and open to the public.
Directions: From I 81 north, take Pa Exit 3 and turn right onto Route 16 west. Go three blocks and turn left onto South Ridge Avenue at the Besore Library. Proceed through two stop signs. The museum is one half block on the right directly across from the middle school and next to the Catholic church parking lot. Parking is available on the street. From I 81 south, take Pa Exit 3 and turn left onto Route 16 west. Follow the above directions from there.