Through those bitter cold days of February and March, and the rainy days of April, volunteers were busy making changes inside the Farm Museum along route 14 in Troy. Virginia Hough, one of the founders of the museum made a donation for improvements. Those improvements centered on the gift shop, but involved rearranging other parts of the museum as well. The museum office was enlarged and is now the gift shop, separated from the rest of the museum. It is set up so a person doesn’t have to go through the museum to access the gift shop, which used to be “lost” in the museum. It’s a much nicer arrangement.
While creating a new gift shop, volunteers also organized and arranged the other areas of the museum. The milking, churning and butter making area has been enlarged. There is a textile area with weaving, spinning and sewing displays.
Ralph Knapp, curator of the heavy equipment room which contains all of the farm equipment and implements, has arranged and organized all the farm implements in order. “When you come in, you see all of the tools and equipment in the order in which they were used, from planting to harvesting,” said Johann Dickerson. “Ralph has spent hours here doing this.” Dickerson explained how Knapp and some of his volunteers mounted a huge wheel used for hoisting heavy items so that it is operational. Dickerson is sure it will be a popular display when school groups come for a tour.
Others played a role in getting the museum in shape for the upcoming Maple Festival which will be held at Alparon Park May 7 and 8. Greg Jones and his two sons helped install the new ceiling in the equipment room. It makes the room much brighter. Jones was able to salvage some of the murals when he tore down the old Troy Bank building and donated them to the Farm Museum to hang on the wall of the gift shop.
David Levington donated the repair of the barrel piano. The repair is being done by Sides Music Company in Williamsport.
Oscar’s Flooring in East Troy donated the rug for the gift shop. Volunteers Debbie Lutz and Barbara Barrett installed it. Lutz, Barrett, and Art Dickerson painted the walls and shelves in the new gift shop.
A workshop addition was added to the back of the museum. The old workshop will become a library.
The renovation of the museum is still a work in progress. “You would not have believed this place four weeks ago. It was one huge mess,” said Johann Dickerson. “I didn’t think we’d make it in time.” As she and Bill Brasington were taking apart a set of shelves to move them to a new location, they heard a crash when the last screw was loosened. When they walked around it, they realized that a glass shelf unit full of toy tractors was attached to the shelf unit they had been working on, and it had fallen over. Only one glass shelf had broken and no tractors were broken. But they spent the rest of the day cleaning up that mess!
Along with fabric, cards and knickknacks, there are many hand made items for sale in the new gift shop, which is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Among them are Marie Hvezda’s multi-colored woven rugs, hand made brooms by The Pennsylvania Broom Closet, Cindy Ammerman’s quilting items, Johann Dickerson’s sock dolls, Edward Hammond’s glass, Roloson’s maple syrup, and Melba Campbell’s scherenschnitte, which means “scissors – snips” in German. “When I was a little girl I loved playing with paper dolls and enjoyed cutting them out,” explained Campbell. “I think that’s why I started doing this.”
“There’s so much here,” added Campbell. “Everything’s got a story.”