Mount Union Area Historical Society

Mount Union Area Historical Society The Mount Union Area Historical Society, formed in 1976, preserves and communicates the history of Mount Union, Pennsylvania.
The Society's museum is in the restored Sharrar house, built in 1841 and the oldest building in Mount Union. Three other museum buildings, the Abraham Price House at the opposite end of the Historical Society Lawn on Water Street, the Industrial Museum on East Market Street, and the Mt. Nebo Church, plus the Interpretive Park on Jefferson Street, contain additional exhibits and a large local history research center. The Sharrar House and Price House are open to the public on Thursdays from May until October from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. or upon request.

03/14/2019

Elizabeth S. “Ish” Goodman

It is with great sadness that we say farewell to a founding member and staunch supporter of our society, Elizabeth S. “Ish” Goodman.

Ish passed away at the age of 93 on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

In 1976, Ish was one of the charter members of the Mount Union Area Historical Society. She contributed her many talents to the society in a myriad of ways, most notably as the Society’s long-time Archivist and go-to person for answers to questions about Mount Union history and genealogy.

Mrs. Goodman was also an active member of the Mount Union Presbyterian Church, serving as organist (for over 40 years!), choir member, member of session, and clerk of session.

She was a member of the Presbyterian Women’s Association, the Shakespeare Club, the Red Hat Society, the 20th Century Women’s Club, the Bridge Club, and a lifetime member of the Mount Union Alumni Association. Ish also taught piano lessons, was a Cub Scout den mother, and served on the Mount Union Area School Board.

Those wishing to make memorial contributions in memory of Mrs. Goodman may do so to either the Mount Union Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 163, Mount Union, PA 17066; or to the Mount Union Historical Society, P.O. Box 118, Mount Union, PA 17066.

The back of this recently-donated post card bears the handwritten note "Chestnut Party crowd showing just a few of the n...
02/16/2017

The back of this recently-donated post card bears the handwritten note "Chestnut Party crowd showing just a few of the number. I will name them when I come home."

Was a chestnut party some sort of fall activity?

09/15/2016

Help us celebrate forty years of the Mount Union Area Historical Society at Canal Era Day, Saturday , October 1, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The event will be held on the Sharrar House grounds in West Water Street, Mount Union.

There will be entertainment, performing artists, antique crafts demonstrations, and ethnic food.

Visit our newly-equipped Research Room in the Price House to see our vision of the next forty years of the Society !

04/25/2016

Please join us for the Annual Dinner and Meeting of the Mount Union Area Historical Society on Saturday, June 11. The dinner is at the St. Luke Lutheran Church, on the corner of Market and Jefferson Streets, in Mount Union.

We’ll gather at 5:30 pm and enjoy a roast turkey dinner with all the fixings at 6:00.

Our speaker will be Peg Boozel, leader of the “History Alive” program for local high school students, assisted by program participants Kevin Long and Daisy Muckie.

The cost for the dinner is $15. Please reserve your place by calling Mary Hancock at 814-542-9924 before May 30.

We hope to have the pleasure of your company at the dinner.

Here's what grocery shopping looked like before the invention of the self-serve market. This photo comes from the Kidd f...
10/08/2015

Here's what grocery shopping looked like before the invention of the self-serve market. This photo comes from the Kidd family.

The Sharrar House will host special exhibits this Saturday, October 3, at the annual Canal Era Days festival. Expect mus...
09/26/2015

The Sharrar House will host special exhibits this Saturday, October 3, at the annual Canal Era Days festival. Expect music, food, and an all-around good time.

The great picture of a touring party in a pre-1913 Cadillac comes to us from Virginia Hicks Spires. The long dusters, le...
09/17/2015

The great picture of a touring party in a pre-1913 Cadillac comes to us from Virginia Hicks Spires. The long dusters, leather gloves, and headscarves were standard apparel for ladies bouncing over dirt roads at unheard-of speeds exceeding 20 mph.

Who can tell us more about Mt. Union's Acme Store? This photo was obviously taken a while ago. Notice that steak is 32 c...
07/12/2015

Who can tell us more about Mt. Union's Acme Store? This photo was obviously taken a while ago. Notice that steak is 32 cents a pound !

June is a popular month for weddings, so let's share this photo from the Drake-Ross photo album in the society's collect...
06/28/2015

June is a popular month for weddings, so let's share this photo from the Drake-Ross photo album in the society's collection.

The narrow ring prominently displayed on the hand holding her hat suggests this elegant young lady may be posing at the time of her wedding. (This may even be a wedding dress, as Civil War-era bridal dresses were often but not always white.)

The pagoda sleeves of the silk dress are ornamented by box-pleated ruching and gigantic undersleeves. The same ruching has been applied to the two-pointed fan bodice in a shape reminiscent of the bolero jacket.

Additional decoration includes the fashionably narrow collar, watchchain, and elaborate buttons.

The straw hat is in a style of the late 1850s.

Here's another one of our puzzling photos. A note on the back says this handsome log dwelling once stood on "Front Stree...
06/14/2015

Here's another one of our puzzling photos.

A note on the back says this handsome log dwelling once stood on "Front Street in Allenport."

Can anyone tell us more about where this building was located?

06/03/2015

The Mt. Union Are Historical Society will once again celebrate Canal Era Day on October 3, 2015. The theme this year is “People Who Have Made Us Who We Are.”

The theme will honor the volunteer work of twelve persons who once lived in Mount Union. Any deceased past resident of the borough is eligible to be considered via the society’s nomination process.

Nominations should state the name of the deceased person, explain the scope of his or her volunteer work, and explain how this volunteerism has enriched and improved the lives of people in our area. Nominees may have been of any age at the time of their passing.

Anyone can submit one or more nominations. Send nominations to The Mount Union Area Historical Society, Attn: Mrs. Elaine P. Africa, President, P.O. Box. 118, Mount Union, PA 17066. Please include your name, address and telephone number so we can contact you if necessary.

This is the composing room of the Mount Union Times.Notice the angled pairs of type cases, each with many little boxes t...
05/31/2015

This is the composing room of the Mount Union Times.

Notice the angled pairs of type cases, each with many little boxes that held the pieces of type for printing each letter. The compositor picked up each letter one at a time with his or her right hand and placed it in a holder known as a composing stick in the left hand, building the newspaper one letter and one line at a time.

Each pair of cases would have held all the letters for one type face and size. The closer, more horizontal type case held lower case letters. The upper, inclined one held the capital letters and special characters.

Now you know why computers still talk of lower case and upper case characters !

Vehicles belonging to the Mount Union Motor Car Co. take part in a holiday parade.
05/26/2015

Vehicles belonging to the Mount Union Motor Car Co. take part in a holiday parade.

Remember when this delivery vehicle plied the streets of Mt. Union?
05/19/2015

Remember when this delivery vehicle plied the streets of Mt. Union?

The warehouse for Shapiro's Furniture was a later tenant of the still-extant brick building at the corner of Lafayette a...
05/12/2015

The warehouse for Shapiro's Furniture was a later tenant of the still-extant brick building at the corner of Lafayette and Small Street that originally housed E. A. Beaver, wholesale grocers.

05/05/2015

The Mt. Union Are Historical Society will once again celebrate Canal Era Day on October 3, 2015. The theme this year is “People Who Have Made Us Who We Are.”

The theme will honor the volunteer work of twelve persons who once lived in Mount Union. Any deceased past resident of the borough is eligible to be considered via the society’s nomination process.

Nominations should state the name of the deceased person, explain the scope of his or her volunteer work, and explain how this volunteerism has enriched and improved the lives of people in our area. Nominees may have been of any age at the time of their passing.

Anyone can submit one or more nominations. Send nominations to The Mount Union Area Historical Society, Attn: Mrs. Elaine P. Africa, President, P.O. Box. 118, Mount Union, PA 17066. Please include your name, address and telephone number so we can contact you if necessary.

This picture is a bit of a mystery. A penciled note on the back says it shows a PRR train at the Mt. Union depot, and th...
04/29/2015

This picture is a bit of a mystery.

A penciled note on the back says it shows a PRR train at the Mt. Union depot, and the portion of the surroundings we can see certainly confirm that.

But the trains that paused at Mt. Union tended to be very heavy on mail and express cars, and this train carries neither. Could it be some sort of excursion?

04/13/2015

The Annual Dinner Meeting of the Mount Union Area Historical Society will be held Saturday, June 6 at 6 PM, with fellowship beginning at 5:30.

The program will be presented by well-known Mount Union historian Bryan Donaldson.

The location is the Lutheran Church in Mount Union, where the Lutheran Ladies will be preparing and serving a tasty turkey dinner. The cost is only $14 per person. To make your reservations, notify Mary Hancock at 542-9924.

It's time to start thinking about gardens, so we thought this photo of a magnificent backyard plot would be timely.But w...
04/05/2015

It's time to start thinking about gardens, so we thought this photo of a magnificent backyard plot would be timely.

But we're not sure where this photo was taken. We think the scene is in Kistler. Do you see any clues that say one way or another?

Here is another picture of the houses in Kistler with the two different paints. We're still very curious to find out wha...
03/29/2015

Here is another picture of the houses in Kistler with the two different paints. We're still very curious to find out what the two shades were.

We're across the river in Kistler in this photo and looking west towards Mt. Union. And we have a question. The two-stor...
03/24/2015

We're across the river in Kistler in this photo and looking west towards Mt. Union. And we have a question.

The two-story, two-color house in the foreground was a design and paint scheme that was apparently common in Kistler in the early days, as many such houses appear in a number of photos.

What were the two colors? All of our photos are black and white, and we'd love to know. Anyone recall?

What was your favorite movie you saw at the Shapiro Theater?
03/17/2015

What was your favorite movie you saw at the Shapiro Theater?

Another look at Ewing's MIll. The Ewing family also operated the mill in Orbisonia that stood where the K. L. Mills lumb...
03/08/2015

Another look at Ewing's MIll. The Ewing family also operated the mill in Orbisonia that stood where the K. L. Mills lumber yard is today.

We need some help on this one. Ewing's Mill stood at the south end of town, near today's Appleby's stores. The building,...
03/01/2015

We need some help on this one.

Ewing's Mill stood at the south end of town, near today's Appleby's stores. The building, we believe, was still in existence in the 1950s, but we don't know what happened to it or how late it was actually still in business.

Can anyone help fill out this story?

Do you remember the fire that claimed this Mount Union landmark?
02/22/2015

Do you remember the fire that claimed this Mount Union landmark?

What do you remember about Peduzzi's?
02/15/2015

What do you remember about Peduzzi's?

Let's try to forget all the snow on the ground by thinking about the latest Spring fashion. Here's one from the start of...
02/01/2015

Let's try to forget all the snow on the ground by thinking about the latest Spring fashion. Here's one from the start of the 20th century. This shop was on Jefferson between Small and Pennsylvania.

Here's another Mt. Union business from the start of the 20th century. Heidel Furniture was on Water St. between Washingt...
01/25/2015

Here's another Mt. Union business from the start of the 20th century. Heidel Furniture was on Water St. between Washington and Jefferson. It would be fun to know how much of the old furniture that you inherited from Grandma was purchased at Heidel's.

Horting Jeweler was located on Jefferson St., three doors downhill from the P.R.R. crossing.The Mt. Union Area Historica...
01/18/2015

Horting Jeweler was located on Jefferson St., three doors downhill from the P.R.R. crossing.

The Mt. Union Area Historical Society has a large collection of images and memorabilia from area businesses of the past.

To board a train at the depot we pictured last week, passengers walked up steps to the platforms shown here. We're stand...
01/11/2015

To board a train at the depot we pictured last week, passengers walked up steps to the platforms shown here. We're standing here on the westbound platform, looking west.

We'd love to have you post a reply with your memories of taking the train from this depot.

Let's follow up on last week's early train photo with a more modern scene of a Pennsylvania Railroad depot that many in ...
01/05/2015

Let's follow up on last week's early train photo with a more modern scene of a Pennsylvania Railroad depot that many in Mt. Union still remember. This building was located on the high line behind the Sharrar House between Jefferson and Division Streets (where the trucks now park.) This depot lasted until the end of passenger service on the Pennsy.

We'd love to have you post your memories of taking the train from this depot !

The holidays are a time for travel to see family. Until 1960, most such travel was by train, so one of the many train ph...
12/26/2014

The holidays are a time for travel to see family. Until 1960, most such travel was by train, so one of the many train photos in the MUAHS collection seems appropriate for this week.

In this case, it's a Pennsylvania Railroad train, back in the day when the main line of the PRR ran right down the center of Mount Union's Pennsylvania Avenue.

The location is Pennsylvania Ave, and Depot St. -- named for the freight depot just behind the photographer. East Broad Top fans: note that in those days, the dual gauge not only went to the Harbison Walker coal delivery track (bottom of the photo) but also into the team track to the right.

That dates this photo as sometime after the 1899 opening of Harbison Walker but before the 1907 completion of today's high line.

But there's one small mystery. Our files label this photo as "train 32." That cannot be, as this train is clearly a westbound, and those trains bore odd numbers on the PRR !

This photo shows the old Weis Pure Food Store (the name is on the wall sign), which we are told stood at the corner of S...
12/21/2014

This photo shows the old Weis Pure Food Store (the name is on the wall sign), which we are told stood at the corner of Shirley and Depot Streets. But what prompted the crushing but warmly-dressed crowd?

Planning your holiday outfit? Here's what one well-dressed Mount Union lady chose 150 years ago !Alas, we don't know her...
12/14/2014

Planning your holiday outfit? Here's what one well-dressed Mount Union lady chose 150 years ago !

Alas, we don't know her name, but we found her in an album of photos contributed by the Drake-Ross family. A married woman (she wears a prominent ring on her index finger), she was also apparently expert with the crochet hook.

The silk or polished cotton dress is cut in the fashion popular at the end of the Civil War. The large decorative buttons on her fan bodice appear to be made of gutta percha, an early rubber material.

Her crocheted collar is closed with a cameo brooch, and the fancy undersleeves may be crocheted as well. Her fan bodice and full coat sleeves are extensively decorated with a sheer lace.

She wears her hair in a plain low bun that shows her long drop earrings.

The Mount Union Area Historical Society has many photos of clothing in earlier eras and a notable collection of actual vintage garments, both male and female.

Remember the old song about "Over the river and through the woods?" This cable-drawn, human-powered ferry spanned the Ju...
12/07/2014

Remember the old song about "Over the river and through the woods?" This cable-drawn, human-powered ferry spanned the Juniata near Silver Ford, we're told. Nine men and boys haul on the cross-river cable, while a few more help out with push-poles.

If there's a Mount Union history buff or a railfan on your gift list this year, here's a great idea. Frank Kyper's new b...
11/30/2014

If there's a Mount Union history buff or a railfan on your gift list this year, here's a great idea. Frank Kyper's new book Twilight and Dawn on the East Broad Top Railroad 1945-1965 tells the story of the closing and rebirth of Mount Union's favorite narrow gauge railroad.

It is in stock at the society and you can order it by sending $28 to the Mt. Union Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 118, Mount Union. PA 17066. If you need shipping, include $6 to cover postage. If you're here in Mt. Union, include your phone number and we'll call to arrange pickup.

11/30/2014

The Mount Union Area Historical Society maintains a large collection of photos and artifacts in its Price House, Sharrar House and Industrial Museum properties and also cares for the historic Mount Nebo Church.

You can help with this mission by becoming a member of the society for 2015. Dues are $10 for individuals, $15 for families, $25 for patrons, and $150 for an individual life membership. You may send your check to the MUAHS, P.O. Box 118, Mount Union. PA 17066.

Holidays are a time for jumping in the car to drive off and visit family, so let's recognize that with a picture of a Mo...
11/30/2014

Holidays are a time for jumping in the car to drive off and visit family, so let's recognize that with a picture of a Mount Union service station of the past. The Willows Service Station was 1 1/2 miles east of Mount Union on Rt. 22.

Let’s get our banks straight!Our November 1 post mentioned that the Central Banking Company moved into its new building ...
11/22/2014

Let’s get our banks straight!

Our November 1 post mentioned that the Central Banking Company moved into its new building in 1903. And so it did!

But not into the building we pictured and that still stands on the corner of Shirley and Jefferson. That was their SECOND new building.

The picture we should have included with that post, showing their FIRST new building, is this one. Their new 1903 home was in the two-story brick building with the three upstairs windows at the right of the picture. This building also still stands on Jefferson between Pennsylvania and Water.

Our November 15 picture led to the discovery of this error. The First National Bank was at the corner of Jefferson and Small. Its remodeled facade and the handsome apartment building shown next to it in the postcard view are still Mount Union landmarks.

So we are obviously looking up Jefferson toward Shirley in last week's post-1909 picture, and counting the storefronts, we kept wondering why we couldn’t see the Central Bank Building.

Then it sunk in. Oops! Wrong picture.

This is a fun picture . . . because it proves we goofed ! Yes, that's right. There is a clue in this picture that proves...
11/16/2014

This is a fun picture . . . because it proves we goofed ! Yes, that's right. There is a clue in this picture that proves one of our previous posts is incorrect.

The building here, as the postcard legend says, is the First National Bank. Founded in 1902, the bank was originally in the Beers Hotel at the corner of Shirley and Jefferson. But it is well-documented that it moved into this handsome new building in January 1909.

Take a look, test your knowledge of Mount Union geography, and see if you can spot our previous mistake. The answer -- and the picture we should have posted -- are coming next week !

Solving riddles like this is what makes history fun.

Beyond the lettering on the picture, we don't know much about the location of Adams' Barber Shop, nor when it operated. ...
11/09/2014

Beyond the lettering on the picture, we don't know much about the location of Adams' Barber Shop, nor when it operated. It seems to be early enough that the patron in the rear chair is getting a shave, no doubt with the aid of a mug from the rack of shaving mugs on the wall. Is that a high chair for children standing to the right of the radiator?

Address

8 – 22 West Water Street
Mount Union, PA
17066

General information

PO Box 118 Mount Union, PA 17066

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