GROVE CITY – The Grove City Area Historical Society and Museum is preparing to open for the season, offering new displays, a guest speaker series, and more.
Opening day is April 16. The museum is located at 111 College Ave., Grove City, and hours will be noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The nonprofit is always looking for more volunteers, said Mary “Skip” Sample, a volunteer and member.
An orientation and luncheon for volunteers will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. April 13 at the museum. Current and new volunteers are encouraged to attend.
“Volunteers or potential volunteers don’t have to bring a thing to the luncheon except a willingness to help the rest of us preserve the rich history of this area,” according to a news release from the museum.
Sample recently gave a tour of the building, pointing out new and updated exhibits. More information has been added to the genealogy services, and there’s a new display of old-fashioned children’s clothes including bonnets, booties, and dresses.
Also new is the George Junior Republic exhibit. There are newsletters, photos, school memorabilia, and postcards showing the facility’s history over the years.
Near the main entrance is the Heritage Tree, which continues to be a successful fundraiser for the museum, Sample said.
“We’ve raised $14,000,” she said.
Patrons buy leaves made out of bronze, aluminum and copper, and the leaves are placed on the tree, which is painted on a wall.
They’re hoping to collect some funds by recycling negatives from two Grove City photographers. They’ll be keeping one set and recycling the other; old negatives contain silver, Sample said.
Sample then headed downstairs to take a look at the postal service exhibit, which was completed last year. One of the most recently added items is a photo of a house that used to be located where the current post office sits on East Pine Street.
“They jacked up the house and moved it,” she said of the 1932 project.
The house got stuck while crossing the bridge over Wolf Creek. Sample had been on the lookout for a photo of that house and mentioned it during a cemetery tour. She was excited to discover that local resident Tim Bennett had a copy of the photo.
The restored mail wagon, which is the centerpiece of the room, was recently touched up to include lettering.
The wagon was restored by Uri Byler of New Wilmington, and it belonged to Hood Reynolds, a Grove City rural mail carrier who retired in 1949 after more than 30 years with the U.S. Postal Service.
Reynolds was the grandfather of Lillian Reeher, a board member and volunteer with the museum. Her cousin, Dr. Robert Reynolds, helped bring the wagon back to Grove City.
Museum volunteers are still cleaning up an old printing press that had belonged to Young’s Printers on Broad Street. Museum volunteer Tom Armour bought it at an auction, and the group might use it to print flyers.
“This is all intact and it works,” Sample said.
They’re also planning to add items from the workshop of Armour’s father, Arthur Armour, who was known for a metalware company in Grove City years ago.
Sample noted that in addition to more volunteers, the museum is always interested in items that people may want to donate to the society.
They’re currently looking to round out their collection of Grove City High School yearbooks; they need the 2005 edition. They’re also seeking the Grove City College Ouija yearbooks from 2008 through 2018.
Sample is looking forward to the season along with the guest speaker series; those events will be held at the museum, and these talks are scheduled:
• 7 p.m. April 22: Susan Boland will present the history of George Junior Republic, which was founded in 1909 by William Reuben George for at-risk youth.
• 7 p.m. May 6: Tim Bennett, an active participant in Civil War re-enactments, will discuss Gen. Norman J. Maxwell and the Camp Maxwell re-enactment.
• 7 p.m. May 20: Dan Delligatti will talk about the Grove City McDonald’s and the Big Mac, which was created by his father, Jim Delligatti. The family owns multiple McDonald’s restaurants in western Pennsylvania.
FOR MORE information about the Grove City Area Historical Society and Museum or to volunteer, call 724-458-1798.