Museum House

  

The historic Museum house was built in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, by Alexander L. Irwin and his second wife Martha.  Alexander opened one of the first hardware stores in Greencastle, after moving from Chambersburg. 


The formal entrance (front of the house) faces south toward Leitersburg Pike. In June of 1998, architectural historian, Paula S. Reed, PhD, Hagerstown, MD assessed the house. Her conclusion follows: From the exterior, the front (south) elevation and the west elevation appear very similar, with three bays, double four over four light windows and central entrances.  The entrance at the west elevation which is said to have looked like the one at the front elevation, was, unfortunately removed. The north and east elevations have standard six over six light sash, with the north elevation having the three bay, central entrance configuration as seen at the other elevations.  The east wall which faces onto South Ridge Avenue, has a German vernacular appearance with a four-bay window, door, door window configuration. This half of the house was devoted to the service aspects of domestic life with a kitchen and dining room, each with their own doors directly to the outside. It (the house) displays a blend of stylistic features from the late Greek Revival period (entrances, window and door lintels, mantelpieces and floor plan) along with Italianate elements (brackets, eaves trim, and double windows, four light sashes); and traditional characteristics (arrangement of louvered and paneled shutters, paired east wall entrances, and the manner in which the house is sited). Unusual features include the variant of Flemish bond brickwork used on all four elevations. Usually Flemish bonding is reserved for the principal facades; and typically, Flemish bonding was not used much after 1850 in this area.  The brick pattern used on this house, however, is not true Flemish bonding, but a variant of it.


Notable is the woodwork and hardware in the house. It is for the most part original and consistent with the 1860s, 1870s construction period. The large number of surviving cast iron locks with ceramic knobs and matching ceramic bases and escutcheons is significant, as is the decorative paneled doors and molded trim.   more

Museum House

Museum House

Collection Highlights in House

Dinning Room

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Dolly Harris and General Pickett original painting by Ron Lesser.  Highchair, c. 1895.  Selection of antique cookbooks from a huge collection located in the Barnes Library in the barn.    

The glassware and ceramic pieces in the corner cupboard were all purchased at Hostetter’s General Store, which was located on the Greencastle Square.    

Two spears given to Henry P. Fletcher while he was stationed in the Philippines in 1901 as an enlisted man serving in the 40th U.S. Infantry.  Cast Iron Bell from Bradely & Crowell Bell Founders.  The company was only known by this name between 1850 and 1857, which dates this bell to that time period. 

Large Parlor

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Philip Baer's 1870 Steinway and Son grand piano made in 1870.   

Philip Bear's formal concert tuxedo coat.

Several of Walter Washington's paintings.

Carl's Drug Store display.

Small Parlor

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  Self-portrait of Walter Washington Smith.

A jacquard woven Greencastle coverlet - red and blue wool weft on off-white cotton warp. 

Early Moller Organ made in Greencastle.  

A victrola from the Antrim House.

Large Bedroom

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  Check weave dress (dates to 1870-1872)

 This doll carriage was originally owned by Miss Frances Winger, daughter of Lt. Col. B. F. Winger.

The Empire style chest of drawers was made by Augustus Shirey, a cabinet maker in Greencastle, on February 25, 1860. Shirey signed the chest of drawers on the front, top edge of the cabinet in pencil underneath the marble top. 

 Short rocker, possibly a nursing rocker.  

Small Bedroom

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 Turn of last century toys from the Carl family.  

Small Child’s Handmade Scooter.

 The sack bottom bed, c. 1865 .

 Chamber pot, lady’s spit tune, and cast iron door stop.

 1921 heavy winter, crazy-quilt pattern, knotted coverlet was made by Ruth Naomi Fox Monn.


Exhibit Room

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Greencastle baseball memorabilia.

Martin's Mill Bridge artifacts.

Crowell Ledger.

Medical equipment from Dr. William Guenon's office.

Miscellaneous.


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Hallway

Tall clock of English design is thought to have been made in Waynesboro, at the Snow Hill Cloisters. It was owned by Joseph C. Myers, Antrim Township who was president of First National Bank from January 14, 1920 to February 14, 1946. 

  

Greencastle's first telephone, an 1896 Model, was located in Carl's Drug Store. The 1906 telephone service contract with the United Telephone and Telegraph Company cost $24.00 for the year.


Umbrella stand from the Washington Street Greencastle High School.


This Pennsylvania Kitchen Table (circa 1760 - 1775) originally belonged to the Carl family of Greencastle.


1853 map of Greencastle.

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