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Think you know all the townships and boroughs in Lebanon County?
Take the land expansion tour and see how the county has grown throughout the years.
Trivia: What city in Lebanon County was originally a small town called Steitztown?
This tour focuses on the development of Lebanon County.
Discover the ways this once rural community developed throughout the years.
Trivia: What was the name of the first fire company in Lebanon?
This tour will take you on an adventure focused on the military history of Lebanon County.
You will learn about people, places, and things, which impacted this county due to war.
Learn the story behind how this Bible and pocket watch saved a man's life during the civil war.
Politics have always been entwined in the history of Lebanon County.
Uncover facts about the county's government and learn which president practiced law in the Stoy Museum!
Trivia: Which president visited the Coleman family in Lebanon County and was served from this tea kettle?
This tour will highlight interesting facts about life throughout the county.
What does a vaudeville dress, a bicycle, and a stained glass window have to do with Lebonon County? Find
out by taking this tour.
This medical exam card belonged to a baseball player who joined the Bethlehem Steel team. Hint: He was one of the most famous baseball players of all time!
Two letters from Christoph Saur (1721-1785) to Jacob Karch concerning bookbinding and ink making practices. Saur, the son of the noted printer Christoph Saur the elder (1695-1758), continued his father’s work as printer and bookbinder in Germantown and produced many books in the German language including quarto editions of the Bible in 1763 and 1776. Jacob Karch was German born and resided to Lebanon prior to 1770. He became the town’s first bookbinder and printer and later served as its first postmaster.
This pewter communion chalice and pitcher is from Gruben Kirche in South Lebanon Township, the Mother Church of Salem Lutheran and Tabor Reformed Churches. It was made by Johann Christoph Heyne, Lancaster PA (1715-1781). George Steitz bought the deed that formed the first Tabor Church; one of the counties earliest congregations.
The Pennsylvania Assembly passed laws in 1780 and 1788 that effectively ended slavery in the colony over a period of time. Any slave born before March 1, 1780 would be a slave for life, but any child born to a slave after March 1 would be an indentured servant until age 28. In accord with the laws, slave owners were required to register lists of all slaves with county level officials. Grubb’s 1788 return of nineteen slaves in Lebanon Township made him the largest slave owner in Lancaster County.
A Fraktur-schriften is an important form of Pennsylvania German art. Frakturs were originally drawn by artists who would travel from house to house and record birth, baptismal, marriage information, and other information. This fraktur is signed by Andreas Kessler as both scrivener and decorator. It is a baptismal certificate for Magdalena Mies, born Jan. 10, 1791, in Bethel Township.
This document is instructions for the use of Dr. William Stoy’s certain remedy against the bite of a rabid dog. His cures were so well-known that in 1797, President George Washington sent one of his slaves to Dr. Stoy for treatment. The ingredients of this drink included a quart of strong beer, an ounce of red chicken intestines, and an ounce of an unknown ingredient. The full instructions can be read here.
This wall pocket was used as a small planter or vase. It is a rare piece of pottery because it is signed. The Artist was G. S. Freshley, and marked Lebanon. Local red clay was used for every day pottery pieces in the early 1800’s which were called redware. A number of redware pottery shops had been located in Lebanon County.
Watercolor portraits of Daniel Fegan, Sr. and wife Magdalena Killinger Fegan were painted by physician and artist Jacob Maentel. Maentel resided in Schaefferstown, and later relocated to New Harmony, Indiana. Daniel and Magdalena were married on November 9th, 1817.
This lock was used in 1833 in the Alms house which was created as a home for the poor and indigent residents of Lebanon County. In 1937, the name of the complex was changed to the County Institutional District. The original Alms House was replaced in 1966 by the opening of Cedar Haven, which is home to persons of various incomes.
This sampler was made by Catharine Shaffer in 1849. Samplers were typically made by young girls to practice their stitches in motifs and alphabet, and then their samples were used later on household linens. More typical of New England society, samplers are rare in Lebanon County. This is the only one within the Society’s collection.
This drum is from the Perseverance band, formed in 1857. The “Perse” was the regimental band for the 93rd Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. Today it is a community band, and has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating band in Lebanon County.
Left: Student nurse doll from Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing. Right: G.S. H. School of Nursing uniform worn after passing probation (6 months). The first 6 months of nursing school is called “probation,” where the nurses had to prove that they were up to the task. A typical nursing degree took three years to complete and passing probation was the first step.
To avoid the draft, Babe Ruth went to “work” for Bethlehem Steel and joined the company baseball team. Many of the Major League Baseball players, along with Ruth, joined the so-called “Safe Shelter League.” Since the steel industry was considered essential to the war effort, none of the workers could be drafted.
The Colonial Theater operated for 54 years at 9th and Cumberland streets. It was a beautiful 1,200-seat house built in the 1920s, and showed silent films, accompanied by an organ in the pit. “The Jazz Singer,” “Gone with the Wind,” and “The Godfather” are some notable movies to have played in this theater.
This dress was worn by Newmanstown’s well-known Trix sisters, Helen and Josephine Yeiser. In the 1920s, they performed in vaudeville shows under the stage name of Trix. Elder sister Helen was well known to New York vaudeville audiences long before WWI and was later joined by Josephine. They performed for the royal family in London, and opened a cabaret in Paris.