One year after its opening, Taneytown History Museum going strong

Local art to supplement collection of memorabilia

July 31, 2005|By Jill Stone | Jill Stone,SUN STAFF

John Fream, 68, flipped through the old framed high school pictures, searching for the woman's familiar features. "There she is," he said, pointing to a young smiling face in black and white. "There's Mildred."

Fream and his wife, Virginia, 67, who volunteer as guides at the Taneytown History Museum once a month, were pointing out the photo of Mildred Stine, one of the town's residents who has donated many of her personal belongings to the museum.

Working her way around the small town building, Virginia Fream identified several artifacts displayed under glass cases, with descriptions about the articles attached to the wall.

She has lived in Taneytown for 53 years, but her husband was born and raised there.

"It's an old town. There's so many things for people to know about this place," she said.

Established in 2004 by the Taneytown Chamber of Commerce, the Taneytown History Museum will celebrate its one-year anniversary Aug. 14.

It is free and open to the public.

The museum's exhibits will include memorabilia such as calendars from banks, bank deposit slips, a Civil War gun collection, a 100-year-old butterfly collection and an advertisement by Dr. Well, a former Taneytown pharmacist, telling the public to "Get well with Well."

"It is a good thing for the community," said Donna Sako, 54, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. "This is a combined effort of the town; the community at its best."

Taneytown Heritage Committee members contacted local residents in a search for contributions for the museum.

Residents Martin Zimmerman and Stine contributed old pictures of schools, landscape photos of what the town looked like years ago and other memorabilia.

"These are things that are really unique that you don't see every day," said Sako, a Taneytown resident since 1988. "Regardless of where you live in America, these things still represent that day and age."

At the anniversary celebration, the new second-floor addition of the museum will be opened. The second floor will display the works of local artists.

Among the artists whose work will be displayed are Clifton Zepp, Polly Annan, Amelia H. Annan, Joe Wantz and Richard Eichman.

Donald Unger, a close friend of the late Eichman, donated to the museum a landscape oil painting by the artist for a raffle drawing that will take place at the Taneytown Chamber of Commerce general meeting Aug. 15. All the proceeds from the raffle go to the museum.

Sako credited the founding of the museum to Tyler Boone, who is the museum's curator. Boone will be at the anniversary celebration, signing his book, Images of America: Taneytown.

After showing her son, Avrahm, 27, the completed museum, Sako said he was astonished with the wealth of history that was displayed.

"He said that he never realized that a small-town museum could be just as good as a big museum," said Sako.

More than 500 people attended the grand opening last year, and Sako expects a similar number for the first anniversary.

"Knowing your past can help you plan your future. ... What you may think is normal, to someone else isn't," she said.

The museum is at 24 E. Baltimore St. It is open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

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