Village Craftsmen: Boalsburg Artisans in the 1800s
March 25 – December 2017
Visit our gallery to experience life, in the quaint and quiet town of Boalsburg, during the 1800s. Villagers travelled shaded walkways, stopping at times to share the news of the day, while on their way to secure their needs from varied craftsmen. Shoemaker Seckler’s boots were known to last twelve years before they would require repairs. Slim and a little over five feet tall, Wheelwright Logue, would often bring a guest home for lunch, while the customer waited for his new wagon to be done. Villagers, young and old, stood spell bound as Carpet Maker Coxey passed the shuttle quickly through the warp –bright colored threads creating a carpet, while no words could be spoken since the noisy loom could be heard a half mile away. Young boys fought for the privilege of driving/riding Tanner Mosser’s white horse, Charlie, as he walked round and round in a circle grinding bark used for tanning leather. Tailor Fortney tucked his beautiful, long chestnut colored beard inside his shirt before he picked up his shears and began to cut out a new suit. Villagers shook their heads in amazement when Tar Burner Wood drove his buggy through town at top speed, while holding onto his hat, the long tails of his shirt flapping in the breeze.
These stories, and others, bring history to life as you learn about dozens of actual village craftsmen who lived and worked in Boalsburg during the 1800s. Read about the lives of the coopers, tinsmith, gunsmith, hatters, milliners, broom makers, grain cradle makers, blacksmiths and other artisans. See the exhibit of how they worked (their tools and products), when you visit the gallery housed in what was the tanner’s home during most of the 1800s. While there, you can tour the original summer kitchen, bank barn and the first light producing plant. We will welcome you at The Boalsburg Heritage Museum, 304 East Main Street, any Saturday between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., or by appointment, during the 2017 season.