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First National Bank Museum Marks 50 Years January 12, 2018

Nora Motter Stark describes her parents, Lloyd and Jean Motter, as ordinary, hardworking people - and perhaps just a bit "ahead of their time," she says, when it comes to the vision they had in purchasing one of Columbia's oldest historic sites. In 1958, Lloyd and Jean purchased the old First National Bank building at 170 Locust St., Columbia, and set out to turn it into a family-owned museum.

"(My dad) just thought it was beautiful and should be preserved," Stark recalled. "This wasn't considered a desirable neighborhood at that time, so I'm sure my mom thought (my dad) was a little crazy for buying it."

The Federal-style townhouse was built in 1814 as a home for the wealthy merchant James Wright Jr., the grandson of Columbia's founding father, John Wright Sr. In 1852, the property was purchased by Gerhardt Brandt to use as a hotel, and he rented the corner of the property to Solomon and Daniel Detweiler. The Detweilers opened Detweiler Brothers Bank, and in 1860, Solomon purchased the entire property and moved into the residence attached to the bank. In accordance with National Bank Law, the brothers chartered their bank with $100,000 capital in 1864, and the First National Bank of Columbia became the 371st bank chartered in the country.

The bank remained open at that location until 1917, when it merged with Columbia National Bank and became First-Columbia National Bank at 229 Locust St. The original location became the site of the Columbia Free Public Library until the Motters purchased the property in 1958. Lloyd and Jean restored the bank and reopened its doors as the First National Bank Museum in 1967.

The building is the only known bank preserved in its original setting in the United States. "Everything is original, and it's been maintained as a bank," Stark said. "And it was one of the first museums in Columbia."

The Motter family lived in the attached residence. Stark, the youngest of three children, said that while she did not think twice about the uniqueness of her home at that time, her friends were always enthralled. "We would have dances in the hallway and slumber parties in the bank, and everyone who came over just thought it was so neat," said Stark with a smile.

Over the years, Lloyd and Jean chipped away at the restoration process and collected the original banking books and other items original to the bank to display in the museum. When her parents died in 1997, Stark and her husband, Michael, purchased the property and became the co-owners, managers, and tour guides for the museum.

"We're like my parents," Stark commented. "Just regular people working full-time and trying to maintain the history of this property for others to enjoy."

The interior details range from walnut paying and receiving teller cages to a massive walk-in vault and a board of directors' room, which is now available to rent for small parties and events. Tours are available by appointment only, and there is a suggested donation for adults, seniors, and students. Admission is free for children age 8 and under.

In April, the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce (SVCC) recognized the First National Bank Museum's 50-year anniversary. "I'm just happy to carry on the legacy of my parents," Stark said. "We encourage people to come whether they're a neighbor or wherever they may be from."

To learn more, readers may visit To schedule a tour, interested individuals may call 717-684-8864.


Museum Will Offer Discount January 11, 2018

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, every Tuesday throughout 2018 the AACA Museum, Inc. will provide admission for two guests for a set price.

This special rate will be available for all guests age 4 and up. Children age 3 and under will be admitted for free. No additional discounts or coupons will apply. For more details, readers may visit


Art Museum To Exhibit Weymouth's Work January 10, 2018

On Saturday, Jan. 27, the Brandywine River Museum of Art, located on Route 1 in Chadds Ford, will unveil the first comprehensive exhibition of George A. "Frolic" Weymouth's artistic career, examining his contribution to American painting. Weymouth (1936-2016) was also known for his philanthropic endeavors, in particular as one of the founders and the longtime chairman of the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art.

On view through Sunday, June 3, "The Way Back: The Paintings of George A. Weymouth" will feature 65 of Weymouth's works chosen by guest curator Joseph J. Rishel. The selection will demonstrate the breadth of the artist's visual investigations across many mediums - from the loose, energetic style and monochromatic palette of his early oils in the 1950s to the luminous, highly detailed temperas of his later career. Mentored by his friend Andrew Wyeth, Weymouth worked in both watercolor and egg tempera for the rest of his career to create portraits and landscapes. The exhibition will also include a number of rarely seen pencil and watercolor studies Weymouth did in preparation for his tempera paintings.

Encouraged by his mother, Dulcinea "Deo" du Pont, Weymouth expressed an early interest in art. Formal training came when he took art classes while at St. Mark's School and later at Yale University. His subjects tended to be friends and family and the scenery that surrounded him daily, such as the landscape of his estate in Chadds Ford.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog highlighting the artist. An essay by Annette Blaugrund, noted art historian and former director of the National Academy of Design, considers Weymouth's work in the context of the American realist canon and provides insight into his personal artistic vision and his connection to the Brandywine tradition. An introduction by Joseph Rishel, curator emeritus of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a friend of the artist, provides a personal account of Weymouth's personality and achievements as an artist, philanthropist, and leader in conservation.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art features a collection of American art housed in a 19th-century mill building with a steel and glass addition overlooking the banks of the Brandywine. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. There is an admission fee. For more information, readers may call 610-388-2700 or visit


Museum Will Auction Off Watch January 9, 2018

On Nov. 29, 2017, the National Watch and Clock Museum celebrated 40 years since its opening to the public in 1977. The public timepiece museum houses a collection of more than 13,000 clocks, watches, and timepiece-related items. It has held countless exhibit openings, parties, and educational programs and has welcomed visitors from all over the world.

Upon the occasion of the museum's anniversary, RGM Watch Company of Mount Joy offered to make a one-of-a-kind watch to mark the milestone. The watch has the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors' logo on the dial and the museum's 40th anniversary logo etched on the exhibition case on the back of the watch. The watch was presented during the museum's anniversary celebration and has been displayed in the museum's lobby since the event.

It is now up for auction online, and bids may be placed at The proceeds will go toward the museum's mission to preserve the art, science, history, and technology of time and timekeeping.

For more information, readers may call 717-684-8261 or visit


TACA, AACA Museum Set Collaboration January 4, 2018

Representatives from the Tucker Automobile Club of America (TACA) and the AACA Museum Inc., 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, have announced that effective immediately, TACA will become part of the museum. The TACA is ending its stand-alone status to become a membership category at the museum. Its financial resources and archival and artefactual collections will be transferred to the AACA Museum, and the club's approximately 200 members will be welcomed into the AACA Museum's family.

In the mid-1940s, Preston Tucker and the Chicago-based Tucker Corporation designed and built 51 examples of an innovative sedan, but the company ceased operations in 1949. The TACA was formed in 1973 to connect owners and enthusiasts of the vehicles, locate each of the surviving automobiles, and tell the history of the corporation. The TACA currently maintains a detailed history of the 47 surviving cars. More information is available at

The AACA Museum showcases the David Cammack Tucker Collection, a collection of Tucker artifacts that includes three automobiles, several Tucker engines, a test chassis, and more. Through the partnership, the groups plan to expand the public offering of Tucker-related programs and events.

Once the merger is complete, TACA president Eric Breslow will chair the newly formed Tucker Committee. The committee will be represented by a position director's seat on the museum's board of directors, which will be filled by current Tucker Club archives director and technical adviser Mark Lieberman.

For more information, readers may 717-566-7100 or visit


Museum Displays Corvettes December 28, 2017

The AACA Museum, 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, has announced that three vehicles in the second generation of National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) Corvettes are on loan at the Williams-Clyne Gateway Gallery. They will be on display through January.

A 1967 Chevrolet "Big Block 427" Corvette Stingray coupe, on loan by Frank and Barbara Stech of Pitman, N.J., has earned seven NCRS Top Flight certificates and the NCRS DUNTOV Mark of Excellence Award in 1987. A 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe, on loan by Paul and Carla Sedacca and their sons, Matthew and Jared, of Cherry Hill, N.J., was first purchased by Peter Fonda and has received numerous awards. A 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe, on loan by Jim and Linda Board of Great Falls, Va., was named one of the 25 Most Beautiful Cars Ever Built by Automobile Magazine and won the NCRS National Top Flight Award in 2011 and the NCRS DUNTOV Mark of Excellence Award in 2013.

The first generation of NCRS Corvettes was on display in October and November 2017, and the third generation will be exhibited beginning in February. NCRS archives director Bill Sangrey is the exhibit's guest curator. To learn more about NCRS, readers may visit

The AACA Museum will be closed from Tuesday, Feb. 20, through Friday, March 2, for building maintenance. More information about the museum is available by visiting or calling 717-566-7100.


Museum Posts Holiday Hours December 22, 2017, 230 N. President Ave., Lancaster, will close early on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 2 p.m. in preparation for a special event. There will still be a 2 and 3 p.m. tour of Wheatland.

In addition, all operations of will be closed on Monday, Dec. 25. The Research Library, Archives, and administrative offices will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 26. Wheatland and the Museum Store will be open.

All operations of will be closed on Sunday, Dec. 31, through Friday, Jan. 12. Operations will reopen for the 2018 season on Saturday, Jan. 13.


Museum Opens New Exhibit December 21, 2017

The AACA Museum Inc., 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, has announced a new micro exhibit of two DeLorean automobiles, including the very first DeLorean DMC-12 Prototype 1 car from 1976. The other DeLorean is a 1981 DMC-12 Coupe production model. Having the two available side by side will give attendees the opportunity to see the differences.

The Prototype DeLorean vehicle came directly from the set of a movie about the life of John DeLorean that is currently in production.

The DeLorean DMC-12 Coupe was a product of Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italy Design and is paneled in brushed SS304 stainless steel. Except for three cars plated in 24-karat gold, all DMC-12s left the factory uncovered by paint or clear coat. Painted DeLoreans do exist, although these were all painted after the cars were purchased from the factory. Several hundred DMCs were produced without stainless panels, for training workers, and are referred to as "black cars" or "mules," in reference to their black fiberglass panels instead of stainless.

The DeLorean automobile became widely known for its appearance as a vehicular time machine in the "Back to the Future" movies and also in the movie "The Wedding Singer."

The exhibit will continue through Monday, April 30, 2018.

Visitors to the museum can also enjoy several other featured exhibits. The primary featured display is "Getting the Job Done: Vehicles That Earned Their Keep," which highlights a variety of vehicles created for specific jobs and business purposes. The new Williams-Clyne Gateway Gallery is home to three award-winning Corvettes as well as a special exhibit curated by The National Corvette Restorers Society.

For further information, readers may call 717-566-7100 or visit


Countdown To Noon December 19, 2017

Museum To Host New Year's Eve Celebration

Times Square might dominate the television coverage on New Year's Eve, but the children's celebration at the National Watch and Clock Museum bears every bit as much enthusiasm in the hearts of some. Unlike the bulk of New Year's Eve festivities, the event is catered specifically toward families and features a countdown to noon instead of midnight.

"We have a huge net of cascading balloons that we drop, and the countdown is just deafening in the most wonderful way," shared Kim Craven, marketing and events coordinator. "The kids scream out the numbers along with the (disc jockey), who is also (dressed as) Father Time."

The museum, located at 514 Poplar St., Columbia, will host the third annual New Year's Eve at Noon event on Sunday, Dec. 31, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Advance registration is not necessary, and all activities are included with the price of general museum admission. Museum admission is free for children age 4 and under. Family rates are available.

An assortment of timing-related children's activities will be offered before and after the countdown, including making New Year's hats using recycled materials, playing a trivia game to learn about New Year's traditions and history, participating in family games and challenges, creating a time capsule to remember 2017, writing New Year's resolutions on a designated "Resolution Wall," and decorating clock face cookies. Temporary glitter tattoos and face painting will also be part of the fun, along with a photo booth complete with props.

Museum director Noel Poirier will read a New Year's Eve-themed story at 11 a.m.

Father Time will lead guests in a dance party leading up to the countdown for the balloon drop at noon. More than 500 balloons will be dropped in the museum lobby. "It's amazing what 500 balloons look like inside that space," Craven remarked.

In addition to Father Time, noteworthy party guests scheduled to appear include local business mascot Turkey Hilda and Sparky from the Columbia Fire Department with his fire truck. Children are welcome to get photographs taken with the fire truck, and firefighters will be on hand to answer questions about the truck and equipment.

Attendees may also explore the museum and its regular exhibits, which include interactive displays. "There's so much to keep busy doing," commented Craven.

"Maybe it speaks to my inner child, but I find it to be one of our most exciting events," Craven said. "It makes me happy because we're bringing so many families into the museum, and that's what we want to do."

To learn more, readers may call 717-684-8261, ext. 237, or visit


Historical Sites Set Schedule December 19, 2017

All sites of the York County History Center, which had been closed from Dec. 23 through 26, will reopen on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The History Center will also be closed on New Year's Day, Monday, Jan. 1.

For information on museum schedules, readers may visit


Museum Seeks Donations For Auction December 14, 2017

The AACA Museum, 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, is seeking donations for its annual Spring 2nd Chance Auction, which will take place on Saturday, April 7. The event, which will also include a flea market and a car corral, will begin at 8 a.m. The auction will start at 11 a.m.

For the auction, the museum is seeking donations of items such as tools and tool boxes, vehicle parts, automotive collectible items, garage art, automotive books, and more. Items such as 10-by-10-foot tents or portable carports will also be accepted if they are in good condition. The museum is unable to accept tires, upholstered seats, or window glass for the auction.

Donations may be dropped off at the museum through Saturday, Dec. 30. Drop-offs will also be scheduled in the spring.

The museum notes that donations may be tax-deductible. All sales revenues from the auction will assist the AACA Museum Inc., a 501 (c)(3) organization.


Museum Opens New Exhibit December 13, 2017

The National Watch and Clock Museum, 514 Poplar St., Columbia, has added an ongoing display in its wristwatch gallery that features four timepieces with special historic significance.

Titled "James Bond Originals," the exhibit includes the actual Breitling for Bentley Chronograph that author Jeffery Deaver wore during his launch tour for his novel "Carte Blanche" in 2011.

Along with the watch, James Bond Originals shows a first-edition first printing of "Carte Blanche" hand-signed by the author. Additional autographs were obtained from the first and current Bond movie actors. Daniel Craig hand-signed an Omega marketing piece promoting the Seamaster Planet Ocean in Quantum of Solace. Sir Sean Connery personally signed a photograph taken during the filming of "Dr. No," where he is shown holding the Rolex Submariner on a leather strap.

The exhibit is curated by Dell Deaton of, an independent authority on 007 creator Ian Fleming and James Bond watches. He is perhaps best known internationally for his discovery of the original literary James Bond watch, an actual Rolex 1016 Explorer that was owned and worn by Fleming.

The Gruen Precision was first identified by Deaton in 2013 as the earliest James Bond movie watch. It is visible when Agent 007 meets Sylvia Trench in "Dr. No" and appears in three subsequent films as James Bond's choice. Since initially being displayed at the museum, it sells for up to 50 times what it commanded before its Bond connection was known.

The museum also celebrated its 40th anniversary on Nov. 29. For more information, readers may call 717-684-8261 or visit


Friends Group Selects Officers December 13, 2017


Museum Friends Board Names Officers December 6, 2017

Four members of the nonprofit Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (FRM) board of directors were recently named as officers for 2018.

Serving will be James R. Rose of Jenkintown, president; Craig Haberle of Lancaster, vice president; Stephen B. Ferrell of Exton, secretary; and David Wood of Mount Gretna, treasurer.

Other members of the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania board of directors for 2018 include William Cluley of Lancaster, Charles Coxson of Thorndale; Albert J. Giannantonio Jr. of West Chester, John Gummo of Beech Creek, G. Wayne Laepple of Lancaster, Douglas O'Brien of Lancaster, Tom Ohlhaber of Wrightsville, and Patrick C. Morrison of Landisville, ex officio.

The Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania was established in 1983 to further the mission of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania to preserve and advance railroad history and its priceless railroading artifacts. An organization with approximately 2,000 members nationwide, the Friends provides the Museum with paid and volunteer staff, fundraising and financial assistance, project support and educational programming.

The Friends group is active in all areas of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, including restoration, education, library and archives, technology, visitor services, the museum store, administration, volunteerism, special events, advocacy and advancement. It is estimated that the organization has contributed more than $5 million and a quarter of a million volunteer hours to the museum since its inception.

For more information about the museum or Friends membership, readers may visit or call 717-687-8628.


Friends Begin 2017 Pecan Sale December 5, 2017

The Friends of the York County History Center, 250 E. Market St., York, recently announced the start of the group's annual pecan sale. This year, the pecans are harvested from a family-owned farm in Georgia.

Pecans will be available for sale at Penn Street Market and Central Market in downtown York during regular market hours. The pecans will also be available in the museum gift shop at the History Center. The sale will continue through December at both locations and will likely continue through January at the museum. Five varieties of pecans will be available, including mammoth halves, dark chocolate covered, milk chocolate covered, cinnamon glazed, and pecan clusters.

For additional information, readers may call Karen Wix at 717-843-0823 or Deb Mohle at 717-578-8706.


"Clockworks" Presentation Set December 1, 2017

The National Watch and Clock Museum, 514 Poplar St., Columbia, invites the public to a casual Lunch "Time" presentation, "Clockworks," on Wednesday, Dec. 13, from noon to 1 p.m. Museum director Noel Poirier will present objects from the collection that use clockworks, gears, and timing for purposes other than timekeeping. Attendees may bring a packed lunch.

Lunch "Time" is a complimentary educational program offered every other month.

For more information about the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc., readers may visit


Polar Express Pajama Party

The AACA Museum Inc., 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, will continue its Cars and Christmas holiday celebration through Sunday, Dec. 31.

As part of the celebration, the museum houses dozens of decorated trees, model train displays and vehicles such as Sammy the 29-foot, 21-ton snow plow. Several custom train platforms are on display throughout the museum. The main train includes interactive buildings and scenes. Also, visitors may view the museum's latest featured exhibit, "Getting the Job Done: Vehicles That Earned Their Keep," focused on vehicles made for work. The exhibit includes firetrucks, police cars, and an ice cream truck. The Grinch Scavenger Hunt is back again this year.

The museum is hosting its annual Food and Toy Drive. The museum is an official collection location for Toys for Tots, and it will also collect nonperishable food and personal care items for donation to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Readers should note that Toys for Tots is not able to accept realistic-looking weapons and toys that may include food as a component. All food and toy donations will be accepted in the museum lobby. Toys donated after Friday, Dec. 15, will be part of the 2018 distribution.

Other featured exhibits on view include three award-winning Corvettes gathered for the National Corvette Restorers Society in the Williams-Clyne Gallery and a 1933 Graham Blue Streak 8 Sedan Number 19 on the National Historic Vehicle Register as part of an ongoing display by the Historic Vehicle Association. The first DeLorean, the prototype 1, and a later production model are on view together.

The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be closed on Sunday, Dec. 24; Monday, Dec. 25; and Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. For further information, readers may call 717-566-7100 or visit


History Center Joins Giving Event November 14, 2017

The York County History Center has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

Occurring this year on Tuesday, Nov. 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and after the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick off the holiday giving season and encourage people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

For the second year, the History Center's initiative is Send a Kid to the Museum. Many school districts cannot afford to contract for buses or pay the admissions so that students may have the experience of traveling out of school to visit a museum. The goal is to raise $2,000 to help make this interactive and educational experience happen for more children.

To make a donation, readers may visit

For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit For more information on the York County History Center, visit


Handmade B-29 Model Donated To Museum November 9, 2017

The Berks Military History Museum (BMHM), which includes displays of photos, newspaper articles and memorabilia that have been loaned or donated, recently added a new display - a handmade model B-29 aircraft. The B-29, designed by Boeing, was flown by United States pilots during World War II.

According to Rep. Mark Gillen, museum president, the model plane was made by David Becker of Berks County in memory of his brother, Dick Becker, who was killed in the crash of his B-29 off the island of Saipan on May 5, 1945. Dick was the plane's radar operator.

The model plane, which includes a fuselage measuring 8 feet, was years in the making and was finished in 2000. It now has a permanent home in the museum.

The Berks Military History Museum, located at 198 E. Wyomissing Ave. in Mohnton next to Mohnton Park, opened in August in a former wagon works building. The museum's motto is "Remembering Those Who Served."

The BMHM is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Gillen is present during operating hours to greet guests. Additionally, school groups, senior groups and veterans organizations can make an appointment to view the collection.

"We have conducted tours at various hours and days that have involved seniors, American Legion Posts, VFWs, church groups, Lions Clubs and even one family reunion," reported Gillen. "We've accommodated a few individuals to 40 guests at once."

Gillen pointed out that those who donate or loan memorabilia to the museum can be sure that their items will be displayed. "The exhibits are constantly changing," he noted.

Display cases at the museum feature dog tags and medals worn by local veterans, as well as uniforms, weapons, flags and military equipment.

A section of the railway that ran under the World Trade Center and was damaged during the Sept. 11 attacks is featured at the entrance to the museum as part of a memorial to those who lost their lives that day. Additionally, members of the Women Veterans of Berks County helped create a room for a women veterans display. The building also has a room that can used for meetings by veterans groups.

For more information about the BMHM, readers may visit or


Holiday Schedule Posted November 8, 2017

All sites of the York County History Center will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23, in observance of Thanksgiving Day. The museums will reopen on Friday, Nov. 24.

For information on museum hours and current exhibits, readers may visit

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