Museum exhibit to display history of Harmony

| Saturday, March 29, 2014, 12:22 p.m.

Visitors will get a chance to experience never-before-seen parts of Harmony's history in a new exhibit at the Harmony Museum opening in April.

“Out of the Attic” runs April 5-13 during regular museum hours in the museum's Stewart Hall, 218 Mercer St., featuring rarely or not previously displayed artifacts representing a wide range of local history.

Displays will span from the mid-19th to mid-20th century and include a pie plate collection, antique photographs, artwork from renowned Harmony artist Gertrude Ziegler, infant cradles and memorabilia from local businesses, said Kathy Luek, museum administrator.

Coverlets made between the 1840s and 1850s by Harmony weaver Adam Hoerr will be displayed, Luek said. Hoerr is regarded as Butler County's only known mid-19th century commercial Jacquard-style weaver, she said.

A few of Hoerr's coverlets are on display year-round in the museum, but more rarely seen pieces will be out for the exhibit. There will also be a never-before displayed rifling machine owned by 19th century Harmony gunsmith Charles Flowers.

The 8-foot-long machine was acquired by the Historic Harmony group from an antiques dealer in Beaver County several years ago, but it had not figured out a place to show off the large piece until now, said John Ruch, the group's president.

“It's amazing that it survived,” Ruch said.

Flowers used the machine to put rifling, or grooves, on the insides of barrels for his handcrafted classic Pennsylvania-style rifles from about 1840 to 1890, Ruch said.

The museum has 10 of Flowers' guns on display, and several firearms from private collectors will be displayed with the machine during the exhibit.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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