Welcome to the Hummelstown Area Historical Society

Special Event!

Dinner is Served!

The Grand Opening for the Show is Saturday, December 30, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

During the Month of January, 2018, the Show is open on:
Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Mondays from 12:00 - 4:00 PM
Wednesdays from 3:00 - 7:00 PM

The Hummelstown Area Historical Society is staging a new Winter Show entitled Dinner Is Served. The Show features exhibits of various patterns and styles of dinnerware that were used in Hummelstown’s kitchens and dining rooms over the last two centuries. The dinnerware has been loaned by members and friends of the Society.

The Show presents details about American and European china manufacturers, interesting the stories about china patterns, and families’ recollections about their dishes. Categories of dinnerware include:

  • Heirloom Dinnerware
  • Children’s China
  • Promotional Dishes
  • Vintage Dinnerware
  • Restaurant China
  • Outdoor Dinnerware
  • Commercial
  • Holiday Themes
  • Tea Sets

The History House was built in 1908 and retains its fireplaces, leaded glass front door, metal top kitchen counters, and original wood finishes on oak doors, floors, and the staircase. The charm of the parlor, dining room, old time kitchen and library make the History House a fitting place for the exhibits.

There is no charge for admission, but donations are appreciated to defray expenses. If you have any questions, please call Josie Downey, the Society’s Office Manager at 717-566- 6314 or Wade Seibert 717-919- 0509.

Visitors will learn interesting facts at the Show including:

  • Fiesta Ware is the most widely collected pattern in the United States
  • Haviland China was started in 1848 and was a favorite of Americans Presidents.
  • Flow Blue pieces were originally “seconds” that had flawed coloring of their patterns.
  • Ironstone contains no iron in its composition, but was named because it “wears like iron.”
  • Pennsylvania had several successful pottery manufacturers.
  • Gaudy Dutch’s nickname refers to its popularity with the Pennsylvania Dutch.

The exhibits are sure to evoke memories family meals in dining rooms, kitchens, and backyard as well as at local restaurants.

Upcoming General Meetings

January 15th


Parish House

Speaker: Mike Espenshade

Topic: Cemetery Tour

Military History Display and Open House

Please join the Hummelstown Area Historical Society in its latest display featuring military history.

PA German Folk Display

William Penn invited residents of the German Rhineland to move to Pennsylvania. He promised religious freedom, political expression, and economic opportunity. Through the 1700’s and until the Revolutionary War, they came. They initially settled in Germantown, near Philadelphia. But eventually, their numbers were too large, and land was becoming so expensive that they moved west into Lancaster and Lebanon Counties and north into Berks, Northampton and Lehigh counties. (Dauphin County was created from Lancaster County in 1785.)

The settlers were members of Lutheran, Reformed, Moravian, Brethren, Mennonite, and Amish churches.  They valued hard work, love of family, and stewardship in the community.  As farmers and craftsmen, they prospered economically.  But rather than adopt the lifestyle of their English and Scotch Irish neighbors, they held on to customs, language, food and dress, and even artistry that they practiced in their homeland. Today some of those traditions continue to be part of our lives like sauerkraut on New Year’s Day, baptisms after catechism training, quilt sewing, and the Kutztown Fair.  

The Historical Society is celebrating Pennsylvania German Folk with new exhibits and a driving tour.  

  • The Pennsylvania German Folk exhibit at the Parish House highlights German craftsmanship and artistry with displays of painted furniture, frakturs, bookplates, handiwork, and decorated kitchen items.  The display is open to the public on Mondays, by special appointment, and during monthly general meetings.

  • The Rural Routes Barn Tour, scheduled for Saturday, October 29, features 28 sites to be seen by driving in your own automobile through South and East Hanover Townships.  Many are Pennsylvania Bank Barns, which is a barn style that the German immigrants brought with them from their homeland.  Tickets are $25 per automobile.

  • Photographs of local barns and models are displayed at the History House at 32 West Main Street.

  • The Quilt 2 Show is scheduled for January and February, 2017. Sixty quilts will be displayed in the Parish House. The Society’s quilt show in 2012 was so popular, that this new show is being staged.

Please click on the Special Events icon which will direct you to additional icons which have information about each event or click below.  You can also call the Society Office at 566-6314 for additional information.