The Taber Museum tells the story of how people have lived and worked in Lycoming County from prehistoric times to the present day!
Using illustrations, dioramas, and local historical artifacts, the Taber Museum does a beautiful job of entertaining and educating at the same time, a tribute to the hard work and passion of the Lycoming County Historical Society.
The museum is broken down into a series of themed galleries, spread out across two floors, and I’ll briefly describe what you’ll see in each gallery when you visit.
The American Indian Gallery at the Taber Museum
Here you’ll learn about the Native Americans who were the first inhabitants of the Lycoming County area, and how they lived and evolved in the region over the course of 20,000 years.
The collection of local Native American artifacts, including many tools and weapons, is particularly impressive.
The Frontier Era Gallery at the Taber Museum
Here you’ll see how the first European settlers in the region would have lived and worked, through more dioramas and artifacts.
Locally-produced tools and weapons of this time period are on display, along with descriptions of how they made and by whom.
The 19th Century Gallery at the Taber Museum
In the 1800s, the lumber business made Williamsport a wealthy city, with more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the United States!
You can get a glimpse into how the residents of “Millionaires’ Row” lived in several recreated mansion rooms from that time period.
Of course for every lumber baron, there were hundreds of working-class people doing the heavy lifting, and you’ll learn about how they lived as well.
There’s even a recreated 1800s one-room school diorama, to impress upon kids (and adults) today what school was like for kids over a hundred years ago.
The Military Gallery at the Taber Museum
The Military Gallery shows you how Lycoming County residents responded in times of war, from Revolutionary times up through the Global War on Terrorism.
The roles of both soldiers and citizens on the home front are told through news clippings, artifacts, and dioramas.
The Lumber Gallery at the Taber Museum
As mentioned earlier, Lycoming County and Williamsport in particular was the epicenter of the American lumber industry in the 1800s, and the Taber Museum has an excellent gallery dedicated to telling the story that industry and all the ancillary tools and technology that went along with it.
The Fine & Decorative Arts Gallery at the Taber Museum
Fine art and furniture owned by some of the areas most prominent residents through the “lumber boom” years is on display here.
A Tiffany glass depiction of Christ among the lilies is a particularly beautiful piece, donated by he St. Paul’s Lutheran congregation before their disbanding.
The Farming, Crafts & Industry Gallery at the Taber Museum
Here you’ll learn about farm implements, carpentry tools, grist mills, beer-making, and various other crafts and skills from the early 19th and 20th centuries.
From and era when you had to build what you couldn’t buy, you’ll see all sorts of ingenious contraptions created to solve everyday problems.
The Shempp Model Train Collection at the Taber Museum
If you love trains, this exhibit will absolutely blow your mind!
The Shempp Model Train exhibit is said to be the finest collection of model trains in the United States!
Assembled by Larue Shempp over a lifetime of collecting, this exhibit includes over 300 trains, with many rare and one-of-a-kind examples.
There are more than 2,000 pieces, 100 individual locomotives and 347 complete train sets in the collection.
A pair of large layouts with numerous working model trains are on display as part of the exhibit.
I can’t emphasize it enough – if you love trains, or know someone that does, the Shempp Model Train Collection is worth the price of admission all by itself!
The Taber Museum: Where, When and How Much
The Taber Museum is located at 858 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA 17701, right on Millionaires’ Row (with plenty of free parking in back of the museum).
Hours are: Tue – Fri: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm, Sat: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, and Sun. (May-Oct): 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
Admission prices are: Adults: $9.50, Seniors (ages 65+): $7.50, Children (ages 3-12): $6.00, and Children 2 and under: free.
It’s a beautiful museum, staffed by friendly and knowledgeable people – I highly recommend visiting the Taber Museum if you’re in the Williamsport area!
Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland near Williamsport is a zoo that specializes in exotic reptiles and amphibians from around the world!
The nearby Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven honors the legacy of the Piper Aircraft Corporation, and is sure to be a hit with kids and anyone who loves aviation history!
The Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat cruise in Williamsport is a relaxing, hour-long sightseeing excursion up and down the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
The 5 Best Waterfall Hikes in Lycoming County introduces you to some magnificent natural attractions in the area.
Exploring Montgomery Pike Scenic Overlook in Lycoming County introduces you to a gorgeous roadside overlook and picnic spot located approximately 3.5 miles south of Williamsport along Route 15 in Lycoming County.
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