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Appalachian Trail Museum
The Appalachian Trail Museum Society serves the Appalachian Trail community by telling the stories of the founding, construction, preservation, maintenance, protection, and enjoyment of the Trail since its creation. The Museum will collect, preserve, and interpret materials relevant to these subjects in an effort to portray not only the history of the Trail, but also the essence of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual human experience of the Appalachian environment and the culture of hiking.
Our mission statement is reflected in the Museum that is located in Pennsylvania's Pine Grove Furnace State Park, about two miles from the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail, the Museum is halfway between Maine and Georgia. Appropriately, the Museum is housed in a building that is itself a historical artifact, a structure built more than two hundred years ago as a grist mill. It stands across the road from the Pine Grove General Store, a site famed in hiker lore. It is here that thru-hikers traditionally stop to celebrate reaching the midpoint by eating -- or attempting to eat -- a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting.
The dream of an Appalachian Trail Museum has finally become reality. With the June 5, 2010 Grand Opening behind it and a promising future still to come, the Museum is open for visitors. From Memorial Day through November 1st the Museum is open every day from noon to 4:00 PM, and in the spring and fall during the same hours but only on weekends. Admission is free.
Located in Pennsylvania's Pine Grove Furnace State Park, about two miles from the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail, the Museum is halfway between Maine and Georgia. Appropriately, the Museum is housed in a building that is itself a historical artifact, a structure built more than two hundred years ago as a grist mill. It stands across the road from the Pine Grove general store, a site famed in hiker lore. It is here that thru-hikers traditionally stop to celebrate reaching the midpoint by eating -- or attempting to eat -- a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting.
Below is an example of what the Appalachian Trail Museum is doing:
Historic Plaque/Trail Marker Presented to the Appalachian Trail Museum
GARDNERS, PA. -- Karen Lutz, regional director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, presents Larry Luxenberg, president of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society, with the Center Point Knob Plaque from the Mountain Club of Maryland. Once a marker of the midway point on the 2,179 mile Appalachian Trail, the plaque will be displayed in the Appalachian Trail Museum as part of a new permanent exhibit that will open in the spring when the museum begins its second season. The plaque was affixed by the Mountain Club of Maryland to a bolder on Piney Knob, Pennsylvania, in 1935. It disappeared in the 1940's and was found in the mid-1960's by Wilmer Harris, a farmer digging post holes.
He lives in the vicinity of South Mountain. It appears that the vandals who removed the plaque left it there. Mr. Harris had no idea where the plaque came from and kept it on the mantle of his fireplace for years. Two friends of the trail, Bruce Dunlavy and Bob Wise, learned that Mr. Harris had the plaque. Bruce is an active member of CVATC and several other trail groups, and Bob is President of the North Chapter of Potomac ATC. After learning where the plaque came from, Mr. Harris was eager to to give it to an appropriate trail organization.
After discussions among MCM, PATC, ATC and CVATC, we have agreed that the appropriate organization to receive the plaque is the new Appalachian Trail Museum. MCM may have a duplicate plaque installed on Center Point Knob. We are planning a celebration at the Museum to thank Mr. Harris and to officially deliver the plaque to a place of honor there. We are all very grateful to Mr. Harris, as well as Bruce and Bob, for their roles in bring the “prodigal plaque” back into the trail community.
The "prodigal" Center Point Knob plaque
The Appalachian Trail Museum: http://www.atmuseum.org