Pa.’s offbeat museums featured in book


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – You know about the Carnegie Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but have you ever visited the Toy Robot Museum in Adamstown or Bill’s Old Bike Barn in Bloomsburg?

How about the Tom Mix Museum in Mix Run or the Houdini Museum in Scranton?

Pennsylvania’s many small museums are easy to miss in an age of instant information and superhighways.

After reading Therese Boyd’s new Penn State Press book, The Best Places You’ve Never Seen - Pennsylvania’s Small Museums: A Traveler’s Guide, however, you’ll rush to get off the beaten track to find them.

Mind of their own. Pennsylvania’s little wonders are as entertaining as they are educational. Unlike large museums, which display masterpieces of art and other “important” items, small museums feature objects that would otherwise be thrown away and forgotten – everything from spittoons to high button shoes and trolley cars.

Some small museums, such as the Richard Allen Museum, serve a serious purpose; others are playful, even eccentric. All offer a fresh perspective on how people have lived and worked.

Of the hundreds of small museums throughout Pennsylvania, Boyd concentrates on 42 that she considers well worth a detour.

These range from Kready’s Museum, where visitors can savor the simple pleasures of a country store, to the Vocal Groups Hall of Fame and Museum, where music fans can listen to “golden oldies” and pore over memorabilia (including sequined dresses once worn by the Supremes).

Good resource. Boyd’s book is a comprehensive, illustrated guide to the best small museums in Pennsylvania. It weaves amusing anecdotes about Boyd’s own visits to the museums along with descriptions of their histories and collections.

Her guide provides travel directions as well as complete information about each museum’s visiting hours, Web site, and contact information.

To get a copy of the book call 800-326-9180.


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