Western Pennsylvania's First National Historic Landmark District


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218 Mercer St.
Harmony, Pa 16037


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Quilt and Coverlet Exhibit

April 1 to 13. Historic Harmony and the National Museum of the American Coverlet will present a display of some of the best woven coverlets and hand crafted historic quilts to be found anywhere in Pennsylvania.

EXHIBITION BRINGS TOGETHER 60 WORKS FROM HISTORIC PA WEAVERS Harmony PA: The Harmony Museum announces a colorful exhibition of pre-Civil War coverlets and quilts, April 1 through 13, 1 to 4 p.m. in Stewart Hall, adjacent to the museum building at 218 Mercer St. in Harmony, Pa.

The exhibition brings together, for the first time, quilts and woven coverlets from private collections, as well as three important museums—the National Museum of the American Coverlet in Bedford, Pa.; the McCarl Coverlet Gallery at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa.; and the Harmony Museum. More than 60 coverlets and quilts will be on display.

Coverlet weaving thrived in western Pennsylvania for a several decades in the mid-1800s. Prior to that time settlers couldn’t afford a professionally woven bed cover. Around the time of the Civil War, machines started making woven coverlets in the United States, and hand weavers could no longer compete.

For example, Adam Hoerr (Herr) wove coverlets in Harmony from 1841-1856. He was a skilled weaver who emigrated from Germany and became a charter member of the Harmony Borough Council. But his weaving business faltered as the Civil War approached. The Harmony Museum has several Hoerr coverlets in its collection. “We are fortunate that many of these colorful coverlets still survive,” says Susan Webb, board member of Historic Harmony and organizer of the exhibition. “The natural dyes in these coverlets remain vibrant even after 175 years. And the fact that they survived at all is a sign of how people cherished these family heirlooms across generations.”

The exhibition includes presentations from two nationally known coverlet experts. On April 6, at 10 a.m. there will be a presentation on the history of coverlet weaving by Melinda Zongor from the National Museum of the American Coverlet in Bedford, Pa. At 11 a.m. attendees who have brought a coverlet from home can have Zongor evaluate the fabric’s structure, dyes used, and age. On display will also be Zongor’s book, Coverlets and the Spirit of America, that gives the history of weaving and features full-page color illustrations.

On April 13, the last day of the exhibition, Lauren Churilla, curator of the McCarl Collection at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, will speak at 10 a.m. about the weavers of western Pennsylvania. Again, attendees can have their personal coverlets evaluated.

Admission to the special Saturday programs is $5. Admission to the exhibition on other days is included in the price of a Harmony Museum tour—$7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for youths. Museum members, and children age 5 and under, are admitted free. A wine and cheese reception and exhibition preview is available to Harmony Museum members and guests on Sunday afternoon, March 31 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The nine-site Harmony Museum presents and preserves the community’s extraordinary history and is at I-79 exits 87-88, about 10 miles north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and 30 miles south of I-80. The museum has presentations that include George Washington's 1753 mission, Harmonists, Mennonites, and an outstanding collection of sporting rifles made by 19th century Harmony gunsmith Charles Flowers. The town was founded in 1804 by Lutheran Separatists from southwestern Germany whose Harmony Society became one of 19th century America’s most successful communal groups. They thrived in various businesses, especially in production of woolens and linens. When the Harmonists relocated to Indiana Territory in 1814-15, resettlement of the area was led by Mennonites from eastern Pennsylvania whose meetinghouse was the first Mennonite church west of the Allegheny Mountains. The meetinghouse and cemetery is now owned by Historic Harmony and is on the National Register of Historic Places. -end-

On Saturday, April 13, the last day of the exhibition, Lauren Churilla, curator of the McCarl Collection at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, will speak at 10 a.m. about the weavers of western Pennsylvania. Again, attendees can have their personal coverlets evaluated.

Admission is $5

Email hmuseum@zoominternet.net or call (724) 452-7341 for more information.

Harmony Museum Weavers Make It - Take It Classes Offered

These classes by appointment only. Weave a wool scarf or rag rug, or a bag on a pre-warped loom with the assistance of instructors at the Harmony Museum’s Weavers Log Cabin annex -- and take it home with you.

Capacity is limited. The 210-year-old log house is at 245 Mercer St., two blocks from the museum. Proceeds benefit museum operations.

Registration is by e-mail at weaversofharmony@gmail.com, and should specify interest in weaving a scarf or rug or bag.

Village Post Office Open at Harmony Museum Shop

The Village Post Office returns the convenience of basic postal retail services lost to residents and businesses when lease expiration closed Harmony’s Post Office at the Municipal Building in mid-2009.

Harmony’s former Post Office occupied the same Wagner House space for many decades before being moved to the Municipal Building in 1967.

As the Postal Service is informing area customers, the new Village Post Office offers "popular Postal products and services. With convenient hours and location, you can mail letters and ship your Flat-Rate Priority packages right where you shop." Customers can buy Forever stamp booklets, obtain free Priority Mail Flat Rate supplies, drop off postage-prepaid packages for Postal Service pickup, and deposit mail in a sidewalk collection box. They will also enjoy free parking adjacent to the Museum Shop.

Retail postal services are available during regular Museum Shop hours: Tuesday-Saturday noon-4 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m.. It is closed on Mondays and holidays.  
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