Experience Kits

If you're interested in a free stay-cation for the entire family, look no further than your public library! 

Starting this June, a new and exciting opportunity awaits you at Robinson Township Library. Select libraries around the county (including Robinson), partnered with the Senator John Heinz History Center and its Affiliate Program to offer library card holders access to free admission to five unique sites (see available sites below).

Each kit can be checked out for up to one week at a time and grants admission for up to four people.

harmony museum & historic district

Complimentary Admission for up to four people

Location

218 Mercer Street

Harmony, PA 16037

Phone

724-452-7341

Website

http://harmonymuseum.org

Hours

1 PM to 4 PM Tuesday - Sunday

Other tour times by appointment.

Check website for special tours and events!

Harmony, PA was founded in 1804 by Johann Georg Rapp and his religious community.  Known as the Harmony Society or Harmonists, Rapp and his followers fled Germany in search of religious freedom.  There were about 400 Harmonists who lived communally.  They were very industrious and built a strong economy. However, as the group grew, they needed more land, so they sold the community to a Mennonite, Abraham Ziegler, and moved to Indiana.

  

One of the primary stops in Harmony is the Harmony Museum, which was built in 1809.  It tells the story of the Harmony Society, the Mennonites who came after them, and those who have contributed to the community since then.  The museum also features information on George Washington’s 1753 visit to the area and the Ball collection of 19th century sporting rifles.

 

In addition to the Harmony Museum, Historic Harmony Inc. owns seven other properties in the area, including a Mennonite log cabin from the early 1800’s and a Mennonite Church and graveyard.  A visitor strolling around this quaint village will discover additional historic buildings, some of which house current businesses.  The Harmony Historic District is Western Pennsylvania’s first National Landmark District.

 

Monthly events are also offered by the Harmony Museum, including Harmoniefest, their Quilt and Coverlet Exhibit, Winefest, the Herb and Garden Show, Sleepy Hollow, and the museum’s primary annual fundraiser, their German-style Christmas Market.

 

An affiliate of the Heinz History Center, the Harmony Museum and the entire Harmony Historic District has something for everyone, so come and immerse yourself in 250 years of Western Pennsylvania’s history.

Old economy village

Complimentary Admission for up to four people

Location

270 Sixteenth Street

Ambridge, PA 15003

Phone

724-266-4500

Website

http://oldeconomyvillage.org/

Hours

April 1 through December 31

10 AM to 5 PM Wednesday - Saturday

12 PM to 5 PM                           Sunday

Closed                   Monday & Tuesday

Closed Holidays

Check website for special tours and events!

Old Economy Village strives to preserve and present the life, thought and material culture of the Harmony Society, a 19th century religious community.  The Society, led by George Rapp, endeavored to create a utopia, inhabited by German Lutheran separatists.  At Economy they waited for the second coming of the Messiah.

 

The Village was organized and planned for efficiency, with the church and leaders’ houses in the center of town, which were surrounded by a store, post office, a Feast Hall, and several businesses.  The members’ houses were then built around those buildings.  Finally, at the edges of the community were the barns, stables, tannery, blacksmith shop, etc.

 

The community was economically successful and remained in operation for 100 years, from 1805-1905 by creating, adapting, and adopting the new technologies of their day.  They were involved in manufacturing wool, cotton and silk textiles, plus in the production of wine and beer.  In addition, they had financial investments in railroads, river travel, coal, oil, and timber.

 

Visitors of Old Economy Village can tour the Visitor Center, and many of the settlement’s buildings such as the Carriage House, Mechanics
Building, Wine Cellar, Store, Post Office, Baker House, Bake Oven, Community Kitchen, Cabinet Shop, Blacksmith Shop, and Granary.  In these buildings, visitors can observe artifacts on display and learn about the daily life of the Harmonists.

 

A variety of programs and speakers are offered, such as “Saturday Spotlights,” which includes The Art of Blacksmithing, 19th Century Food Ways, 19th Century Trades and Crafts, Woodworking and Children’s Games, Meet the Gardeners, and Textiles.  Check their website for the monthly schedule.  School tours are also offered for every age of student.

 

An affiliate of the Heinz History Center, Old Economy gives us a glimpse into this fascinating culture from the past.

Senator john heinz history center

Complimentary Admission for up to four people

Location

1212 Smallman Street (Strip District)

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone

412-454-6000

Website

http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org

Hours

10 AM to 5 PM                    Daily

(Closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day)

Also included in complimentary admission: Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, and Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village in Avella, PA

The Heinz History Center has been in continuous existence since 1879, which makes it one of Pittsburgh’s oldest cultural organizations. The museum is Pennsylvania’s largest history museum and a proud affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The Heinz History Center also facilitates its own affiliate program, working with over 200 historical organizations in our tri-state area. It is devoted to the history and heritage of Western PA and contains six floors of long-term and changing exhibits with hands-on activities, as well as a multitude of events and programs.

 

There is something for everyone! The museum system also includes the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, the Detre Library and Archives, and the Museum Conservation Center.

In addition, the Heinz History Center operates the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village in Avella, PA and the Fort Pitt Museum at the Point in Pittsburgh.