Experience Kits

If you're interested in a free stay-cation for the entire family, look no further than your public 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 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. It's 'First come, First served', so stop in to pick one up. 

You are welcome to call beforehand to see if it is available, but unfortunately they cannot be placed on hold.

Currently Available:

Senator john heinz history center

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Also included in complimentary admission: 

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Fort Pitt Museum

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.

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)

Duncan & Miller Glass museum

Complimentary Admission for up to four people

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Before the Pittsburgh area became known for its steel, it was once known as the glass manufacturing center of our country. Glass manufacturing in Western PA began in 1797; by the second half of the 19th century, the majority of all glass that was manufactured in the U.S. was produced in our region, due to our location, availability of raw materials, and access to transportation. As the first “Gateway to the West,” Pittsburgh provided the country’s westward expansion with necessary glass items.

 

George Duncan had a background in glassworks, and eventually became the owner of D. C. Ripley & Co. Glass Works in the Southside area of Pittsburgh (later changing the company name to George Duncan & Sons). He was joined by John Miller, and the company was later relocated to Washington, PA, for easier access to transportation and raw materials. In 1893, the new Washington plant opened and remained in operation until 1955. For the first thirty years that the plant was open, only clear glass was produced, but later colored glass and patterned glass were introduced. Although other companies in the tri-state area also produced glass, the Duncan & Miller Glass Company became famous for its workers’ skill, the artistry of designs, and the glass colors. The work came to an abrupt end in 1955; because of mechanization and foreign imports, the production of fine handmade glass became too expensive.

 

The National Duncan Glass Society was formed in 1975 to keep alive the history of glass companies, to study their impact on the economic development of the region, and to celebrate the men and women who made it possible.

 

An affiliate of the Heinz History Center, the Duncan Miller Glass Museum recognizes the importance of the glass industry to Western Pennsylvania, commemorates two of the finest glass companies in our country, and celebrates the rich history and beautiful collection of genuine Duncan & Miller glass.

Location

100 Ridge Ave.

Washington, PA 15301

Phone

724-225-9950

Website

http://duncan-miller.org/

Hours

April 7 thru December 23

11 AM to 4 PM          Thursday - Sunday

(Closed Monday - Wednesday)

Check website for operating updates, special tours and events!

Historic Fort Steuben

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Historic Fort Steuben was built in 1787 and was named after Friedrich Wilhelm Steuben, a Prussian army officer who was George Washington’s drillmaster in the Revolutionary War. Now visitors can tour the reconstructed fort to see the soldiers’ quarters, guardhouse, hospital, and commissary, which depict the daily life of the men who helped open the territories to settlement. In addition, on the grounds there is an Exhibit Hall, which provides displays on Ohio’s history and a Federal Land Office, the first one west of the Alleghenies, which shows antiques and documents that illustrate life in the early 19th century. The Visitors’ Center is part of the Ohio River Scenic Byway and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail; it is the area’s resource for maps, brochures, and information on local attractions, including the 25 larger-than-life murals throughout downtown Steubenville, as well as souvenirs of the city’s native son, Dean Martin. Finally, there is an herb garden, which contains a variety of herbs that were commonly used in the 18th century.

 

During the year many events are offered at Historic Fort Steuben and nearby Fort Steuben Park and the Berkman Amphitheater, including Ohio Valley Frontier Days, a spring quilt show, summer concerts, the summer youth education program, Celebrate the Constitution, The Ohio Valley and the Civil War, and Christmas at the Fort and the Advent Market.

 

Historic Fort Steuben’s many exhibits, tours, and events tell the story of the Ohio Valley during the 18th century and also help to keep history alive today!

Complimentary Admission for up to four people

Location

120 South Third Street

Steubenville, OH 43952

Phone

740-283-1787

Website

http://www.oldfortsteuben.net/

Hours

May thru October

10 AM to 4 PM          Monday - Saturday

11 AM to 4 PM                        Sunday

Check website for operating updates, special tours and events!

Merrick Art Gallery

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For more than a century, The Merrick Free Art Gallery Museum and Library has provided residents of Beaver County and the surrounding area the opportunity to enjoy the arts, from both emerging artists as well as the classics. Founded by New Brighton industrialist, Edward Dempster Merrick, The Merrick is home to a collection of French, German, English and American paintings from the 18th and 19th Century, featuring examples of romantic, realistic, and impressionistic art by prominent American and European artists. In addition, a piano played by composer, Stephen Foster, is on display.

 

Visitors can view the permanent collection, attend special events, or take classes and workshops. In addition, the galleries and courtyard are available to rent for special occasions. Recent community events have included a Garden Party, Picnic, Murder Mystery and Christmas Tea Party.

 

An affiliate of the Heinz History Center, the Merrick Art Gallery exemplifies its motto by having “a taste for the past and a vision for the future” by sharing its history and connecting to the community.

Complimentary Admission for up to four people

Location

1100 Fifth Avenue

New Brighton, PA 15066

Phone

724-846-1130

Website

http://www.merrickartgallery.org/

Hours

Open Year- Round

10 AM to 4 PM         Tuesday - Thursday

10 AM to 4 PM                Sunday

Closed Friday, Saturday & Monday

Check their website for operating updates, special tours and events!

Old Economy Village

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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, 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 George Rapp House, 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, presentations, and special events are offered, such as Hands-On History Days, Easter Egg Hunt, Garden Mart, Wedding Showcase, Summer Camp, Harvest Festival, A Halloween Haunting, and Christmas at the Village. 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.

Complimentary Admission for up to four people

Location

270 Sixteenth Street,

Ambridge, PA 15003

Phone

724-266-4500

Website

http://oldeconomyvillage.org/

Hours

10 AM to 4 PM          Friday - Sunday

 

Closed Monday - Thursday

Closed Holidays

Check their website for operating updates, special tours and events!

Somerset Historical Center

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The Somerset Historical Center is a 150-acre rural history museum, which preserves the history of life in southwestern PA through a wide range of exhibits, workshops, and educational programs. It also serves as headquarters for the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County.

 

At the Visitor Center, stories of the people of southwestern PA can be found through the award-winning exhibit “Patterns of Land,” which features objects of everyday frontier life. The families’ stories are told through the use of diaries, video clips, and recorded interviews.

 

Also, on the grounds, visitors and school groups can see a 1770’s farmstead with sparse furnishings, a more permanent 1830’s farmstead, an early 19th century covered bridge, a cider press, and a maple sugar camp from 1860.

 

Workshops are offered on traditional skilled crafts and trades of southwestern PA, such as cottage craft coopering, tinsmithing, decorating Pysanky eggs, blacksmithing, rug hooking, and folk toy making.

 

Several events take place during the year; the major educational event is Mountain Craft Day, which is annually held on the first weekend after Labor Day. This three-day outdoor festival features 125 craft people, artisans, and entertainers, and it draws over 13,000 visitors each September.

 

An affiliate of the Heinz History Center, the Somerset Historical Center is a wealth of information, authentic frontier experiences, and fun. Stop by to take a step back in time!

Complimentary Admission for up to four people

Location

10649 Somerset Pike

Somerset, PA 15501

Phone

814-445-6077

Website

http://www.somersethistoricalcenter.org

Hours

Open Year- Round

10 AM to 4 PM     Wednesday - Saturday

Closed Sunday - Tuesday

 

Guided tours of outdoor exhibits available April 1 - October 31

Check website for operating updates, special tours and events.

West Overton Village & Museum

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West Overton began when Henry Overholt and his family settled in the Scottdale area in 1800. By 1803 Henry owned 260 acres, and his son Abraham developed a rye whiskey distillery there. In 1846 John W. Frick, a Swiss immigrant, was hired to work in the grist mill in the village. He married Abraham’s daughter, and their second child, Henry Clay Frick, grew up at West Overton and became involved in business. Eventually, Henry Clay Frick went into the coal and coke industry and partnered with Andrew Carnegie. When Frick died in 1919, his daughter purchased West Overton as a way to memorialize her father.

 

West Overton Village and Museum is the only pre-Civil War village intact in Pennsylvania. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a stop on the American Whiskey Trail. The Village represents the transformation of American culture from an agrarian society with the production of the coverlets manufactured at West Overton and the distilling operation to a more industrial society with the excavation of coal and ultimately the production of coke, a necessary ingredient for steel.

 

Today visitors can tour the restored Village’s remaining buildings, including the Overholt Homestead, the Spring House where Henry Clay Frick was born, and the Distillery Museum. In the Village, worker houses and family home have been repurposed into storefronts. In addition, the Overholt Room and the Distillery Museum are available to rent for weddings and other events and meetings.

 

An affiliate of the Heinz History Center, West Overton Village and Museum serves many purposes. It has been an important part of our country’s history. In addition, it is connected to Pittsburgh’s growth, and now it is a center for business and family gatherings.

Complimentary Admission for up to four people

Location

109 West Overton Road

Scottdale, PA 15683

Phone

724-887-7910

Website

http://www.westovertonvillage.org

Hours

May thru September

10 AM to 4 PM          Thursday - Monday

Closed Tuesday & Wednesday

Closed Holidays

Check website for  operating updates, special tours and events.