Civil War Event This Weekend!

mtuscarora_academy_todayA Civil War Event will be held at the Academy Saturday and Sunday, August 24 and 25. Union and Confederate re-enactors will be set up at the Tuscarora Academy Museum in Academia. They will give presentations and demonstrations of the Civil War soldier’s way of life throughout the weekend. The Academy Museum will be open Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. There’s no fee to visit so feel free to stop by that weekend. This will be the last weekend the museum will be open.

window-repairsIf you’ve driven by the TuscaroraAcademyMuseum in the last week you’ve probably noticed scaffolding, several boarded up windows, a large lift and people busily working.

That’s because the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has contracted to repair the center and round windows on the north end of the building.  They’re inspecting all the windows and replacing any water damaged frames or sashes, removing and replacing the glazing and painting the window frames, the door, and the wooden soffits, brackets and fascia at the roof line.  The masonry around the windows and door will also be repaired or replaced where needed.  They will be up on the roof replacing the flashing around the belfry and giving it a new coat of paint.



Restored Cannon Carriage On Display

New-cannon-aloneThis cannon carriage, once owned by the David H, Wilson GAR Post 134, Mifflintown, is believed to have been made in the late 1870’s.  It was restored and a new barrel was made by Jeff Stafford of Coatesville, PA.

It is, along with the matching limber, on display at the Academy.  The canon barrel was made so it could not be fired.

There will be more on this story in the September issue of Juniata Jottings – which should be in the mail in the next week or two to our members!


Zimmie’s “Pie Lady” Finds Her Way Home

The Pie Lady

The Pie Lady

For years, she beckoned Juniata County residents to come inside Zimmie’s Diner to sample the fine food and atmosphere.  And she did this without saying a word.  Her lure: a steaming hot-out-of-the-oven pie she held out in front of her.  Known simply as the “Pie Lady,” she was a staple in our fine county.

A number of years back, the diner was sold and the Pie Lady had vanished.  Gone….but not forgotten.

A few months ago, the Society was contacted by Reed Lebo from the Halifax area.  Mr. Lebo had recently attended an auction where he came across the Pie Lady.  Something about her lured him in (maybe it was that steaming hot pie?), and he decided he wanted to buy it.  Mr. Lebo didn’t know the history of the sign and had never been to Zimmie’s Diner.  He just knew it was interesting.  Rumor has it that he didn’t tell his wife of his intentions until he started bidding.  As he figured, she thought he was crazy for buying the sign.  As luck would have it, he ended up the top bidder.

Once he had the Pie Lady, he really didn’t have any plans/place for her.  So, he contacted the Society to see if there was any interest in purchasing the sign from him.  He only asked to be paid the same amount that he had paid for the sign.  After a quick discussion between the Board members, the decision was made to purchase the sign (because of its historical and emotional significance to Juniata County).

So, arrangements were made for the Pie Lady to travel back to Juniata County.  She boarded the back of a box truck and made the trip without incident (though she had lost a foot sometime between the time she vanished and the time she made it to the auction).  Fortunately, her foot was saved and traveled with her.

While Zimmie’s Diner no longer needs her to watch over it, the Pie Lady now resides in the Tuscarora Academy Museum.  She can be visited, along with all of the other local treasures on display, on Sundays during the Summer.  Better hurry, though, as regular hours will be done at the end of August.

Want to hear more about the Pie Lady and Zimmie’s Diner?  We’ll have more of their history in the next Juniata Jottings newsletter coming out soon.

Have any stories of the “Pie Lady” or Zimmie’s Diner?  We’d love to hear about them!

Zimmie's Diner with the Pie Lady sign out front.

Zimmie’s Diner with the Pie Lady sign out front.

Academy Museum Review

mtuscarora_academy_todayAlthough I’m both a Board member and the editor of both the online blog of the Juniata County Historical Society (of which you’re reading now) and our member’s quarterly newsletter, I’m relatively new to the organization – still learning the ins and outs of a small volunteer organization.

This past August, I was able to learn firsthand about one of the properties overseen and managed by the Society – the Academy Museum – when I served as the host during one of the Sunday Open Houses.

It was the first time I was ever at the museum. I didn’t know what to expect. Walking in the front door, I quickly realized that this little building in what seems like the middle of nowhere houses local historical treasures that really have to be seen!

I marveled at water main pipes made out of wood, an actual storefront from a General Store (I thought it had to be a reproduction but was amazed to find out it wasn’t), tools for sawing off legs in the Civil War and furniture from a women’s academy that no longer stands. Understand that this was the first five minutes that I entered – and only the first floor. The first floor was mostly one large room, but it’s arranged to bring guests in an orderly path around its treasures in a way that lets them get up close with each one.

A set of steps right by the entry beckoned me to the second floor. As I reached the top, I saw that the setup was a long hall with individual rooms. Some of the rooms were set up to show visitors what the bedrooms of the students resembled when the Academy was operating. Seeing the stoves used for heat in the bedrooms made me imagine living there in the cold months.

Other rooms were set up to allow close inspection of historical items from different time periods.

One room showcased medical practice and tools of the past. I can tell you that, after seeing that exhibit, my fears of the modern doctor’s office were a bit relieved. Thank goodness for advancements in medicine!!

A few of the medical items on display at the Academy Museum

Another room had items from the World Wars. There’s a great collection of pins in one display case. Upon closer examination, these pins had swastikas on them – and I’m told that some of these were from the very early formation of the Nazi regime. You just know these pins came from German soldiers who met their demise in the War! Other items in the room were uniforms donated by proud family members of veterans.

For those of us who are wishing we had more hair than we do, the room full of historical hair care machines is simply humorous. Take a look at the devices used for curling and drying hair. It seems to me that these things would twist and blow the hair off the strongest heads of hair out there!

Curling iron or torture device?

How fast could this dry your hair?

If you’ve  never visited the Academy Museum, I strongly encourage it! Now, the summer is over and there won’t be official open hours until next summer, but you could always arrange for a trip up by contacting the Juniata County Historical Society at (717) 436-5152 or via email at