(Originally published 2007)
I am over at the Bath Museum in the Bath Borough Municipal Building located at Penn and Washington Streets on the second floor. There I met friends who have done a magnificent job organizing and displaying many historical treasures from the Bath area.
Marjorie and Carl Rehrig, Evelyn Hartzell, Agnes Melinsky, Mary Waltz and Diane Miller are the glue keeping the museum fresh and alive. Some of the new artifacts are: a century-old corn sheller from the Bath Manufacturing Company, which made binders, reapers, mowers, and shellers in 1890 on North Chestnut Street;
A wooden wheelbarrow from the Houser barn- Marjorie and Carl spent six months cleaning the barn finding a number of interesting artifacts. Items of interest are an 1870 desk and counter from the old Mauser-Cressman feed mill on Mill Street.
The giant desk contains ledgers and receipts from the 1870s. A unique cash drawer has finger spring locks requiring a certain combination to open. This is a valuable piece of history.
A totally wooden wash machine powered by an ancient electric motor, curtain stretcher- remember when mothers stretched curtains after washing them on a large frame in the back yard? I don’t know when I last saw it done!
A sign from the old Sensenbach Bakery on Washington St.- it was donated to the museum by a former classmate of this writer, James Bartholomew, who passed away recently.
There is a 1925 Victrola playing the National Anthem on a 78-rpm record. Other items include ladies’ dresses from 1880 and a child’s bench with Pennsylvania Dutch motif from 1850.
At one time Bath had a thriving movie theater on Northampton Street, the site of a present beverage firm. Tickets were five cents for children and ten cents for adults, plus five cents for an extra large bag of peanuts. Carl Rehrig is one of the few Bath residents who enjoyed a show at the theater.
He recalls, “The movies were great, when you left the movie the floor was full of peanut shells, there was a crunch, crunch with each step. No fancy theater chairs, just good hard benches.”
The building was used by the Catholic Church on Sundays before they could construct their own structure. The old wooden building blew down in a wind storm.
I expected to be there for an hour, which extended into a full day. Carl convinced me to stay for some tasty hot dogs; of course Carl paid.
See you in two weeks for more on the old museum.