The Basement Exhibits

The Arthur Armour Aluminum Room

The Arthur Armour Aluminum Room

The Arthur Armour Aluminum Room

The Arthur Armour Aluminum Room

Note:  This room is currently under construction, pending receipt of grant money.  The picture shown is of the Arthur Armour wall in the Main Activity Room

When completed, this room will preserve the artifacts, documents, and story of the Arthur Armour Hand Wrought Aluminum business that existed in Grove City from 1933-1976.  Honored with a 2020 grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and supplemented by private gifts and funds from the Society’s endowment, Mr. Armour’s Son, Dr. Thomas Armour, has worked diligently to preserve Arthur Armour’s craftsmanship which was known locally and worldwide.  Eventually this site will house a virtual museum as well as a working aluminum shop.

The Mail Wagon Room

The Mail Wagon Room

The Mail Wagon Room

The Mail Wagon Room

The central focus of this room is the mail wagon owned by R. Hood Reynolds, a Grove City rural mail carrier; it is believed to be one of the last in existence in Pennsylvania.   For Reynolds to drive his route of 28 miles, six days a week, whether rain, sleet, or snow, he was paid $100, and he had to maintain the wagon he owned and the 3 horses he kept available to drive it.  The wagon, donated by the Reynolds Family, was restored by Uri Byler who discovered its original green color during the restoration.  The rest of the contents of the Mail Room serve to enhance what the post office has meant to the community over the years and the many personnel that have been a part of the history of postal services in Grove City.  (Rm.Mgrs.-Terry and Lillian Reeher – lrreeher@zoominternet.net)

The Coal Mining Display

The Coal Mining Display

The Coal Mining Display

The Coal Mining Display

Walk a little further beyond the Mail Room and enjoy the coal mining display, the labor for which was donated by the Randy Voltz family in memory of James F. Dunkerley, an early coal miner.  Coal mining was very important in the development of the Grove City area as immigrants to the area found work in this dangerous and difficult industry.  The coal wagon and track came to us by way of the John Venezia Family, underscoring the worth of many donations the Society receives on which to build its displays.

The John Sample Decorative Aluminum Heritage Center

The John Sample Decorative Aluminum Heritage Center

The John Sample Decorative Aluminum Heritage Center

The John Sample Decorative Aluminum Heritage Center

This room, established after his passing, is a memorial to the research and collecting done by John Sample.  John was a collector of ‘old hammered aluminum from the Grove City area’, but he not only collected hammered aluminum, he studied the history of the companies like Wendell August and many others that existed at one time in the Grove City area.  These companies flourished initially because of the talents of immigrant artists, and eventually our area from Stoneboro to north of Slippery Rock had seven hammered aluminum giftware companies.  Each forge had its own unique history, its ‘story’, all of which is detailed in the Heritage Center.  As a result of the aluminum forging in the Grove City area, over 200 hammered aluminum companies began throughout the United States, but only one, Wendell August, remains today. (Rm.Mgrs.-Skip Sample, Tom Armour, Georgie Hodge – tarmour@zoominternet.net)

The Stairwell

The Stairwell

The Stairwell

The Stairwell

When using the stairwell to the basement rooms, you are surrounded by paintings of the banks of Wolf Creek, one side a view in summer and the other side a view in winter. At the bottom of the steps is a depiction of Cunningham Mill, the first mill in Grove City, built in 1799. This mill location, at the intersection of East Main Street and Greenwood Drive is owned and maintained by the historical society. At the bottom of the steps you will either turn left into the John Sample Aluminum Heritage Room and further on into the Arthur Armour Gallery or you will turn right into the Mail Room and the Coal Mining Display, all of which are pictured later on. This area is handicap accessible.