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Tyrone Area Historical Society set to open new museum

Historical buffs of Tyrone mark your calendars for November 20.
That’s the official opening date of the Tyrone Area Historical Society’s Tyrone History Museum in the Bud Shuster Intermodal Transportation Center – Tyrone Rail Station, at the Railpark.
“Everyone is just so excited about this project,” said Lori Eckert, historical society treasurer and coordinator. “This has been two years in the making now, and it’s finally coming all together. We’re eagerly anticipating our opening and can’t wait to show the people of Tyrone just a little more of how this great community came to be.”
Whether you’re looking for a history of the Tyrone Railroad, want to know more about the old athletic park that included a baseball field with grandstands, a community pool and golf course, or just want to see some old pictures of Tyrone in its “Hay Day,” it’s all there.
“The selection of items is just incredible,” said Marge Hoyer, membership chairman with the historical society. “We plan to have a rotating display of exhibits. We’re not sure how often we’ll do the rotations, but we have plenty of items of interest.”
According to Eckert, one of those exhibits is a timeline that stretches along the walls of the museum, connecting each important part of Tyrone’s history with a scaled-down railroad track.
“This exhibit really shows how illustrious this community’s history is,” said Eckert. “We’ve put a great deal of time working to make this exhibit really standout and it shows. People will definitely enjoy tracing the history of the town.”
Other exhibits include a circa 1880s luggage cart that was donated by the Altoona Rail Museum, original lanterns used to signal approaching trains, tons of photos of community landmarks and buildings, and a display of the Tyrone Guards, which was a community drum and bugle corps sponsored by the American Legion.
Eckert said the majority of the exhibits range from 1797 to approximately the 1950s. The historical society said it would be most appreciative in accepting donations for display at the museum, but noted that only Tyrone-related items will be used. Most of the current exhibits are from the donations of community residents.
“We can only use Tyrone-related items because that’s what we want our museum to be,” said Eckert. “Strictly Tyrone.”
Eckert said the short history of the Tyrone Area Historical Society began in 1990. One of its first project was to establish a museum, that is still used today, in the Tyrone Shopping Center. She said there will be many more exhibits at the rail station, which is a shared building with the Tyrone Community Partnership, but the genealogy and research materials will still be housed in the older museum.
According to Eckert, the historical society was approached concerning the idea of a museum in September 2000 when local officials realized money would prevent them from opening the railroad station for public transportation.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the museum is scheduled for Nov. 18 with many of the volunteers who assisted with the project scheduled to be in attendance.
The museum will be open to the general public each Wednesday and Sunday afternoon from 1-4 p.m. Volunteers will open the museum and be on hand to answer any questions.
“I think this is going to be just another plus for the community of Tyrone,” said Eckert. “People here care about their community and deserve to be able to see what got them to this point.”
For more information or to contact someone to make a donation, contact the historical society at 684-5141. If there is no answer, leave a message.