New York County museum celebrates fiber arts
- A grand opening for the Teaching Museum for the Fiber Arts and Textiles will occur on Sunday, June 5.
- The museum is expanding to offer classes and events to younger children and adults.
- Local museums and historical organizations will be manning booths and hosting lectures at the event.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Shady Pines Farm, 12637 Mount Olivet Road in North Hopewell Township. Several local museums and historical organizations will be in attendance to man exhibits and give lectures.
The museum: The museum was open for a short time last year, but Sunday will mark its official opening. It is located in the two-story barn on the farmland, which owner Debbie Mancuso hopes to eventually get recognized as a historical landmark.
Mancuso is the director of the YOUTH Program, which stands for "Youth program for Our community to Understand animals by Training and caring for them to Help bring our community closer together" and is a nonprofit organization that works with local kids. The program teaches children how to work with animals such as alpacas and sheep, how to run businesses and how to take material from those animals and make it into different items, including Christmas gifts.
"Now we want to expand it to the general public so we can work with younger youth as well as adults," Mancuso said. The museum eventually will offer classes and host events.
In the past, the YOUTH Program has typically worked with teens between 14 and 18 years old, but Mancuso explained that with the economy and travel issues, the program hasn't had much activity. Opening the Teaching Museum for the Fiber Arts and Textiles is a way for the program to continue to expand.
York County Convention and Visitors Bureau president Anne Druck said she believes the museum will interest not only visitors to the county but those who already live here.
"I think we've found that our visitors are intrigued by York County's craftsmanship," Druck said. "What the teaching museum has to offer fits well with what York County visitors are interested in seeing and doing and experiencing."
On the first floor of the museum, those attending will be able to view antique spinning wheels, looms and other accessories associated with fiber arts. On the second floor, the focus is on textiles, with a look at the history of the sewing factories in the area. Because of the number of local sewing factories, the museum focuses on a 10-mile radius but hopes to later expand to offer historical information that applies statewide.
"The sewing machine revolutionized our way of life, and you don't think about it on a regular basis until you come in and see all these machines and what they did," Mancuso said.
The celebration: The celebration on Sunday will include several booths and events that other museums in the area host as a way to say thank you for their help in providing information to the teaching museum.
There will be demonstrations of carding, hand spinning, weaving, sewing, knitting and more. Sheep, llamas, alpacas, horses, donkeys and border collies are just a few of the animals that families in attendance can interact with.
The Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society will be one of the historical organizations in attendance, with a booth and pamphlets for those interested in learning more about what the society does. President John Hufnagel will give a talk at 12:30 p.m. about Glen Rock's woolen mill, which was opened by the town's founder.
Hufnagel said he looks forward to sharing "some Glen Rock history with other people outside of the Glen Rock area and promote our museum."
Linda Morris, secretary of the YOUTH Program, will be working at the event. She'll talk about the local sewing factories and the antique sewing machines on display in the museum.
She'll be "showing off the room and all of the hard work and all the fascinating things that are in there, things maybe my grandmother would remember but we don't see today," Morris said.
There will be a pulled pork barbecue for lunch along with hot dogs and other snacks for those in attendance. There is an admission cost of $5, but children ages and younger are admitted free. Parking is free as well.