Curator’s Corner A recent addition to the museum’s collection is the group of objects related to Fred Newell. Fred was a farmer and a carpenter who lived on his family farm in Newelltown, PA in Tioga County. During the winter months he would find work in lumber camps. It was not uncommon for farmers to supplement their income by working in the lumber camps during the winter when there was not as much work to be done on the farm. In 1900 at the age of 34 he was killed when he was struck on the head by a falling tree limb, while working at a lumber camp near Corbett, PA.
Donald Newell, Fred’s grandson, donated a collection of photographs to the museum on behalf of the Newell Family (in addition to a wood beam boring machine). The photographs are of Fred, the Newell Family at the farm as well as several photos of lumber camps. These photos were passed down through the Newell family. Unfortunately not much is known about them other than one photo that identifies the camp location as Corbett, PA. These photos are however a very exciting addition to the collection. Not only is there a connection though a specific individual but they also provide a good visual of camps at the time. In addition a couple of photos show women and children who were known to occasionally be at the lumber camps but are underrepresented in the museum collection. One of the photos is particularly interesting as it shows an African-American gentleman front and center in a group shop. As far as we can tell this is the only image in the museum’s collection that shows an African-American at a lumber camp of this time period.