The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates. The Museum’s mission, in short, is to collect, preserve and interpret the history of Pennsylvania’s forests and forest industries and their role in the cultural and economic growth of the Commonwealth and nation for citizens and visitors.
The Lumber Museum was started in the early 1960s by the Penn-York Lumberman’s Club, an organization comprised of many different types of industry professionals, which is still in operation today. At that time, the Club sponsored a major show in nearby Galeton, called the Woodsmen’s Carnival. The Carnival brought together lumberjacks, vendors and demonstrators for a weekend-long celebration of the lumbering industry. The popular event attracted tens of thousands of visitors. It also brought awareness in the area’s rich lumbering past to the forefront. The Club planted a seed of interest for a special, new museum to celebrate this rich history. Working together with the PHMC, the Club began to develop ideas and plans for what would become the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. They also started devoting a portion of the proceeds of the Woodsmen’s Carnival to the purchase and restoration of artifacts and exhibition materials that would later be showcased in the new museum.
Actual construction of the Lumber Museum began in the late 1960s. The official grand opening took place in 1972. The first phase of construction brought the Visitors Center and its interior exhibitions. Subsequent developments added the Logging Camp, Saw Mill, Pond, Locomotive Buildings, Picnic Pavilion and original CCC Chestnut Cabin.
The Penn-York Lumberman’s Club continued as an active supporter of the Museum for many years. You can find out more about this organization at: http://www.pennyork.org.
The Woodsmen’s Carnival is now over 60 years old. It takes place at Cherry Springs State Park in Galeton, Pennsylvania and is sponsored by the Galeton Rotary Club. It annually attracts the top lumberjack competitors from all over the world. Current information may be found here: http://www.woodsmenshow.com.