The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum relies strongly on volunteers to carry out its mission. We are always looking for enthusiastic people to join us. Here are a few of the ways you can help.

  • Tour Guide
  • Gift Shop Attendant
  • Maintenance
  • Collections Cataloging and Preservation
  • Educational Programming
  • Logistics for Special Events such as the Bark Peelers’ Festival

In addition, we can accommodate school and scouting community service projects of all types and size. In short, if you have a talent and a desire to help, please let us know. We can definitely find something rewarding for you to do here at the site. Volunteering at the Lumber Museum can help you build your resume, fulfill your school or organization’s service requirement or simply provide a place to meet new friends and make lasting memories. If you would like to join us, please call (814-435-2652) for more information.


This is an exciting time at the PA Lumber Museum. Our visitor center renovation and expansion project, completed in 2015, greatly increased public awareness, interest and attendance at the museum. In turn, the museum and PALMA have done a great deal to capitalize on this increased attention, offering new programming, events and activities to keep the public engaged with the site. While this growth is wonderful, museum activities are rapidly outpacing the ability of staff and volunteers to administer them. That is why we are encouraging all current PALMA board members and volunteers to begin actively recruiting new volunteers to help with the growing suite of museum endeavors. The list below presents specific needs and activities with which specialized volunteers could be involved:

  1. Docents to give guided tours of the museum to groups and students. Interested volunteers would shadow the Site Administrator during group tours and learn the procedure for the site. During group tours, the museum often partners with Susquehannock State Forest whose foresters give guided trail walks along the Sustainable Forestry Trail, so our guides don’t have to do it all alone. Interested volunteers should like talking and interacting with the public. Eventually as folks become comfortable with the site, these docents might become costumed interpreters portraying trades and skills in the logging camp. It would also be nice to have the woodshop in the bottom floor of the sawmill staffed and turning-out wood furniture and other products. This type of volunteer could also be tapped for apprentice programs with the folks that work our sawmill, boiler and mill equipment, birch still, and other site equipment.
  2. Out-going individuals to represent the museum at outreach activities. When local municipalities or organizations put on community events, these volunteers would staff an information table about the museum to distribute flyers, brochures, membership info, schedule of events, etc. Educational outreach events might also include a presentation of historic logging tools, stand-ups or posters featuring historic imagery and information, and interactive activities. Current interactive includes setting-up a saw buck and conducting 2-man cross cut sawing of a log that has been end-stamped with our PLM log stamp. During this, volunteers would talk about the life of woodhicks- how much they were paid, how long they worked, living conditions, etc. to get folks to relate to their current lifestyle.
  3. Developing STEAM curriculum activities that highlight aspects of the museum– i.e. geometry and architecture in the logging camp, timber scaling, the chemistry of paper making/ charcoal/ birch still/ tanning leather, carbon capture through forestry, etc. Potter County Education Council would like the museum to do a presentation on how teachers can use our site as a resource in teaching “STEAM” subjects to their students in creative ways. Environmental science activities are an obvious addition; geometry lessons in measuring and drawing the buildings in the logging camp, and perhaps engineering a new “more efficient” camp and building a model of it (think Lincoln logs). Exercises of calculating board feet in timber would also fit well. Chemistry classes could work on making paper, tanning leather, using the birch still, extracting chemicals from wood while making charcoal, etc. Technology and engineering classes could focus on the design of the Shay locomotive and having a competition to design small engines that could pull the most weight on a G-scale train track. This type of activity will require pulling in current and former educators at the high school and college level.
  4. Developing a scavenger hunt and other educational activities to do with school tour groups. A scavenger hunt could incorporate close-up photographs, written clues, finding a specific mark/object/ design throughout the campus, identifying tree species, educational aspects of the exhibits, etc. Other educational activities might include using “play-money” to teach company store economics lessons, planting seeds in small pots so students can plant a tree- talking about the practices and benefits of sustainable forestry, using play dough to make logs that can then be scaled and valued using timber rules, building model log rafts and floating them in Commissioner Run, etc.
  5. Help to expand and implement the new Halloween-themed program. A Halloween program will involve lantern tours through the exterior exhibits with stops at different locations to listen to a spooky story. A trick-or treat trail for youngsters, games and activities. Costume/ dress-up photo stops. We need story tellers/ local theatrical companies to help out, and writers to craft the stories and scripts that visitors will be listening to.
  6. Recycling portions of the old exhibit (prior to the renovation of the visitor center) for use in the existing outdoor exhibits.  Dioramas and models from the old exhibit need to be cleaned and refurbished and put into working order before they can be displayed in the rear portion of the Brookville building. The Barnhart loader model in the main exhibit needs a rail car, tracks, logs and other details to make it a “proper” diorama.
  7. Repair of the Brookville locomotive; learning to operate the Model T cut-off saw & portable band saw, etc. It would be nice to get the Brookville running again, but we would need someone with diesel mechanic skills. The Model T saw is operational, but will require volunteers to demonstrate it to the public during museum events. The band saw needs to be cleaned and checked before we can attempt to run it. Someone with experience in operating this type of equipment would be preferred.
  8. Transport, inventory and digitization of archival materials. The new space is ready, but items need to be cleaned and verified against the master inventory before being re-shelved. Persons involved with this would be a natural to transition into a PALMA-run research program. Assisting folks in using the research library, making copies of historic photos, etc.
  9. Transport, inventory and curation of collections to the new building. Again, collections storage in the visitor center is ready to receive the objects, but things have to be cleaned and inventoried before coming into the new building. Volunteers could help with physically moving objects from one building to the other, tagging and photography, etc.
  10. Finding grant funding and developing scripts and material for an app-based digital augmented reality avatar project the museum would like to implement. The idea for a digital woodhick tour guide is a cool one, but at around $55,000 it will definitely require more funds that PALMA currently has to spend. Someone with experience in researching and writing technology grants would be very helpful.
  11. New committees and active committee chairs for the PALMA BOD. Volunteers who are interested in fundraising and marketing for the site could serve as a fundraising, corporate sponsorship, and development coordinator, working to bring in more donations to the museum. A marketing and outreach coordinator would work to promote the museum to the fullest extent possible. A PALMA volunteer coordinator– someone who is interested in recruiting, training and overseeing all museum volunteers is also needed; they would match volunteer skill sets with the site activities where they could be put to the most use. Finally, as much as we love and appreciate all of our board members and hope that they will continue to serve for many years to come, board members should take it upon themselves to help to try and plan for their succession. Recruiting and training new board members is essential to the long-term health and prosperity of the organization. Another committee and chair position that could be added would entail board development and diversification coordinator.


Jack Deurer poses with the reconstructed Bob & Dotty Webber cabin at the museum, which he helped to rebuild.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

2018 Volunteers of the Year

44th Annual Recognition at the

Pennsylvania State Museum

Harrisburg, PA

The PHMC was formed to play a key role in stewardship of the commonwealth’s historical resources. Since its beginning a century ago, the commission has depended on citizen volunteers to work in partnership with our dedicated paid staff to carry out preservation and interpretation programs of the agency. Every year the commission takes time to recognize the honorees selected as “Volunteer of the Year” by the various sites they serve in order to thank them for their efforts in service to history and to the state. Thanks to their work and dedication, we have been able to preserve the historical resources of these special places that tell Pennsylvania’s story for the citizens of and visitors to our commonwealth.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Congratulates

the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates

Volunteer of the Year: Jack Deurer

Jack Deurer was selected as the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Volunteer of the Year for his vital role in completing the Bob Webber cabin relocation project in 2018. This project would not have been possible without the many hours of volunteer time that Jack gave freely and diligently. Jack Deurer has been a professional log home builder for over 30 years. He was a life-long friend of Bob and Dotty Webber (from the age of 10) and helped the Webbers to build an 11 by 13-foot addition to their cabin in the 1980s to accommodate a piano that Dotty wanted in the house. After Bob Webber’s death in 2015, Jack was eager to see the cabin and Bob and Dotty’s legacy of service to Pennsylvania’s forests preserved. Jack was an early advocate for getting the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum involved in the project and joined a large group of supporters and volunteers who felt moving the Webber cabin to the museum would be a “good fit.” When it was decided that the cabin would be saved, dismantled and relocated to the museum, Jack supplied the know-how and determination to make the logistics of that move a reality. He numbered every piece of the cabin before dismantling it where it stood near Slate Run, PA. After the individual pieces were transported to the site, Jack made sure that everything was put back together properly. Some pieces of the cabin were too deteriorated to re-use, so Jack made replacement parts that stayed as true as possible to the original design and feel of the cabin. With his careful and focused supervision, the reconstruction was completed over the course of two months; from May through July 2018. In many ways, the cabin is now stronger than it was when the Webbers occupied it; a conscious decision that Jack made (one he calls a “labor of love”) to ensure the longevity of this new historic building exhibit at the Lumber Museum. Jack continues to be involved with the project, helping with information about the Webbers to be used on interpretive panels and loaning some objects they owned to be used in exhibits in the cabin.


PHMC Outstanding Service Award

The Outstanding Service Award is meant to recognize and honor exceptional, long-term contributions by an individual who has given unselfishly of his or her time and talents for the advancement of a PHMC site or museum. Emphasis should be placed on providing special recognition to individuals who, over a number of years, exemplified best practices in the field of museums and public history, supported the mission and goals of a PHMC site or museum and/or provided a long-term benefit to the institution or organization.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is pleased

to recognize Bob Greenman as one of the

 PHMC Outstanding Service Award Winners for 2017!

Bob Greenman (center-left) with PHMC Executive Director, Andrea Lowery, and Commission Members Fred Powell and William Lewis.

Robert “Bob” Greenman has been volunteering at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum since 1986; running and maintaining their steam-powered sawmill. Bob’s first visit to the museum was during a trip with his father to a plot of forest land owned by the family located near Hebron, just outside of Coudersport, PA. After that initial visit Bob would often return and find himself watching the sawmill in action, particularly the steam engines that power it. As a mechanical engineer, this was a natural fascination for him. At some point, the “engine guy” at the time, Lester Jordan, invited him in to take a closer look. The rest is history. Soon Bob was assisting Lester on a regular basis and then encouraged his son Nathaniel to join him, followed by his other son, Kent, in 1996. Bob & his sons learned how to run & maintain the steam engines and associated sawmill equipment, which allowed Lester to focus on other restoration projects. Over the years, Bob has also been involved in other projects at the museum, including the procurement of a Model T, restoration of the band saw log carriage, and a long-term closed circuit video project designed to enhance the visitor experience at the sawmill. A strong supporter of the museum, he always shares his enthusiasm with people he meets and lets them know that they really must visit the museum themselves and experience the history on display there.

Bob lives near Albany, NY, and has volunteered for countless organizations over the years. A driving force of Bob’s volunteerism is a passion to promote organizations that focus on education. When Bob picks a group to be involved with, it usually becomes a long-term commitment.

That educational focus drives Bob to teach a course called “55 Alive;” a New York State driver’s education program helping people age 55 and older refresh their driving skills through classroom training. Previously, he served as statewide coordinator for the program. He has volunteered in the public school system for 25 years as a Junior Achievement Mentor. Bob enjoys taking school groups through the nature area of the Five Rivers Education Center, teaching them about everything from trees to pond scum. He is a Cornell University-certified Master Forest Owner, and enjoys “Woods Walks” with landowners to discuss options for sustainable forestry and the legacy of family land plots. The lumber museum’s mission regarding lumber history and forest management has certainly complimented Bob’s efforts to preserve and maintain his own family forest land on Greenman Hill in Potter County.

Since the mid 1950’s Bob has been a supporter & volunteer within the Boy Scouts of America. He has volunteered at the troop level, teaching merit badges up through council positions, and currently serves on the Eagle Scout board of review. He also works to ensure Boy Scout camp facilities meet safety & program requirements. Bob has earned scouting’s highest honor, the Baden Powell award.

Bob puts his financial expertise to use by serving as treasurer for a local nursing home, an engineering society, a state environmental education support organization called “Friends of Five Rivers,” and The Veterans Scout Association. He previously served as his church’s financial secretary and is currently their treasurer.

The New York State Museum in Albany also benefits from Bob’s service. On Saturday, two times a month you’ll find Bob’s friendly presence at the front desk helping museum patrons find their way to interesting exhibits. His strong desire to help others succeed led him to Albany’s chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). This federal organization supports new business owners, helping them to formulate and execute their business plans to ensure success.

Perhaps the volunteer activity that his son’s most enjoying teasing him about is his weekly town Senior Van driving job. He frequently jokes that he has to drive the old geezer mobile, to which we reply, “so at 87 what does that make you!!” Ha!!