At the Lions David House Heritage Museum, a repository of Mountaintop area history, the building itself is a key artifact.
Tucked away in Snow Shoe, the house was built by the Lehigh Valley Coal Co. for an employee, telegrapher Jenkin David. His daughter, Vivian David, donated her family home to the Snow Shoe Lions Club for a museum eight years before she died in 1996 at the age of 96.
“Instead of the company owning the town, we own one of the last pieces of the company,” museum Vice President Jim Henrie said.
Today, the free museum contains a wealth of photos, books, family histories, school yearbooks, maps and antiques — glimpses into the past of Snow Shoe, Clarence, Moshannon, Pine Glen and other communities in the region.
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Start with the Mission-style bench in the reception room. Henrie said many visitors remember it from a local doctor’s office.
Available in the public reading room are local, county and state histories, as well as thousands of photos. With donated computers and a scanner, museum volunteers hope to create a digital archive this year.
Other rooms are devoted to schools, social organizations, genealogy, churches and industry, featuring such treasures as the original Snow Shoe train station sign, old baseball uniforms and mining company logbooks.
Only one room is off-limits — the Vivian David Family parlor, kept as it looked when its namesake sat in the rocker.
The all-volunteer museum at 206 N. Fourth St. draws on donations and a trust fund to meet its annual $5,000 budget. It’s open from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from April to October or by appointment by calling 387-4509.