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National Apple Museum

I Discovered a Treasure!

What a treasure we have right here in Biglerville, PA! I had not visited the National Apple Museum in Biglerville for a number of years. In June of 2019, while in search of a service project for our Gettysburg DAR chapter, I reached out to the museum to see how we could help. Thus began a journey into a wonderful world of local history. Growing up here in Northern Adams County, I had sensed our rich heritage but had never fully appreciated it until revisiting The National Apple Museum.

When our chapter arrived at the Apple Museum in October 2019 we were enchanted by this treasure. While we enjoyed a quick hour of cleaning, arranging and labeling artifacts, and organizing the library of the Biglerville Historical and Preservation Society (which owns the museum), we began to feel the rich cultural fabric of the local agricultural history all around us.

The National Apple Museum is housed in a what used to be an old horse barn originally built by Sillik family around 1857. The barn and adjacent land were donated to the Society in 1988 and the Apple Museum opened in 1990. Why would anyone need a museum here in the heart of the fruit belt of South-Central Pennsylvania? Every time I walk through this museum’s door, I understand why it’s essential.

I realize now that I often take the fruit industry for granted. When I see the museum’s displays, which document fruit production from pest control through processing, I understand that we must share and celebrate this way of life. Walking into Ondek Hall, one can see not only the signature of a first lady from the days that Mamie Eisenhower was active here, but also the very functional space where prominent jazz and community bands practice each week.

Upstairs in the main museum, the barn shelters a fruit-to-nuts story of the very earliest farm implements to the state-of-the-art horticultural science of pest management. We see the fruit industry displayed from blossom-pollinating bees to the packed and processed fruit ready for a local kitchen table. And just as we are brought up to date on these current trends, we are swept back in time to a country kitchen and country store from the last century that honor memories, still so strong in our community.

Visitors can also research specific topics in the Biglerville Historical and Preservation Library which houses books about the local community, agricultural history, and everything apple!

As we enjoy all of the technological advances of modern life, it is good to pause to experience an industry which feeds us and to appreciate a community that is nourished by that industry. Come visit the newly updated National Apple Museum and consider volunteering here. Enjoy this time to soak in the precious culture which it preserves.

See you soon!


April Hours By Appointment Only

May 4, 2024 - October 2024
Saturday 10-4
Sunday 1-4

Visit during one of our Events
Check our Events Calendar and join us!

FREE Admission | Donations Welcome!

154 West Hanover Street
Biglerville, PA 17307