Visiting Displays:

Crow’s Nest–The Crow’s Nest was recently torn down, but the museum is fortunate to own items from the Crow’s Nest and the Crow family. The display also has some tidbits about the new residence that will be build on the property.

Jewelry–Joan Stoelting recently donated a collection of jewelry that she received through her and her husband’s lives. The display also includes a shelf of jewelry belonging to the Harkless family.

Hats–The museum’s hat collection continues to grow, and we are constantly changing them around. Hats range from the late 1800s to the 1950s.

Permanent Displays:

*Prehistoric Beasts–Come in to see some of the prehistoric beasts that may have roamed our area throughout geologic history.  We have many artifacts from the museum’s collection mingled throughout the display including mammoth, mastodon, ancient camel, and ancient whale teeth, along with some plant and sea life fossils.

*Mier Car–Sheldon Harkless, in 1905, designed the horse-less carriage that would turn into the Mier, then sold the designs to the Ligonier Carriage Company.  In 1906, LCC started rolling out the Mier Horseless Carriage.  It is estimated that the first year the company manufactured somewhere around 10 of these automobiles, and continued to manufacture similar models until the 1910s.  Our Mier is one of only two known to still exist from the original manufacturing run.

*Dolan Native American Collection–The museum is proud to house the Native American tools collection of Joseph P. Dolan.  It is largely contributed to Dolan for the interests in Native American cultural preservation that developed in Eli Lilly.  Courtesy of a recent grant by the Lilly Foundation, the museum has been able to have the collection properly catalogued and have created an exhibit worthy of the majesty of the collection.

*Military–The museum is proud to be home to a collection of military memorabilia dating back to the Civil War.

*Businesses–We have a wide variety of memorabilia from past businesses throughout the Syracuse-Wawasee area.

*Music–The museum has a variety of music furniture.  The collection includes a working 1917 Victrola and Edison record player, a disk music box, and 1929 Atwater Kent cabinet radio.

*Harkless Family Memorial Case–The Harkless Family Memorial Case contains many day-to-day items and photos of the Harkless Family. We very much thank the Harkless Foundation for being a major supporter of our day-to-day operations.

*Barbara Bowser Zollinger Memorial Case–Barbara (Bowser) Zollinger and Cynthia (Frevert) Fry, Syracuse High School class of 1950, joined the Barnum & Bailey Circus following completion of high school.  While Cynthia soon returned home, Barbara stayed for two years as a baton twirler.  It was at the circus that Barbara became good friends with Emmett Kelly, the clown responsible for making the “hobo face” popular in clowning circles, and with Merle Evans, cornet player, circus band conductor, and composer.