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Adams County Historical Society
Our Holdings
Artifacts
The Adams County Historical Society is home to more than just photographs and archives. The Society's collection contains approximately 20,000 objects. Currently the objects are housed in multiple museum galleries throughout Schmucker Hall. This is a brief overview of those galleries.



Iron works produced in Adams County and other common designs and brands. This collection also includes the tools of the iron working industry. The Society’s collection of stoves covers from the eighteenth-century to the early twentieth-century.



The artifact collection helps interpret different social classes in Adams County. One such collection is the Society's Dr. John L. Hill Collection. These gifts to the Society from the Hill family provide inside the life of the well-to-do of Adams County.



The Society's varied collection includes a Prehistory Collection. This includes minerals, fossils, and Native American artifacts from Adams County.



One of the collection themes focuses on the development of Adams County, covering the county's history from 1745-1945. This collection features some of the original wooden water pipes, mile markers, voting boxes, and personal artifacts from individuals who helped develop Adams County. 



One of the collections that attracts the most interest is the Battle of Gettysburg and Civil War Collection. While the Society's holdings related to the battle are impressive, this collection represents a very small percentage of the overall objects in the museum. 



The Society's collections of nineteenth-century artifacts from rural life provide an insight into the subsistence life of early Adams County.



One of the collections that generates much conversation are the artifacts in the Society's Mortuary and Mourning Gallery. This collection includes coffins, undertaker equipment, and items related to mourning traditions.



Religion and education have played an important part of Adams County history starting with the earliest settlements. The first schools were church schools. Included among the religious learning institutions were Pennsylvania College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary. There were many one-room schools located in the county as well.



The museum collection includes an interesting assemblage of children's toys. The Society's collection of children's artifacts covers the late eighteenth-century to the early twentieth-century.



The Society's furniture collection is full of items that represent Adams County's furniture making industry as well as pieces, which once belonged to prominent citizens of the county.



The home of the Adams County Historical Society is on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary and the building occupied by the Society was once the dormitory for seminarians attending the institution. The museum collection does include a gallery showing how a typical dorm was furnished circa 1900. Additionally, the collection holds materials related to the Seminary's history.