The Heisey Museum is part of a brick Federal farmhouse built about 1831 by Dr. John Henderson of Huntington County who married a daughter of John Fleming, a local landowner. Jerry Church, the founder of Lock Haven lived here when the building was used as a tavern, run by John and Walter Develing. Although Church and the Devlings both owned the property, the dwelling reverted back to the Hendersons in 1852 when Dr. William J. Henderson practiced medicine here.
William Fearon, Jr. of Beech Creek bought the house in 1854 and enlarged the building with brick additions in the rear. Seymour D. Ball became the next owner and in 1865 the house was extensively remodeled to its present state of Victorian Gothic Revival. Gables and verge board (decorative trim at edge of roof) and porches were added and windows enlarged and partitions removed. Mr. Ball was a lawyer and his family resided here until 1911.
Mrs. Thomas Mann of the Mill Hall Axe Factory Manns was the next owner and her daughter Jean became the first wife of Samuel Heisey. Cora Frey Heisey, the second wife of Mr. Heisey, gave the house to the Clinton County Historical Society for use a Museum in 1962. After the flood of 1972, the Society decided to restore the Museum as a mid-nineteenth century house as it would have appeared when the Fearons and Balls lived here.
The first step at restoration was a selection of wallpapers similar to those of the period. Floor coverings, window treatments and furniture are compromises of limited resources, donations and volunteer’s efforts.
The Society incorporated in 1921, found a permanent headquarters in this building in 1962 when Mrs. Cora Fry Heisey bequeathed the home to them.
After the flood of 1972 the Society restored the house as a museum showing the Gothic revival dwelling as it might have appeared after the Civil War when Lock Haven was a booming lumber town. It was a Federal Style red brick farm house having a center hall, two rooms with fireplaces on each side on both floors.
The museum had a plain pitched roof and small Moline windows, one of which is still in the back kitchen. The home appears like this in an oil painting done by an itinerant painter from across the river about 1850. A companion painting to this work hangs in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
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The Heisey House Museum is presently under repairs and further restoration. The house was built in 1831 and is on the National Historic Register. In addition to the Heisey House, the Clinton County Historical Society, which owns the Heisey, is also restoring a local railroad station built in 1884, the Beechcreek, Clearfield and Southern Railroad Station.
There are many ways you can get involved.
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