Pennsylvania: Columns Museum

Located in the historic town of Milford Pennsylvania, the Columns museum plays host to many uniquely American artifacts. Originally built in 1904, as the summer home of Dennis McLaughlin of Hoboken New Jersey, this neo-Greek revival mansion has now been home to the Pike County historical society since 1983. The historical society has successfully saved and converted the 24 room building into a remarkable little museum, that houses some big surprises.

Behind these walls you can find a plethora of exhibits. The museums shinning star is a bloodied American flag used to cushion our 16th President Abraham Lincolns head, after he was shot in Fords Theater on that infamous day in April of 1865. A collection of stuffed birds, which ornithologist and painter John James Audubon poisoned, stuffed and drew. Other displays include old military items (such as uniforms, firearms,medals ) Native American artifacts, Old photos, letters, vintage clothing, early medical tools, period kitchenware, household items, possessions from residents of Pike county’s past, and a noose used in a public hanging in pike county,

Also on display is “Hiawatha of the Delaware”, a 19th century stage coach which was used in the area until around 1900. One of the upstairs bedrooms houses a few personal belongings of the well known philosopher, Charles Peirce and his wife Juliette, which adds an unexpected twist to the story of the Columns Museum.

Apparently there is an exhibit on display that is not in the brochure. Patrons from all over have encountered some strange and haunting sights. appearances, of what they believe to be the spirit of Juliette Peirce, have been seen at the top of the staircase, and in the room where her and her husbands belongings are displayed. Is she perhaps still attached to her material positions that are left here in The Columns?

Another spectral resident at the museum seems to come from a little cradle that belonged to a pike county resident, that is shown in a 2nd floor bedroom. Apparently, guests would report hearing singing emanate from the cradle itself, as if a mother was swooning her baby to sleep. It’s not hard to believe that The Columns Museum is haunted. any place with such personal effects, from so many private people, are sure to capture the very spirit of human existence. these items still seem to possess the essence of all human emotions, the Joys, the tragedies, the hopefulness, the disappointment, the Love, the hate, and everything else that make our history worth visiting time and time again.

So if you ever feel the need to step into the past in a very intimate atmosphere, take the trip and visit The Columns Museum. You never know what you might see.

-GhastlyG :June 2009