Museum to use festival as showcase

Quilts, vintage wedding gowns, antique vehicles, music and special programs are on tap at the Seneca County Museum during the Heritage Festival. The museum, 28 Clay St., is to be open 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Museum director Tonia Hoffert and Seneca County Historical Society volunteers and Tiffin Heritage Quilt Guild have been busy preparing for the weekend. The 1913 flood display is to remain in place during the festival, and Mark Steinmetz is to repeat his flood program at 3 p.m. both days.

“The quilt club is doing a quilt show throughout the museum. They’re also doing a raffle of nine different items. They’re all handmade,” Hoffert said. “We’re going to have the drawing on Sunday at 3 o’clock.”

The raffle items include tote bags, wall hangings, table runners and bed quilts. Tickets are $1 or six for $5, with proceeds to benefit the museum.

Last year, the wedding gown display was well received, so Hoffert has put together another exhibit. Eight dresses are to be placed along a wedding runner in the main parlor, and a few others will be hung in other rooms. About half of the gowns are from the museum’s collection, including four from the Egbert family. Char Distel, who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary at the museum, provided one of the dresses.

“These are all different dresses than were out on display last time,” Hoffert said.

Saturday at 1:30 p.m., the Good Times String Band is to play mountain dulcimer music in the Fort Ball Room. Outdoors, a collection of antique fire pumpers is to be lined up along the curb for spectators. Sunday’s vehicle exhibit is to feature the 1917 Tiffin Economy car and other antique and classic vehicles.

With some of the car clubs disbanding, Hoffert is inviting owners from the area to participate at no charge.

“I’ve been telling people, if you have an old motorcycle, bikes or anything, the street’s going to be closed off. They’re welcome to bring cars down,” she said.

Also Sunday, the museum is to host a 2 p.m. screening of “Model T Jamboree,” a film that was made a few years ago when Model T club members brought their cars to the museum.

In August, the museum showed Junior Home films, which generated much interest. Hoffert said the original 8-millimeter films had been donated to the museum before her tenure as director. During the Labor Day Homekids Reunion, about 50 Junior Home alumni stopped to visit the museum’s Junior Home Room and view the videos.

“They were back there saying, ‘Oh, that’s so and so’ or ‘I remember that.’ It was fun to listen to them. It was supposed to be from 2-4 p.m., but I think we got out of here at 6:30,” Hoffert said.

She had many requests for copies of the films, so Steinmetz has transferred them to DVDs that can be purchased at the museum. Pictures of the Junior Home visitors are posted on the museum’s website.

In the front entry stands a piece of furniture recently donated to the museum. The secretary desk has its original glass in the bookcase section, and the keyhole inside the desk is in the shape of an “S” for its original owner, Johann Seewald. Another addition to the museum’s collection is a pistol and holster that had belonged to Gen. David W. Einsel Jr.

Admission to the museum, operated by the historical society, is free. Donations are appreciated.

For more information, visit or call (419) 447-5955.