Artifact of the Month

Susan Brown Chambers

This oil on canvas, exhibited in the Chambers room, is a portrait of the granddaughter of the founder  of Chambersburg, Colonel Benjamin Chambers, and daughter of his son Captain Benjamin Chambers.  She lived on Main Street and never married, 1804-1884, and is buried in The Falling Spring Presbyterian Church graveyard in the Chambers plot.

(on loan from Lucy Chambers Kegerreis Yohe)

Previous Artifacts of the Month

The engraved sword and scabbard of Colonel Peter Housum.  At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was the junior member in the firm of Housum and Wood (later T. B. Woods & Co) and was mustered in on April 20, 1861.  He fell, mortally wounded at the battle of Stone River, Tennessee on Dec 31, 1862.  He was buried there, but his remains were brought back to Chambersburg on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 1863 and reinterred at Cedar Grove Cemetery with an appropriate ceremony for a fallen patriot.  The first local GAR Post was named for him and housed in a building on West Queen St, no longer standing.

Certificate of the Society of the Cincinnati for James Chambers, first son of Benjamin Chambers, dated and signed by George Washington. The Society, founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army, was open to officers of the American Revolution. It was based on the Roman hero Cincinnatus, who left his farm to fight in the wars, but afterward returned to his home.

Frank Feather was an itinerant wood carver who worked his way through the north/south corridor, stopping at local farms and asking for a handout in return for a carved item.  Well-known for his carved canes, this wall rack came into our museum collection in 2017 from a family in California, whose ancestors were the Schaeffer family members who owned and ran the Rocky Spring Mill.

John Rogers became famous for his cast plaster figurines in the 19th century.  Two of his sculptures, Taking The Oath (1860) and Returned Volunteer (1864) have been restored and are on exhibit in our Civil War Gallery.  The Questers Organization, Falling Spring Chapter sponsored the restoration of both sculptures as well as purchase of the display case to hold them.

Oil on canvas of Christian Heyser Wolff, 1815-1887, son of Barnard and Judith Heyser Wollff.  Born in Chambersburg but left the area to pursue another career in Pittsburgh, he was noted for his love of art. He became a patron of Emil Foerster,  a well- known artist of some fame and who painted this portrait of Wolff. 

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