Building a Memory
The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the area’s lumbering heritage, but with its water wheel, log pond, recreated logging camp, and locomotive it is also a uniquely beautiful venue for weddings and other celebrations.
Set in the mountains between Galeton and Coudersport on Route 6, the museum underwent a renovation and building project four years ago that added both extra space for displays and room for meetings, programs, and celebrations.
“We have had several meetings and weddings since the renovation project,” says Museum Administrator Joshua Roth, adding that the modest rental cost of facilities helps to defray the cost of running the museum.
The first wedding at the museum was in August of 2015 shortly after the renovations were finished, according to museum volunteer Patricia Berberich. The location of the ceremony was at the sawmill, downhill from the main facility and amid the buildings and scaffolding at the site. For Kari and Dirk Duffe, of Coudersport, that first bride and groom to celebrate nuptials on-site, it was a beautiful day and a beautiful venue. “Everything went so smoothly,” Kari said of the wedding arrangements and timing. “We could not have asked for anything more,” she said of the site.
Weddings have since been held at the cabin built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.
The Lumber Museum was started in the early 1960s by the Penn-York Lumberman’s Club to preserve the history of the area’s lumber industry. Today it is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates. While other venues administered by the commission can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars to rent for an event, Roth says, the museum only costs about $250.
“This is part of our Community Service Mission,” he adds. “Out here there aren’t many places to rent for weddings or reunions, so we wanted to do something for the community.”
The facility options at the museum are impressive. It offers both indoor and outdoor settings. The indoor (handicapped accessible) availability includes an 1,800-square-foot multipurpose room; capacity for seventy-five to one hundred guests; tables and chairs; a kitchen for reheating and service preparation; and a rail hanging system for hanging decorations. The outdoors capacity jumps to 300. While tables, chairs, and a tent (if one is wanted) must be rented, there is unlimited space and unlimited views—and the kitchen is still available. Obviously tables and chairs can be decorated to suit the occasion, and Mother Nature provides the rest.
A complete guide to renting the facility, explaining what is available and showing photographs of previous weddings and celebrations is available at the welcoming desk at the entrance of the museum, or by calling (814) 435-2652 or emailing [email protected].