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Little Museum Sterling Run PA


​     The Little Museum was once Lumber Township's county school. In 1930 the Lumber Township School Board, ever watchful of its taxpayers' funds, bought this prefabricated two-room school.  Although it is oftened to as a Sears Robuck School it actually was ordered from John Harte of Pittsburgh.  The order was for a Liberty Type two room school building with cloak and toilet.  The cost of the building was $3990, and delivered in August of 1930 by the Pennsylvania Railroad.   The structure itself has been listed as one of only two still in existence today.

      When the school opened two teachers taught academic basics to eight grader levels of elementary age boys and girls.

     It served as the Sterling Run School House until 1962 when the county schools were consolidated and all students were bused to Emporium.

     In March of 1969, the Lumber Township Supervisors offered the use of the school bulding and grounds to the Cameron County Historical Society as a site for their musuem.

     After two years of cleaning and repairing the building and restoring artifacts, and in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Cameron County Historical Society the Little Museum was opened on September 16, 1971.

     In 1976 a third room was added to house the collection of General Joseph McNarney's military and personal effects. The Museum is staffed by volunteers through out the season. 

     The collection has been dubbed the most comprehensive collection in the area. There are over 15,000 items on display with more being added each season.

     The lumber industry, which dominated the County for about 50 years is well represented with rare tools and photos.

      The dynamite, iron smelting, tanning and other industries are similarly represented. There are also many farm implements and farm related photos on display.

     There is a large military collection, with extensive photos and miitaria from Civil War (include rare photos of the PA Bucktail Regiment), WWI, WWII, the Korean War and Viet Nam Conflict. There is also a section about the local Civilian Conservation Corp. Camps.

     Throughout the Museum are hundreds of every day items from ages ago-toys; dolls; tools; a general store and post office; cameras' a working 1896 Regina Music Box; mounted trophy bucks and other animals and birds; medical and mortician tools; one-of-kind- wood carvings, paintings, human hair quillings; women's period clothing and accessories, school items and so much more!

     Please afford yourself enough time to see the entire collection. You wouldn't want to miss any of it!  Many exhibits are "kid friendly."

       Lumber Township's playground is directly behind the musuem with a pravilo and picnic tables for those families who would like to make family outing. 


There were two privileges as students that we considered an honor to perform. The first was taking down and folding the flag at the end of the day.  The second was ringing the school bell.  The bell rope came from the bell tower into the boys cloak room. I can remember when I got the honor of ringing the bell, I always felt a little naughty for being in the boys cloak room. 

              Dianne Deshong

General Joseph T. McNarney, USAAF, was a native of Emporium who became a four-star general in the United States Army Air Force holding a top post during WWII


” The New York Times magazine says he was known as “one of the ruthlessly honest executives in uniform.”

           General Joseph Taggart McNarney  started his military career by attending the United States Military Academy at West Point; graduating with the famous class of 1915; which produced Generals Omar Bradley and Dwight D Eisenhower. He became a pioneer in the Army’s air army and commanded observation units in France during WW I.

           In 1941 he went to London as a special observer before the US entered WW II. 

           Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, General McNarney was named to the Roberts Commission, which investigated the US military and naval activity at the time of the bombing.

           In January, 1942 he was named to a War Department commission to recognize the Army, and in March, 1942 at the age of 49, he became the youngest three-star general to be named Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army.

           In 1945, General McNarney became Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean Theater of operations and acting commander in that area.

            By September 1945, he succeed General Dwight D Eisenhower as Commander of American Forces in Europe late in 1945.

            “Joe” McNarney was born August 28, 1893 in the house at 101 West 4th St., Emporium Pa the son of James Pollard McNarney (a lawyer and a “tough prosecutor”

1855/1938) and the former Helen Taggart (“an indomitable temperance worker” 1868/1938).  

             The house he was born in still stands today with a plaque along the side noting it was his birthplace. It currently houses the Kurtz Chiropractic Center and is the former Dr. John Impress office.

            In the book, ‘Who’s News & Why November 1944 describes him as a “lean and of medium height with dark hair that is rapidly disappearing.” The New York Times magazine says he was known as “one of the ruthlessly honest executives in uniform.”

            Rated as a command pilot, combat observer, he always takes controls on flying trips; he wrote on aviation and related subjects for military journals and was known as the “shrewdest poker player in the nation’s capital.”   

            General McNarney died February 2, 1972 in LaJolla, Ca. at the age of 78. He is buried in a garden to his left is the bronze statue of the World War I Dough-Boy and near a bronze statue of George Washington the inscription on the pylon reads “Dedication to our Honored Hero’s of Land, Sea, and Air.” What an appropriate setting for Cameron County’s own military hero. History of Cameron County Book

            If you have any military interests it is worth a trip to the ”Little Museum” to view our many displays on General McNarney and other local heroes. We promise it’s worth the trip.


Two old friends come together at

better time in America's history displaying their unconditional fondness of each other!


President Dwight D. Eisenhower

and General Joseph T. McNarney

One of many awards here on the far right that the General received that is on display in our McNarney Room.   Take note of those who stand with him; Bob Hope and Jane Wyman to name a few!

Exploring More of Our Rich Heritage at the "Little Musuem!"

Tom Mix with his Dad (Edwin Mix) 

out for a ride on their horses. 


Our musuem has on display artifacts used By Tom and his family and an extensive collection of 8 X 10 Holloywood glossies from his moving pictures studios.


Thomas Edwin "Tom" Mix (born Thomas Hezikiah Mix) January 6, 1880 – October 12, 1940) was an American film actor and the star of many early Western movies between 1909 and 1935.

     Mix was born in Cameron County, in Mix Run a few miles from the Little Museum just outside of Driftwood, PA. Tom never liked the name Hezekiah and used Edwin, his father's first name, as his middle name throughout his life.

     There have been many stories told about Tom many false that have been written about him and some he originated himself. Here is some of what we know to be factual.

DuBois move

     After a short time in the army Tom went to Oklahoma working odd jobs eventually become a ranch hand at the 110,000 acre cattle ranch owned by the Miller Brothers northeastern Oklahoma which was the largest ranch in America at the time.  It was on this ranch that led to his performing in their famous 101 Ranch Wild West Show.

Although a part time profession it eventually led to the movies to the making of one of the most famous movie start of all time.

     Mix appeared in 291 films, all but nine of which were silent movies. He was Hollywood's first Western megastar and is noted as having helped define the genre for all cowboy actors who followed.

     Tom Mix's movies were famous for quick action and daredevil stunts. Tom and Tony, his horse, performed their own stunts. Tom was a superb athlete and kept himself in good physical condition. He pioneered many of the early movie stunts. No trick cameras or fake scenes were used because of the limited shooting budgets.

     By 1917 Mix was earning over $17,000 a week at Fox Studios, which gave him the exposure to Tom's move from a simply prolific actor to genuine world famous movie star. . He was one of the highest paid entertainers of his time and one of the biggest spenders.

     One of the few bright spots for Tom in 1929 was his association with the Sells – Floto Circus. He signed on to tour with the circus in April and once again was back in his element. Tom loved people. He loved performing and he loved the accolades but he also returned the appreciation of his loyal fans by signing autographs, sometimes for hours after his performances.

     Tom Mix died October 11, 1940, in a car accident on a highway between Tuscon and Florence, Arizona.




One of the most impressive talents about Tom was he did all of his own stunts - there was nothing he would not try!


Coke Oven, Coal Mining Bucket & Mining Cars

from Cameron County Mines

On display in the yard at the Musuem.

Coke Oven, Bucket and Mine Car Display

1889 Canoe Run - Coke Ovens

             Our large outdoor display hosts a reconstruction of a coke oven, and includes a coal bucket and mine cars, all taken from the mine and coke oven works at Canoe Run, five miles northwest of the Little Museum.

            Coke is a residue from coal, used as a high-efficiency fuel. Coal is transformed to coke by heating the coal a very high temperatures to drive off gases and impurities.

              Throughout the past 40 years most of outside displays were reassembled by our local high school students.  Their most recent restoration is the coal mining cars and an addition to the cars during this restoration is that the actual coal placed inside the cars was recently mined from the mine where the cars were once used.


Read About the County


its People

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  Cameron County

Geneaology Project







Explore the History of  the people of Cameron County through the Little Museum and our Historical & Genealogy Research Center

Little Museum

is located on the  Scenic Bucktail Trail,

PA Route 120, about 9 miles South

of Emporium in the heart of

Sterling Run, PA 15832


Open Memorial Day - Mid Oct






Research Center

125 Greenwood Street

Emporium, PA. 15834


Open Year-Around

  Tuesdays 10-12:30PM


Or schedule an appointment.

Phone: 814-486-0334








Check out our calendar of events.

for historical walks, musuem demostrations, movies, guest speakers, and so much more!




We are always looking for new members and volunteers who share our love of Cameron County History!


PO Box 433 Emporium PA  15834

Phone: 814-486-0334



Our mission is to preserve our past for current and future generations!


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