By Karen Blackledge
Looks Back, and Ahead, WHERE CAN YOU FIND THE REGION’S MOST EXTENSIVE CIVIL WAR COLLECTION, A LETTER SIGNED BY BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, A DINNER INVITATION FROM PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON AND MUCH MORE? These items — and thousands more — are on display in the Federal-style fieldstone Montgomery House Museum, 1 Bloom St., Danville.
“I’m not aware of a better collection for miles,” said Dianne Zamboni, who serves as museum curator, along with Sue Tinsley, of the Civil War items. Among the items are swords, canteens, cartridge, cases, knapsacks, a coat and hat and the drum beat by Charles Hardor, who at 10, was believed to be the youngest drummer boy of the war. All the items in the two-story museum, which was the home of Danville founder Gen. William Montgomery, have been donated. “It’s an absolutely amazing collection. It shows how the people of Danville relish their history,” said Danville historian Sis Hause.
The museum is also home to other Civil War items including 15 guns, a rare original muster roll of the first company that left Danville, pistols and prints of Confederate prisons in Andersonville and Libby and a cannon. “We have guns from every war except the Revolutionary War,” Tinsley said. “One of our prized possessions is a Pennsylvania long rifle muzzle loader from 1790,” she said. Therifle was crafted by premier gunmaker J. P. Beck.
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