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The Mifflinburg Buggy Museum Association is an educational and historical organization whose mission is: 1) to preserve the original William A. Heiss Coachworks for public appreciation; and 2) to interpret the Museum complex as an example of the region's buggy manufacturing heritage and its social and economic culture. To achieve its mission, the Museum aims to:
- Preserve, display, interpret and develop collections related to the buggy manufacturing heritage of Mifflinburg;
- Encourage the highest standards of museum practices, conservation and historical research;
- Present a variety of educational programs and tours which interpret to a broad public audience turn of the century life as it related to the buggy manufacturing industry;
- Develop and sustain a board of directors that can administer the Museum's mission and ensure the effective organizational planning according to acceptable nonprofit standards and management procedures;
- Recruit and develop employees and volunteers so that their special knowledge and skills contribute meaningfully to the Museum’s mission; and,
- Develop necessary resources to provide ongoing support for Museum priorities.
From 1883 to 1920, William A. Heiss operated a successful buggy making business. As the demand for automobiles grew, the demand for horse-drawn vehicles declined.
During the 1920s, William pursued other occupations, beekeeping, selling stoves and fence gates, and repainting automobiles to name a few. When he died in 1931, the factory was closed. For years, the building was used for storage, but mostly it lay forgotten.
Almost 50 years later, the doors were opened to reveal an original shop with belting and pulleys, tools, machinery and forges. It was as if William Heiss and his workers had simply walked away.
- Bronwen Sanders
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