In 1995, Corinne Tetz started collecting authentic transportation artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries, and now she has a brand new building to house her growing collection.
The Crossroads Heritage Museum in Upper Bern Township, Berks County, is now open at 3612 Mountain Road and showcases through time modes of transportation from popcorn vendor carriages to hearses and farm equipment, and more.
The 17,5000-square-foot building is newly constructed and cost nearly $1 million to complete.
Corinne owns the museum with her brother Joe Tetz, who moved to Pennsylvania from Middeltown, New York after spending several years in the area racing sprint cars at local speedways.
“He always said that if he was going to move, he would move out here,” Corrine said.
Corrine lives in Bloomingburg, New York where she helps run a family owned construction company, E. Tetz & Sons Inc., in nearby Middeltown. She’s in Pennsylvania Thursday through Sunday to oversee daily operations at the museum.
Corrine said she plans to attract school children, residents of nursing homes and others to visit the museum and learn about history.
“School children need to be educated on American history,” Corrine said. “You have to preserve your history,” she said… and that’s exactly what she’s doing.
The collection at the museum so far includes horse drawn coaches, sleighs, wagons, construction equipment, agricultural equipment, vintage quilts, an 1840 original stage coach and many small items related to the 19th century. There are about 80 vehicles in the collection, including horse drawn fire equipment. Horse drawn carriage rides are also available.
Sunrise Valley Builders of Leola constructed the building, Ed Leed of Bethel, New York did the plumbing and heating, and Jim Lutz of Bernville did the electrical work, and Quality Concrete of Bensalem laid the foundation.
The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, or by appointment.
For a look at the collection, click here.