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The Frank & Sylvia Pasquerilla Heritage Discovery Center, part of the Johnstown Discovery Network, is a community center that contains several attractions: the "America: Through Immigrant Eyes" exhibit; the Johnstown Children's Museum; the Iron & Steel Gallery; and two additional galleries. It also houses the Galliker's Cafe and the 4th Floor Ethnic Social Club. The HDC is operated by the Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA). Welcome!

The Civil War in Pennsylvania

As part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and in partnership with the statewide Pennsylvania Civil War 150 efforts, the Heritage Discovery Center will host a new traveling exhibit, "The Civil War in Pennsylvania", which is presented by Peoples Natural Gas and supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The exhibit, which was created by the Senator John Heinz History Center for its Affiliate Program members, is on display in the second-floor gallery of the Heritage Discovery Center from January 5-March 5, 2013. Entrance to the exhibit is included in museum admission, and is free to JAHA members.

"The Civil War in Pennsylvania" features four life-like museum figures, plus a companion Dog Jack, along with artifacts, previously unseen photographs, and large museum panels describing Pennsylvania's contributions to the Civil War.

The four historic figures represented in the exhibition include:

  • Strong Vincent, a young attorney from Erie, Pa. who rallied Union troops in the fierce battle on Little Round Top with the phrase, "Don't give an inch!"

  • Martin Delany, a Pittsburgh abolitionist who was one of the first African Americans admitted to Harvard Medical School and later, the highest ranking African American in the Civil War.

  • Kate McBride (shown), a young worker from the Allegheny Arsenal, who represents the women and children who toiled on the home front to support the Union efforts.

  • Tillie Pierce, a 15-year old Gettysburg native who hauled buckets of water for thirsty soldiers, tore cloth into bandages to aid physicians, and comforted the wounded after Confederate troops overran her hometown.
  • In addition to the figures, the exhibit also features several artifacts that illustrate Pennsylvania's role on both the battlefield and the home front, including:

  • A Civil War-era cannon ball cut in half to show its cross-section along with a Civil War-era Enfield rifle.

  • Civil War paper cartridges and a collection of minie balls similar to what was created at the Allegheny Arsenal.


    The exhibit will cover a variety of topics, all told from a Western Pennsylvania perspective. Issues related to slavery, the efforts on the home front, the importance of women, the role of Pittsburgh as the "Arsenal of the Union," and the impact of the Battle of Gettysburg will be addressed. 


    The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region's remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in Pittsburgh's Strip District, and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The History Center's museum system includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Pa. in Washington County.