Visit the fascinating Mifflinburg Buggy Museum

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If you’ve spent any time driving through PA, you’ve no doubt seen a buggy driving down the road in some rural parts of the state thanks to the Old Order Amish and Mennonites who live here. For this reason, it probably won’t come as a surprise that PA has an entire museum dedicated to strollers.

The Mifflinburg Buggy Museum is located in Mifflinburg in Union County, Pennsylvania. Although this location isn’t too close to some of the most common areas to see buggies today, such as Lancaster County, Mifflinburg was once known as “Buggy Town USA” because it was home to over 50 makers. of buggies and sledges at the end of the 19th century.

The Mifflinburg Buggy Museum occupies five different buildings on the southwest end of town: four historic structures and one modern that serves as a museum and visitor center.

Heiss House at the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum in Pennsylvania
The exterior of the Heiss family home.

The museum is centered around the workshop of William A. Heiss’ buggy factory, which was in use from 1883 to 1920. Although it is far from the largest buggy factory in town, it is almost perfectly preserved, making it an incredible place to visit.

To be honest, although I have known about this museum for many years, it never made it to the top of my list of places to visit simply because I thought it would just be a collection of old buggies. And, while they have outstanding examples of historic buggies, this place also features an almost perfectly intact factory, which I personally found fascinating to see.

Buggy inside the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum in Union County PA
The museum provides a great opportunity to learn more about the factory and Mifflinburg.

Visits to the historic parts of the museum are by guided tour, while you have the option of viewing the modern museum space at your leisure before or after your tour of the historic buildings. You can also visit for free if you just want to see the museum and not the historical sites, but I recommend the visit if you have the time.

The Visitor Center Museum has an introductory video, as well as plenty of signage that tells a bit more about this factory and Mifflinburg in general. There are also old tools and a beautifully restored buggy.

The guided tour at the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum lasts approximately one hour and visits the other four buildings on the property.

Heiss Workshop at the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum in Pennsylvania
The Heiss workshop is a time capsule of buggy manufacturing in the 19th century.

When I visited, we started in the historic Heiss Coachmaker workshop. When Heiss died in 1931, the building’s doors were locked and it remained nearly intact for 50 years, creating a time capsule of what a buggy factory looked like 100 years ago. In that regard, it reminded me of the WA Young and Son machine shop in Greene County, Pennsylvania, which has a very similar history.

Since the museum opened, stabilization efforts have been made to secure the foundations and some of the heavier items have been removed, but what you see today looks very much like what things looked like when it first came. was a working factory. There are even parts left in the bins since the factory closed.

Tools inside the workshop at the Buggy Museum in Mifflinburg PA
The interior of the workshop is amazing to see.

There are two floors to see here, with the space evenly split between the historic factory and the antique buggy display area. The guides do a good job of explaining the different areas of the factory, what they were used for, and what tools remain today.

The buggies on display here range from beautifully restored to some in fairly poor condition. It was interesting to see this variety and it gave me a real appreciation for restoration work.

Paints used in the workshop of the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum in Pennsylvania
Paints used in the workshop.

More interestingly, some of the buggies on display in the museum were made at this same factory, while others were made locally at other factories around Mifflinburg.

The second space visited by the visit is the old exhibition hall. This is where potential customers came to see the options for strollers built in the workshop across the street.

An antique buggy in the old showroom at the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum in Mifflinburg Pennsylvania
An antique buggy in the old showroom.

In this space you will find many other incredible examples of historic buggies and sleds, as well as artifacts from Mifflinburg’s rich buggy manufacturing industry. There are also some vintage automobiles that were produced in the region.

While I was initially confused by the presence of cars, I was told that when cars started to replace buggies, many factories in the city switched to automobile assembly (like some of the buildings now used by the nearby Rusty Rail Brewing), or, in Heiss’ case, painting and modifying automobiles.

A vintage automobile with local connections at the Buggy Museum in Mifflinburg PA
An antique automobile with local connections.

The last building on the tour is the Heiss family home, located right next to the factory.

This house is laid out in the same way as when William Heiss and his family lived here in the late 19th and early 20th century. It is interesting to walk around the house and get a glimpse of life in this area at that time.

The kitchen of the Heiss family home at the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum in Union County PA
The kitchen of the Heiss family home.

Overall, I really found the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum quite fascinating. For me, the historic factory was the most interesting part because it reminded me of many amazing abandoned places I’ve visited in Pennsylvania. However, others may find more enjoyment in the antique buggies, sleds and automobiles on display.

Whatever your interest, however, if you like history, this is definitely an interesting museum to visit.

Looking for more places to visit nearby? See T&D’s World Cats, Hassenplug Covered Bridge, and Woodward Cave.


Mifflinburg Buggy Museum

Hours: Saturday-Sunday: 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Open from April to October

Cost: $10

Website: BuggyMuseum.org

Address: 598 Green Street
Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania 17844

See the map below for other area attractions.


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