With the Taber Museum’s “My Favorite Gift” exhibit coming up, here are a few items from our collection relating to gifts.

Mussina letter

The first is a letter from Jacob Lyons Mussina (who had a jewelry store on Market Square in Williamsport) to his recently married daughter, Helena Mussina Burch in Lyons, Iowa, dated December 22, 1864. Among other matters, Mr. Mussina talks about Christmas goings-on: “Today we received your Christmas present, in the shape of a prairie chicken, it came in good condition, was quite a curiosity, and we had it on exhibition this afternoon.” One wonders if its final “exhibition” was at the dinner table.


Next is an embroidered handkerchief given to Margaret C. Lindemuth when she was a very young girl. It is inscribed “To Margaret from Uncle Charley Christmas 1909”.

We don’t know the original recipient of the small wooden box shaped like a book, but it was surely appreciated with its warm wishes of “A Happy Christmas to You” on one side and “Wishing You a Happy New Year” on the other. The interior contains a deck of Gaigel playing cards.

Finally, this set of pens from the Williamsport Shrine Club in the 1960s was presented in a very festive box, with “our sincere appreciation for your many kindnesses.” The specific kindnesses are unknown, but the pens came to us along with items related to Charles & Frances Jones of South Williamsport.


We hope that the original gift-givers would not mind that these treasures were “re-gifted” as donations to the Historical Society.