The wish and generosity of one woman
The wish of our founder Elizabeth Keiffer - "Libby"
It was Elizabeth’s wish to honor the ancestral heritage of her late husband, Miles H. Keiffer, and to provide a place of learning and appreciation for future generations interested in their local, state and national heritage.
The Historic Manheim Preservation Foundation has a history rich in the foresight to accomplish the preservation and promotion of Manheim’s important heritage.
It was a life long interest of Miles H. Keiffer, and his wife, Elizabeth, to collect and preserve history and artifacts related to the early years of Manheim and the important role the town played in the history of Lancaster County. Over the years, both the collection and knowledge of Miles and Elizabeth grew. Their collection included important pieces of Stiegel type glass, pottery, furniture, and clocks. Not only were the items themselves important to the Keiffer's but also the people that were behind them. They represented lives of hardship, success, ingenuity, learning, artistry and diligence. These stories are considered integral to the development of the town of Manheim, its people and the influence they had on America.
Though Miles passed from this world in 1975; Elizabeth continued this interest, and eventually due to her failing health Elizabeth created Historic Manheim Preservation Foundation to preserve this important collection and further preserve artifacts and promote an interest in Manheim’s early history.
The Foundation with its museum exhibit rooms and library provide a safe and accessible public place to display the Keiffer collection of Stiegel type glass, various furniture pieces, other antiques and ephemera. The museum holds the Keiffer collection as well as variety of other items of historical interest from local individuals and institutions.
The town of Manheim is fortunate to have the example of Elizabeth and her husband, Miles, who have so generously donated their former home for the museum property and its beginning contents for the benefit of the local community. It is from this foundation of value and appreciation for Manheim’s history that the Historic Manheim Preservation Foundation continues to build upon so future generations can learn, benefit, and appreciate what and who have made this community the success it is today.