Our Story...

The wish and  generosity of one woman

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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. 

 

Miles H. Keiffer and his wife, Elizabeth, had a lifelong interest in collecting and preserving history and artifacts related to the early years of Manheim and the vital role the town played in the history of Lancaster County. Over the years, Miles and Elizabeth's collection and knowledge grew. Their collection included essential pieces of Stiegel-type glass, pottery, furniture, and clocks. Not only were the items themselves indispensable to the Keiffer's but also the people that were behind them. They represented lives of hardship, success, ingenuity, learning, artistry, and diligence. The people are integral to the development of the town of Manheim and their influence on America.

Though Miles passed from this world in 1975, Elizabeth continued this interest. Eventually, Elizabeth created the Historic Manheim Preservation Foundation to preserve this collection, further preserve artifacts, and promote an interest in Manheim's early history. 

The Foundation, with its museum exhibit rooms and library, provides 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 and 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 generously donated their former home for the museum property and its beginning contents to benefit the local community. From this foundation of value and appreciation for Manheim's history, the Historic Manheim Preservation Foundation continues to build upon it so future generations can learn, benefit, and appreciate what and who has made this community the success it is today.​

THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR HERITAGE

You have a rich heritage and it’s part of who you are. Knowing your heritage can contribute to the building of character and be a source of life and inspiration. Share your heritage with your children and grandchildren.