The Heritage Center will host Museum Day and the Corn Mill Open Day on September 17 and 18

The Berks County Heritage Center will celebrate the 18th annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with exciting demonstrations and free admission to all heritage center sites, including the Gruber Wagon Works and the C. Howard Hiester Canal Museum. .

During the day, witness rare and first-ever public demonstrations that will bring the Gruber Wagon Works to life! During the demonstrations, personnel will fire up Wagon Work’s 15-horsepower Otto engine that served as the primary power source for the plant and set the plant’s driveshaft system in motion.

The engine and driveshaft system remained functional throughout the operation of the plant, running many machines and equipment.

Tours of Gruber Wagon Works will be offered at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Demonstrations of the Line-Shaft system will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Otto engine demonstrations will take place at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

On Sunday, September 18, return to the site from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. for an open house at Melcher’s Grist Mill. Visit the relocated 1888 Grist Mill to learn about the history and function of the mill which was used by the Melcher family on their farm in Bally before the structure was transferred to the Heritage Center in 1985.

The mill represents a rare and complete example of a multi-purpose, water-powered farm mill.

These programs are presented by the Berks County Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information on these programs, contact Dan Roe at [email protected] or call (610) 374-8839 ex. 201.

The Berks County Heritage Center is located at 1102 Red Bridge Road, Reading PA 19605.