"Long before my association with The William E. Swigart Automobile Museum, my wife and I were staying at a hotel in Winchester, VA. At the hotel, an antique car convention was being held. We met a gentleman who owned a Ford Model T.
He showed us how the car operated and how the transmission worked. At that moment, I was hooked and have had an interest in the automobile ever since that one chance encounter."
"I had a great childhood. I was raised in a small town in central Pennsylvania. My family would ride around in our big old Ford. My mother drove and my uncle and I would ride together in the back seat. As we rode around, from stop to stop, store to store, Uncle would constantly ask me the make, model, and year of all the cars we would see. It was a game that he used to keep me entertained and quiet while mother ran her errands. That was the beginning of my love and understanding of the American car. So, when I look at the cars in our museum and speak with our customers, I reminisce about the great rides and the games I played with my uncle. I really miss those days, they are gone but not forgotten.
When I speak with our customers, I enjoy hearing how they learned to love the cars in their lives. It amazes me how many of the memories in our lives are based around our cars or our friend's cars. The things we do in cars are so varied, but yet the same from person to person. Picnics, vacations, shopping, and yes, the beginnings of a family, make the American automobile a treasure to remember."
"From the time I was 14— I've had a strong passion for history. I think it is so important to preserve the past and learn about our history and heritage. Since then I have been interested in genealogy and local history so, I joined and volunteer in many of the local history organizations.
Currently, I am involved with the Huntingdon County Historical Society, Hartslog Heritage Museum, Aughwick Civil War Roundtable, Historic Keller Church and Cemetery, Sons of the American Legion Post 150. Also, I volunteer at events like Hartslog Day in Alexandria, Canal Era Days at the Mount Union Area Historical Society and in the Huntingdon County Fair Farm Museum during Fair week. I had previously been involved with the Petersburg Heritage Museum, Huntingdon County Heritage Committee, and Huntingdon's 250th Celebration Committee.
Working at the Swigart Museum is very much an honor, to be able to help preserve, and share such a unique piece of history in the automotive world. This museum holds such a wonderful collection of rare and one of a kind vehicles- like the 1920 Carroll, the only one still in existence and the 1908 Studebaker Electric Twelve Passenger Congressional Carry-All subway coach. Another of my favorites is the 1987 Johnson Phaeton Coupe; especially since, Mrs. Pat Swigart took me for a ride in it."
"I have always had a love and passion for antiques since I was very young thanks to my grandparents influence. I have also had a passion for cars, especially antique cars. I love the history of each of the cars featured at Swigart Museum, along with the great innovations that each early automobile manufacturer achieved. Many of these innovations are still present in our modern day automobiles.
One of the greatest innovations that can be seen at the museum was Henry Ford putting the steering wheels on the left side of the car, because he thought it made more sense to pick up passengers at the curb. I love it when I'm giving a tour and someone says, "Hey, these steering wheels are on the right side." That always gives me the opportunity to share the history behind them being placed on the left, along with the fact we also have a car on display from the last manufacturer to move their steering wheel to the left.
Another vehicle that fascinates me is the 1910 Buick Phaeton, which with the removal of a couple of bolts and the backseat it is ready to race. I like that because my husband and I filmed the dirt track races at Hesston Speedway from 2010 through 2012.
My favorite car at the museum is the 1937 Cord Supercharged Phaeton, which I am pictured inside in the photo. I love the smooth lines, crank up headlights, and her overall beauty. I call her Cordelia.
Growing up with a love for antiques, I was given many of them by my grandparents with the promise that I would use them, and not hide them away. Unfortunately, I have not yet been given the opportunity to drive any of the antique automobiles at Swigart Museum, but I do get to spend lots of time with them, take care them, and enjoy their sheer beauty that lies within each and every one of them."
"I have spent more then my fair share of free time in history books, from early Germanic to the early Afghanistan conflict. But from that I learned the only truth to it all is physical: cars, buildings, artifacts, written documents never lie. I worked in agriculture but my passion is in information. We find it so easy to forget our past and move forward. We move so fast we don't learn from the history left to teach us. If I could be a part of the people spreading that information, learning it and reteaching it to those who are curious is a dream come true.
I'm a local, born and raised. I knew the Swigart collection before I left middle school. I visited the museum as a teen and loved it. Knowing I get to make someone's visit brighter brings me never ending joy. But I always keep an eye open for the history being made before our very eyes."
*Jace 'Goose' Long*