The Founding Vision for HMPF:
Miles Keiffer and his wife Elizabeth, both Manheim
natives, had a lifelong interest in history and
particularly the preservation of Manheim’s early
history. Over the years, they collected various
artifacts of local interest including a notable
collection of Stiegel type glass. Henry William
Stiegel, who founded the town of Manheim in
1762, built and operated a renowned glass
manufactory in the 1760’s on South Charlotte
Street. In addition, he built a large home and a
separate office on opposite ends of Market
Over a period of many years, Miles and Elizabeth shared their collection with
friends and the public. After Miles’ death in 1975, Elizabeth considered how she
could share the Keiffer collection with others in a permanent way. To provide
public access to the collection, foster an appreciation of our heritage and to
promote the further preservation of history, Elizabeth established the Historic
Manheim Preservation Foundation, Inc. after moving to a local retirement
community. Her move allowed the opportunity for extensive renovations to the
home to create the museum exhibit rooms and library. While this work was
underway, the barn to the rear was extensively renovated into the Carriage House
meeting room with the rear yard becoming Elizabeth’s Garden. The Carriage
House provides an area for meeting and small events for the Foundation and
other local organizations or groups. The garden with its patios and gazebo
provides a pleasant space for outdoor meetings and events. Elizabeth’s Garden
includes 18th century plants and beautiful roses, a particular love of the Keiffers.
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 and
other antiques and ephemera. Not only does the museum hold the Keiffer
collection, but also includes a variety of other items of historical interest from local
individuals and institutions. The Ensminger Library at the Foundation contains a
variety of local historical records and books. Miles was related to the Ensminger
family who were prominent Manheim citizens and business people starting in the
late 1700’s and the room was named in their memory . Various furniture pieces,
most of which were in the Keiffer collection, display the skills of early American
craftsmen. Numerous other artifacts on exhibit relate to Manheim’s early history.
Exhibits are subject to change throughout the year.
Pictured above is a "castle
wheel" made by Manheim
craftsman, Daniel Danner.
Christian Eby tall case clock in the HMPF museum.