Karl C. Harrison Museum Of George Washington

50 Lester Street
205-669-8767

The Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington collection focuses on art and artifacts from the colonial period through 1865.  The collection contains paintings, letters, furniture, porcelain, glassware, silver, jewelry, busts and more.  Martha Washington’s prayer book printed in New York in 1783, an original 1787 Samuel Vaughn sketch of Mt. Vernon grounds, writing instruments and tools from George Washington’ s survey case and an original tintype depicting Robert E. Lee in his uniform for the last time are just a few collection highlights.

The beauty and craftsmanship of 18th and19th century furniture is evidenced by a number of carefully preserved pieces from the estates of the Washington family and their descendants. Coin-silver utensils used at Mount Vernon, a 207-piece set of Minton porcelain and an exquisite pair of Sevres vases, circa 1785, from the Augustin Washington estate, the half-brother of George, highlight the display. One highly-regarded piece is a walnut games table with tulip and rosewood inlay (circa 1805). The beautiful table belonged to Bushrod Washington, a direct descendant, who inherited Mount Vernon upon Martha's death.

History of Museum:

Founded in 1982 by Karl C. Harrison, a Columbiana banker and philanthropist, the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington has become an important forum for learning about America’s first First Family. Through the foresighted efforts and encouragement of Martha Washington's granddaughter Eliza Parke Custis, family heirlooms have been lovingly passed down through generations.

In the early 1980's, Shelby County resident Charlotte Smith, Weaver, a sixth generation granddaughter of Martha, decided to share her legacy with the public, providing the basis of the museum.

The Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington collection focuses on art and artifacts from the colonial period through 1865.
The collection contains paintings, letters, furniture, porcelain, glassware, silver, jewelry, busts and more. Martha Washington’s prayer book printed in New York in 1783, an original 1787 Samuel Vaughn sketch of Mt. Vernon grounds, writing instruments and tools from George Washington’ s survey case and an original tintype depicting Robert E. Lee in his uniform for the last time are just a few collection highlights.

The Museum occupies a new wing of the Harrison Regional Library. The beautifully design museum provides just the right atmosphere for a trip in time back to 1776. Moving into the new facility in the fall of 2000 brought together the entire collection of over 1,000 artifacts.

The Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge presented the George Washington Honor Medal to the Museum in 1999. The Museum has been featured in the monthly magazine The Daughters of the American Revolution as well as included in the "Hometown Spotlight" section of the American Profile. Visitors of all ages find something wonderful at the Museum.

The Karl C. Harrison Museum is supported entirely by donations. Funds are needed for daily operation of the Museum as well as for programming and outreach activities. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed.


Reviews

Retha Martin

Rating:
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Greatly enjoyed the tour