The Benson Historical Museum’s collection contains nearly 50,000 items and covers over 135 years of Elk County history, from the 1860’s to the present day. The collection includes antique farm machinery, vintage clothing, war memorabilia, an outfitted one-room school house, a complete home from the early 1900’s, a replica 1950’s dentist office, a mortician’s trade tools, and numerous other items that help the visitor to paint an accurate picture of what life was like for our predecessors.
The Museum was born from the Elk County Historical Society in 1979 and was later incorporated though a generous gift from the late Miss Edith Benson of Howard. Since its inception, it has grown from a modest assemblage of historical objects kept in small buildings to an impressive collection that consumes six buildings, giving history enthusiasts nearly 8,100 square feet of Elk County history.
One of the Most remarkable things about the Benson Museum, other than the enormity of the collection, is that community memebers have donated a majority of the items. The names on the cards next to the 1890’s wedding dress of the barber’s chair are the same as those seen in the past school annuals and newspapers on display.