More than 300 tickets sold out for the 2012 Holiday Tour Extraordinaire on Sunday for The Friends of the Kutztown Community Library’s annual fundraiser.
The Friends of the Library invited residents to join them on a tour of New Smithville, featuring a nationally recognized car museum, Old Spokes Auto Museum.
“We sold out all our tickets for the museum tour,” said Tori Bieber of the Friends of the Library. “We had such a great response.”
Featuring nearly 50 cars of unique and rare value, Old Spokes Auto Museum and the O.J. Fritz Showroom and Garage house mint-condition Hudson cars including a 1926 limousine, a 1934 Hudson 8 Roadster, a 1941 Woodie Wagon, to name a few.
Bieber said the museum also houses a lot of memorabilia and the building itself has a lot of history. Being a private museum, she said that the Friends of the Library feel fortunate to be able to offer tours to residents.
Museum curator Bernie Thompson welcomed about 100 guests per tour into the museum, pointing out highlights as people roamed about looking at the Hudson cars. There were three guided tours, at 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m.
“Educational reasons, we like to preserve the history of the Hudson automobile,” said Thompson, noting the car’s importance in history, particularly it’s role in racing. Hudson cars dominated NASCAR in the 1950s, and was known as the fastest car at that time, said Thompson.
“I’ve driven by here all my life and I often wondered what was going on in here, now I know,” said Jim Schlegel, Kutztown.
When asked what he thought about the cars, he said, “Super! They’re really well restored, it’s the type of thing I like besides trains... It’s a great thing to raise money for the library.”
His wife, Merry, said the car museum was one of the reasons they went on the tour.
“Never had as many men on the tour before,” said Merry. “That, and everyone wants to see the old house across the street because we’ve driven by it for so many years.”
Attendees also had the unique opportunity to tour“Oakwood Acres” which includes an 1810 manor house, a large hex-painted barn, ponds, statues and swans and peacocks.
“It is a place I have always passed every morning going to work and it was so neat getting inside and seeing the additions, fire places, the spiral staircase is just wonderful,” said Joe Piscitelli, Kutztown.
“It was interesting, all the different stones and bricks and materials that were used in the house, especially in the new part,” said his wife, Diane.
“And all the statuary in the outside and the peacocks and the swans, it was just idyllic,” said Joe.
“It was so interesting, we’ve always wanted to see it,” said Diane.
A Victorian home, dated 1865, was also part of the estate and the tour. That home was decorated for the holidays by Jackie and Daughter Flower Shop, Kutztown, and decorations and other gifts were available for purchase. Also, Pinnacle Ridge Winery offered free wine tastings.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Kutztown Community Library. The Friends of the Library fundraise to supplement the needs of the library.
“It benefits the library in so many ways,” said Bieber.
Donations go toward programs, books and other needs not covered by the regular budget.