The York County History Center: Reflections on Our Launch!


In the words of President and CEO Joan Mummert, “we lived the brand” at the 6.16.16 Launch at the History Center’s Colonial Court House.


Scheduled to be held at the site of the future museum, on the grounds of the Metropolitan Edison Steam Generating Plant building, the event had to be moved inside due to severe storm warnings for the area.

Cutout characters greet guests as they approach the tent at the Brand Launch.

So, demonstrating the proximity of the 121 N. Pershing Ave. location to the History Center’s Colonial Complex, the experiential reception and Big Reveal were moved just down the street to the yard and interior of the replica Colonial Court House.


In spite of threatening skies, a standing-room-only crowd attended the Brand Launch event, enjoying food and drink under the welcome tent. Guests were invited to visit interactive history stations, where they participated in fun history games for a chance to win some freshly logo-ed promotional products.

Visitors participate in history interactives at the Brand Launch.

Background music was provided by the Susquehanna Travelers, an acoustic group who made music a la the Civil War period. Their attire and instrumentals added color to the event.

The Susquehanna Travelers perform at the Launch inside the Colonial Court House.

Inside, attendees enjoyed “channeling” the future museum experience, where technology will enhance the presentation of the History Center’s extensive collection and the interpretation of the stories of York County History.  They participated in hands-on demonstrations of Google Glass, an interactive “then-and-now” touch screen, and experienced virtual reality with a history bent.

Volunteer Jay Stephenson experiments with Google Glass.

Finally, it was time to share the long-awaited icon for the new York County History Center, a moniker that was selected, said Chair Tom Shorb, after marketing research showed people didn’t know who the York County Heritage Trust was or what the organization did.


Before the Reveal, Gavin Advertising President Mandy Arnold talked about the heart of the brand—a meaning that is even more important than the graphic icon. This organizational promise is how the History Center will help the visitor engage with York County history.

Tom Shorb, left, and Rob Kinsley unveil the new brand.

The new tagline, Your History Starts Here means that it’s not about us! It’s about the “a-ha moment” when the lightbulb goes on. It’s about making a memory that is so cool you can’t wait to tell others. It’s about connecting with your York County roots, or with your Constitutional history. It’s about an inclusive and diverse experience that is fun and interactive.


Board member Steve Feldmann shared the impact of the new, right-sized location, creating a single campus in the heart of our vibrant downtown. The whole story, he said, can be told with less interruption for travel time between sites. Individuals, families and school groups will walk from the History Center to the Colonial Complex in one minute. That means more time for learning, discovery, and hands-on fun.


Finally it was time to unveil the new York County History Center logo. Vice Chair Rob Kinsley joined  Shorb for the moment our members, donors, and the press were waiting for, as the fresh new logo was uncovered. Board Secretary Paddy Rooney raised a glass to toast the new History Center.


As the crowd spilled onto the lawn at the conclusion of the remarks and the Reveal, the skies had cleared and there was no rain. President Joan Mummert and volunteer Jay Stevenson led a crowd of more than 75 down the half block to the new building, where a second “Reveal” took place in the shadows of the future museum. A new chapter had begun.

Joan Mummert, left, and Rob Kinsley prepare to unveil the new brand on the future museum building.

Follow us on this exciting adventure into the future. Your History Starts Here. Our new website is found at





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