The Docents

Docent Dean Kyler

"Long before my association with The William E. Swigart Automobile Museum, my wife and I were staying at a hotel in Winchester, VA. At the hotel, an antique car convention was being held. We met a gentleman who owned a Ford Model T. He showed us how the car operated and how the transmission worked. At that moment, I was hooked and have had an interest in the automobile ever since that one chance encounter."

* Dean *

Docent Betty Boozel

"I had a great childhood. I was raised in a small town in central Pennsylvania. My family would ride around in our big old Ford. My mother drove and my uncle and I would ride together in the back seat. As we rode around, from stop to stop, store to store, Uncle would constantly ask me the make, model, and year of all the cars we would see. It was a game that he used to keep me entertained and quiet while mother ran her errands. That was the beginning of my love and understanding of the American car. So, when I look at the cars in our museum and speak with our customers, I reminisce about the great rides and the games I played with my uncle. I really miss those days, they are gone but not forgotten.

When I speak with our customers, I enjoy hearing how they learned to love the cars in their lives. It amazes me how many of the memories in our lives are based around our cars or our friend's cars. The things we do in cars are so varied, but yet the same from person to person. Picnics, vacations, shopping, and yes, the beginnings of a family, make the American automobile a treasure to remember."

* Betty *

Docent Lonnie Smith Jr.

"From the time I was 14— I've had a strong passion for history. I think it is so important to preserve the past and learn about our history and heritage. Since then I have been interested in genealogy and local history so, I joined and volunteer in many of the local history organizations.

Currently, I am involved with the Huntingdon County Historical Society, Hartslog Heritage Museum, Aughwick Civil War Roundtable, Historic Keller Church and Cemetery, Sons of the American Legion Post 150. Also, I volunteer at events like Hartslog Day in Alexandria, Canal Era Days at the Mount Union Area Historical Society and in the Huntingdon County Fair Farm Museum during Fair week. I had previously been involved with the Petersburg Heritage Museum, Huntingdon County Heritage Committee, the Huntingdon's 250th Celebration Committee and Isett Heritage Museum.

Working at the Swigart Museum is very much an honor, to be able to help preserve, and share such a unique piece of history in the automotive world. This museum holds such a wonderful collection of rare and one of a kind vehicles- like the 1920 Carroll, the only one still in existence and the 1908 Studebaker Electric Twelve Passenger Congressional Carry-All subway coach. Another of my favorites is the 1987 Johnson Phaeton Coupe; especially since, Mrs. Pat Swigart took me for a ride in it."

* Lonnie*

Docent Tami Hetrick

"I have always had a love and passion for antiques since I was very young thanks to my grandparents influence. I have also had a passion for cars, especially antique cars. I love the history of each of the cars featured at Swigart Museum, along with the great innovations that each early automobile manufacturer achieved. Many of these innovations are still present in our modern day automobiles.

One of the greatest innovations that can be seen at the museum was Henry Ford putting the steering wheels on the left side of the car, because he thought it made more sense to pick up passengers at the curb. I love it when I'm giving a tour and someone says, "Hey, these steering wheels are on the right side." That always gives me the opportunity to share the history behind them being placed on the left, along with the fact we also have a car on display from the last manufacturer to move their steering wheel to the left.

Another vehicle that fascinates me is the 1910 Buick Phaeton, which with the removal of a couple of bolts and the backseat it is ready to race. I like that because my husband and I filmed the dirt track races at Hesston Speedway from 2010 through 2012.

My favorite car at the museum is the 1937 Cord Supercharged Phaeton, which I am pictured inside in the photo. I love the smooth lines, crank up headlights, and her overall beauty. I call her Cordelia.

Growing up with a love for antiques, I was given many of them by my grandparents with the promise that I would use them, and not hide them away. Unfortunately, I have not yet been given the opportunity to drive any of the antique automobiles at Swigart Museum, but I do get to spend lots of time with them, take care them, and enjoy their sheer beauty that lies within each and every one of them."

* Tami *

Docent H. Duane Dubbs

Swigart Museum in remembrance of our long time friend and docent Duane Dubbs

. He loved his "Ladies", (the cars at the museum). Every morning he worked, he would go to the back of the museum and say "Good Morning Ladies!". He enjoyed taking this 1939 Buick to shows and parades in the area. He will be forever in our hearts and missed dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

He will always be missed by all of the museum staff, board members, museum members, and the many tourist who were fortunate enough to have Duane touch their lives.

Duane's thoughts about being a Docent at the Swigart Museum...

"Since I was a youngster, I have had a passion and appreciation for cars. That appreciation isn't just for one model, it is for cars in general. Working at the museum, as a docent, and getting the opportunity to explain the differences between the cars of yesterday and the cars of today, is exciting. Cars have changed so much over the years, however the basics are the same on all of them, just the stories are different. I will admit Preston Tucker is my favorite manufacturer, and if I was to choose a car to drive it would have to be a Model "A". It is the only car, I am aware of, that you can get any part overnighted to wherever you are. So, a vacation in a Model "A" is possible.
I also enjoy all the unique customers touring the museum, most everyone has a story they want to share. They pass through our doors and become ageless, and if they don't know us when they come in they certainly do before they leave. People come here from all over the world, and they share the passion that I have, so language becomes universal, all over the love of cars."

* Duane *

The 49th Swigart Meet! August 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2018


William E. Swigart, Jr. Automobile Museum

12031 William Penn Highway (Physical)
PO Box 214 (Mailing)
Huntingdon, PA 16652
814.643.0885 - Telephone
814.643.2857 - Fax
Business Office 814.643.2024

Daily Hours:

The Museum is open daily, Memorial Day weekend through October 31.
    Sunday: 10:00a until 5:00p
    Monday: 10:00a until 5:00p
    Tuesday: 10:00a until 5:00p
    Wednesday: 10:00a until 5:00p
    Thursday: 10:00a until 5:00p
    Friday: 10:00a until 5:00p
    Saturday: 10:00a until 5:00p
    * Weekends only after Oct. 15th

The 2018 Swigart Meet will be held August 10th, 11th, and 12th 2018

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©2017 William E. Swigart, Jr. Automobile Museum