The Mabel Hartzell Museum, at the corner of North Park Avenue and Vine Street, was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Earley. The bricks to build this large house were manufactured nearby. There were marble fireplaces in seven rooms and marble shelves on both the lovely mirrors in the parlor. When it was built in 1867 it was one of the nicest homes in Alliance.
Mabel Hartzell was just eight years old when her mother died in 1884. She came to Alliance to live with the Earleys. When the Earleys died years later they willed the house to their adopted daughter, Mabel.
Miss Hartzell, who loved history and people, taught for 30 years and was an esteemed educator in the Alliance Public School System. When she died in 1954, she willed her home to the Alliance Historical Society for use as a museum. She wanted a place in the city where its citizens could go to see the things that would help them better understand how people lived in earlier days. Other persons liked this idea also, and donated some of their antiques.
Among the many items displayed in the museum are an unusual desk made in 1875, an old time parlor organ, an ember pot which was used to carry hot coals from one fireplace to start a fire in another, kitchen utensils, china, furniture, clothing, pictures, the red and brown hand crocheted coat and plaid dress Mabel wore the day she arrived to live in the house, and a letter written by Abraham Lincoln.
The Mabel Hartzell Museum, operated by the Alliance Historical Society, is open to the public during the annual Carnation Festival. Appointments can be made to tour the facility at other times during the year. Admission is by a $3 donation and residents of the area are encouraged to help support the museum through their donations.