The Folklife Museum depicts the local Pennsylvania Dutch culture prior to 1870, the era of hand made furniture and textiles. A weaver's shop, a cobbler's shop and turner's shop portray trades. Displayed are special items of interest, which includes a paint-decorated corner cupboard, a fully-dressed Pennsylvania German rope bed and straw ticking, the 1864 Pomplitz and the 1820 Ziegler pipe organs, an eighteenth century fireplace for hearth cooking, an 1860 cook stove era kitchen, decorative needlework, and a footpedal lathe. A mid-nineteenth century parlor is complete with a period melodian, and an original quilt-in-the-frame set up for a quilting party.
Children's toys are displayed under the quilt where youngsters would be at play as their mothers and older sisters worked the quilt. Other settings are a flax preparation exhibit and a reconstructed Pennsylvania Dutch attic. Small topical exhibits are interspersed with room settings.