Sorry in advance for the information overload, but I made some progress.
Ok, so I got the feeling we were kind of close on this one, so invested a little more time.
I tracked down an owner of History Mystery, and asked them for "what they remember" about it.
And, surprisingly, they were willing to help, which I think is very promising, and way cool.
Most people would probably not bother to answer questions about a game that's so incredibly old.
Without further ado, here is the info they provided:
"The setting is a museum, at night, which I believe was revealed at the
beginning to be haunted. I can't remember exactly how the movement
worked, but I'm fairly sure was represented graphically, either
top-down or some sort of isometric-type view. You moved from room to
room in the museum, where various historical displays were located.
The device used to teach you about history was a casette tape tour of
the museum. When you entered a room, either automatically or upon
player request (by hitting 'T' or something) some text describing the
room would be shown. I remember in particular a room dedicated to
Robert Fulton, who created the first practical steam boat. There was
also a cafeteria with an automat, if I recall correctly.
There was some room in which you would be asked questions (by a ghost,
I think), and I think you could collect some items.
At some point you'd do something and a person (a criminal? a ghost? I
can't recall exactly) would chase you through the museum (slowly). I
don't recall right now what was the winning condition."
I also asked if it was related to the Microzine "History Mystery".
In digging, I found a version from Microzine #18, and here is the a link:
Note the year-- 1986. Seems early for what we were looking for, but maybe not.
Anyway, I sent the link as well.
Here's the reply I received:
"The particular disk that you linked to in worldcat isn't the one I
have--mine has just History Mystery and The Big Nap on it."
So, I am willing to concede that this may be the game.
It covers the nighttime museum idea.
Certainly, I believe this covers thegoldenband's game.
It seems that this is a game with an automat-- that seems to be the main link.
My thanks goes out to thegoldenband for coming up with the name--
How did you find that out anyway?
I'm going to try some more research based on the newly provided info.
Oh, and incidentally-- if it ever came to it, is there anyone here who has expertise in preserving Apple II games?