Sayre museum launches 2020 fund drive

Sayre museum launches 2020 fund driveContractor Stan Mullen and volunteer Chuck Derose, on the right, install one of seven new doors at the Sayre Historical Society. Highlighting continued improvements at the Sayre museum, the historical society is conducting its 2020 annual fund drive. Provided photo.

The Sayre Historical Society is starting its 2020 annual fund drive by highlighting the past year’s achievements of the all-volunteer historic preservation organization now completing its 30th year.

A letter mailing campaign is in the process of seeking donations for the group, which is a registered non-profit organization. All financial contributions are tax-deductible. Each contribution is acknowledged and put to good use in preserving the history of Sayre, according to museum President Mike Frantz.

The organization recently opened its fall Rotating Exhibit focusing on “A History of Scouting in Sayre.” The exhibit, located on the second floor of the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad Station in downtown Sayre, covers both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts from the earliest days of scouting to the present. An exhibit, titled “Working on the Railroad: Sayre and the Lehigh Valley Railroad,” was the featured exhibit from April to September.

The scout exhibit is free and will run until Dec. 22. Next year’s Rotating Exhibits will be “A History of the Business Community in Sayre” (spring) and “A Look Back at Sayre and World War II” (fall).

The historical society also held several successful events in 2019 including the first Antique Appraisal Day with Barbara Kotasek of the Emporium in Owego as the featured appraiser. A Genealogy Workshop featured well-known local historian Joyce Tice leading a discussion on resources for the genealogist. In addition, author Jeremy Plant was the guest speaker at the Railroad Heritage Day held earlier in the summer.

This past year the organization, under buildings and grounds committee chairman Ken Bracken, continued making improvements to the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad Station by having all the windows and trim painted on the two-story building. The Sayre Borough Façade Improvement Fund reimbursed the painting cost. Seven new wooden doors were added through a 50/50 matching grant with the Endless Mountains Heritage Region and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. 

Future projects include upgrades to the building’s basement, the installation of flooring in a second part of the museum’s attic, the purchase of a metal filing cabinet for maps and newspapers, and the installation of a ceiling mounted projector, according to Frantz.

During the summer, a large number of employees of Union Tank Car in Sayre once again spent a Saturday volunteering their services through the United Way Day of Caring.

“This progress is made possible by hard work and donations from friends of the Sayre Historical Society,” said Frantz, now serving his eighth year as museum president.  “We would like to thank everyone for supporting our efforts this past year. In order to keep good things happening, we would like to ask you to consider supporting our efforts for the coming year.”

In addition to member support, the historical society is a recipient of funds from the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.

Officers for the group include Vice-President Ted Pinkard, Treasurer Steve Bowen, and Secretary Mary Lou Palmer. Board members are Mary Sargent, Bill Crocker, Henry Farley, Scott Chaffee, Joe Quatrini, Ken Bracken, Meade Murtland, and Tom Collins. Historical society founder Jim Nobles is the resident historian and volunteer researcher. 

 The mailing address is Sayre Historical Society, P.O. Box 311, Sayre, Pa. 18840.

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