Plaque placed in appreciation at ELHS
HUGHESVILLE – “This is something we should do in recognition of the generous donation of this building by Pauline and George Montgomery,” said Barry Hodge of the East Lycoming Historical Society (ELHS) during a ceremony held Saturday afternoon, November 29.
On behalf of the society, Hodge arranged for the plaque which is affixed to a column in the building’s interior. President Erma Bower shared the building’s history. “Built in the 1850’s, this was the site of Hughesville’s first Lutheran Church. Following the erection of a new church, this structure was used by the Boak brothers, then housed three pharmacies operated by druggists, the Arnold’s, Stavings and the Montgomery’s.”
Bower continued by saying, “Meanwhile in 1982, the historical society was chartered with a goal to encourage the written and pictorial history of the area’s seven townships and two boroughs. The aim of the society is also to provide knowledge through informational programs and serve as a repository.”
Charter member, the Rev. Robert Berger, added to the remarks by saying, “Even before the charter date, a group of persons interested in the area’s history gathered regularly.” Recalling times past, it was shared that the society’s first program was given by Chris Shaner with the topic being the history of Hughesville.
In 2007 when the site at 66 South Main Street in Hughesville was gifted, it registered as a non-profit receiving 501-C3 status.
In his remarks, Mr. Montgomery shared that for some time, he and Pauline would have conversations about what would become of her stuff, especially a miniature dresser set made as a salesman’s sample from a relative from the Rishel factory in the borough. We’d say, “Maybe someone will leave a house to the society. Little did we know then this would be the end result. From time to time I come in and each time see different displays. My advice to people would be to put names on the back of your photographs. The next generation won’t know.”
Added to the event, Vice President Anita Wagner presented certificates of appreciation acknowledging their significant contributions. These went to the eldest and very generous: Janet Kohler, charter member; Rev. Robert Berger; Robert Webster, who many consider East Lycoming area’s most knowledgeable historian; Ann Hess, charter member and news letter editor and former secretary for 30 years; and historian and writer, Carol Shetler.
Anita Wagner said, “There are no small roles; numerous individuals have given of their time and talents.”
Currently, in coordination with the business association, ELHS has extended hours and features special holiday exhibits. They include collections of trains, toy machinery, Barbie dolls, two doll houses and a window display of manager scenes.
The gift shop area is laden with regular inventory plus knitted and crochet items made by the in-house “Fiber Fillies” group. Purchases including memberships will earn shoppers a stamp in the “Five to Drive” car give away. On Friday, Dec. 5 at 6:15, join Nancy Hodge and other carolers as they car pool to brighten the holidays to a few of the town’s shut-ins.