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John Brady heritage trail coming to Muncy Borough

By Staff | Apr 4, 2018

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary This tract of land consisting of 8.05 acres will be developed for a new heritage walking trail by the Muncy Historical Society this year. It was donated to them by the Bruch Foundation and was once the homestead of Captain John Brady.

MUNCY – Last month, at its opening meeting for 2018, Bill Poulton of Muncy gave a look back to a list of accomplishments by the Muncy Historical Society before announcing this year’s big plan for building a new historical walking path in the Muncy borough.

Highlighting 2017, Poulton began with the nasty windstorms that caused much tree damage of which the Muncy Heritage Park was hardest hit. Thirteen trees fess across the canal. “Huge trees,” Poulton said. “One landed on the bridge on the east side of the canal. Another tree just blew over this past few weeks ago.” Volunteers with chain saws helped remove them, he acclaimed.

The Heritage Park and Trail is used by many organizations, the Sojourners Club, the Susquehanna Canoe Company, the Lycoming Audubon Society, and the Muncy Garden Club. The Heritage Park has its own boat access.

The park also is visited by Muncy High School and Middle School students who are learning about local history. “Washington’s Other Frontier” is a tour provided by the Muncy Historical Society. It covers Pennsdale Village, namely the Quaker Meeting House, the Country Store and the House of Many Stairs.

Adding to the history tour, native resident, Fred Neece was dressed in colonial period costume and enlightened the tour with visual markers such as the burial site of Captain John Brady, the stone wall near Hull’s Landing and the Fort Freeland site marking the gravesite of Capt. Hawkins Boone.

A fifth grade tradition is carried out each year at the Muncy Cemetery where 900 plus veterans have American flag stanchions placed on their gravesites in May and removed in November by the students. Poulton explained that during this time they learn the history of the cemetery dating back to the mid 1800s.

An official Fort Muncy roadside marker was dedicated on May 29, 2017 along Lycoming Mall Drive near historic Muncy Farms to recognize the frontier battle in 1779.

Three more heritage barn quilts patterned after historic patterns were mounted, one in Unityville, another in Danville and the third in Oval bringing a total to 27 in the county, according to Poulton. A self-driving tour is available.

A favorite event by many is the annual quilt show in July, held for the first time at the Muncy 1st United Methodist Church’s social hall. Items from the museum’s collection were displayed that included old beds, compass quilsts, pottery and redware.

Pops on Pepper Street, a free, outdoor concert with the Williamsport Symphony in August, ended with a fireworks display which will be offered again for 2018.

The annual art show in November set attendance records announced Poulton during the meeting, and a new location will be at the 1st United Methodist Church in Muncy. “We need 10,000 square feet for the show,” Poulton said.

“We tore the roof off the old cinder block garage behind the museum, and added a second floor for the old Sprout Waldron exhibit,” he added. “This was a big undertaking for the museum. The second floor is almost virtually done.”

No grant money was used to pave the parking lot, just fundraisers. A wedding gown collection and tour was showcased earlier last year, and many members of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution statewide attended.

Exciting news is coming forth for 2018. A tract of land encompassing 8.05 acres was donated to the Muncy Historical Society by the John Bruch Foundation. It is located in the Muncy Borough on the corner of Market and Mechanic Streets. Its historical significance represents the original Captain John Brady homestead where his house once stood. The site has been used as an archaeology excavation dig with the local Genealogical Society.

“We are now clearing trees for a walking trail which is laid out,” Poulton announced. The first unveiling will be this month and digging will start at the end of October. “Currently we are trying to find reference points,” continued Poulton who is president of the Muncy Historical Society. “Clark Kahler has been taking notes, and we are using these to mount some markers. Last Saturday we did a drone fly-over with the Borough.”

The 18th annual Muncy Cup golf tournament is scheduled for April 28 at the White Deer Golf Course.