First Official Visitors toured Montgomery Area Museum
MONTGOMERY – Representatives from various historical societies were the first official visitors to tour and hold a meeting in a site recently rented by the Montgomery Area Historical Society (MAHS). For many months, MAHS volunteers have prepped the area of the former Adam Print shop which had seen two generations of the Adam’s family as proprietors (1944-2009).
The sub level space is located beneath the Montgomery Area Public Library which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The building, located at the corner of Main Street and Houston Avenue, was built as a bank in 1924.
The first visitors represent nine historical and genealogical groups in the county known as the Historical Organizations of Lycoming County (HOLC) Meetings are held quarterly rotating to each group’s museum locaation.
The group was given a tour by MAHS board member David Morehart who noted metal racks holding displays of local history were donations from the former Montgomery Pharmacy which recently closed along Main Street. “The accessions are mostly paper and pictorial items, we’re hoping now that we have a site, the community will donate objects,” Morehart said.
HOLC has no officers, but since inception, the Rev. Larry Waltz of the Blooming Grove Historical Society serves as facilitator. In the past, Joan Knight of the Lycoming County Genealogical Society recorded meeting notes.
Groups report on past and future programs. Maynard Bogart of the Gen. John Burrows Historical Society in Montoursville told of the official opening of the Flight 800 room dedicated to the area’s high school students who perished just off New York’s coast when their plan exploded while bound for a tour to France. Victim’s families were given a private tour a few days prior to the public which occurred July 17, the ten year anniversary of the tragedy. “We’ve received lots of personal memorabilia and messages of sympathy the families kept, so the display will evolve and change,” Bogart said.
The Blooming Grove meeting house is scheduled for work according to Larry Waltz. The organization has located persons who work only on historical preservation projects. “We’ll be looking for friends to help us with the estimated $35,000 cost,” Waltz said.
A report on the Civil War Road show hosted by the Muncy Historical Society was given by Linda Poulton. Irregardless of thunder storms, downed trees on the encampment site, loss of power and such, the Memorial Day weekend activities persevered, with a total of persons going through the tour trailer unequaled to this time.
The Lycoming County Genealogical Society (LCGS) continues its project of photographing every tombstone in the county. Recently they were involved in trimming and cleaning at the Washington Boulevard Cemetery where interred are such notables as Williamsport’s founder, Michael Ross, and former Pennsylvania Governor Packer. For several years, LCGS has manned a booth at the County Fair where other HOLC members volunteer.
Gary Parks, director of the Lycoming County Historical Society and Tabor Museum said of his first seven months, “I’m getting my feet wet.” Their summer camp program had 28 youngsters who in addition to learning through play sailed the Susquehanna aboard the Hiawatha. Opening on Nov 19 a doll collection will be featured.
The East Lycoming representative reported of having a summer intern. For the second year, the society will participate with the Christmas holiday happenings planned by the Greater Hughesville Business Association.
HOLC is reviewing the idea of printing a tourism brochure to include all societies, with a paragraph, photo, contact information and map. Envoys to a recent workshop in Towanda returned with a sample made for the historical societies in Bradford County.
The site of HOLC’s November meeting will be at Antes Fort. The group’s mission statement is “HOLC is a collaborative community initiative, made up of multi-disciplinary partners who are dedicated to preserving and interpreting local history. By working together, the HOLC’s purpose is to enhance public awareness, encourage community engagement, support preservation action and promote heritage education.”