Message From The President
This was a very successful and enjoyable year for the Society. Our programs, events, and publications fulfilled our mission to celebrate and preserve our unique history, thus assuring that the legacy of past generations is guiding our present and future. We were particularly pleased to announce the GDHS Veterans History Project, a new initiative to document the military service of all local veterans, whether they served during peacetime or wartime. As you review this report, you will see other highlights from the past year, and 2017 promises to be another bright year! None of this could have been accomplished without the generous support of our loyal members and friends. Our 2016 Business Partners made a significant contribution to our goals by funding specific programs designed to educate and inform our community—I encourage you to remember them by supporting their businesses and services. Thank you to all of our donors—we couldn’t do it without you! Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Year after year, you give amazing amounts of time, talent and energy, and your impact extends far beyond our geographic boundaries. Whether you serve on the Board of Directors, participate on a committee, or help with one of our special projects, I thank you all for your time and dedication this past year. With your help we accomplished our goals and maintained our museum buildings and grounds. It is a privilege to work with such talented and knowledgable individuals.
Together, we are keeping our community history alive! – Jeanne Brown
Business & Community Partnerships
We welcomed 19 local businesses as our 2016 Business Partners. Their sponsorship enabled us to offer a variety of educational programs, museum tours, special exhibits and publications to our members, guests and visitors of all ages.
- In partnership with Wallenpaupack South Elementary School, and with a special grant from PPL, the Society coordinates local history programs for third and fourth grade students, including:
- Local History Day for fourth grade students, featuring stations where students try their hand at using historic farm tools and household implements.
- Curriculum materials on local history, including History of Newfoundland, 1830–1880 and family and community history activities, are provided for students.
- Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm workshops for third grade students on “Food Preservation—From Salt to Canning Jars,” with hands-on demonstrations.
- Exhibit in lobby of school entitled Farming = Good Food, which illustrates where our food comes from, planting and harvesting to processing and preserving.
In partnership with the Greene-Dreher Alumni Association, the Society hosts alumni reunion events at Peggy Bancroft Hall each June and honors the 50th Reunion class. We are the repository of GDAA’s historical photographs and school documents, which become part of our permanent collection.
Telling our stories…
One of the most important goals of the Historical Society is to tell the story of our community. To that end, we maintain a museum with changing and permanent exhibits, offer public lectures, arrange group tours and activities, operate a genealogy research center, and publish articles and books on local history. Below are highlights of exhibits, events, educational programs and publications in 2016.
Museum & Collections
New exhibitions from our collections shed light on important episodes from our past and engage people of all ages. In 2016 a special display commemorated the founding of the village of LaAnna and restoration in 2009 of the historic Houck Mill pond and dam. Exhibits at the museum showcased the domestic arts, one-room schools, and fraternal organizations around the turn of the last century. Off-site displays were installed at the Greentown Post Office, the Dime Bank, and the Greentown Agway. We saw an increase in overall attendance at our mu-seum for open houses, tours and special programs:
- Open House & Ice Cream Social with Special Exhibit, “World of Miniatures” featuring the work of artist Juan Espino and, from the collection of Jill Swingle Porter, the work of Fred Swingle.
- Fall Festival, featuring the music of Doug Smith’s Dixieland All-Stars, tours, exhibits, and a special reception for our 2016 Business Partners.
- “About LaAnna,” presented on-site at the historic Houck home, celebrated the founding of the community in 1856 and told the story of its history.
We are grateful for the many significant contributions to our artifact and photographic collections in 2016. Each item is another piece in the fabric of our social history and helps us understand the people who lived here and formed the community we share today.
2016 Historic Preservation Award
At the eighth annual Holiday Luncheon in December, we presented our 2016 Historic Preservation Awards to: Carroll Krautter – For sharing his extensive knowledge of the history of our community and its farming methods of the mid-1800s and early 1900s. He has devoted his life to promoting the family farm and preserving its legacy. Marge Rumpf – For preserving the historic Simons Homestead in Greentown, the earliest structure remaining since the formation of the Greene Township in 1839. Through her preservation efforts over the past 34 years, the Simons Homestead stands as a tribute to our early settlers.
- About LaAnna. New Edition. Naivette Gilpin Harlow’s memoir of growing up in LaAnna in the early 1900s, with photos, maps, genealogy charts.
- Growing Up in Greene Township: Collected Essays of Edward Parsons. Second printing • Historic Cemeteries of the Wallenpaupack Valley, with self-guided driving tour.
- The Greene Hills of Home — Society’s quarterly journal, which features oral histories, interviews, and scholarly research is mailed to 360 members.
Monthly programs were offered free to the public from April through November, including:
- “Maple Sugaring at Journey’s End Farm,” by Kristin Curtis
- “Tales of Tombstones: Emotions in Stone,” by Tammy Shane • Stories From the Past: “Greene-Dreher’s Glorious May Days,” by Diane Smith
- “Sullivan’s Expedition in Tobyhanna Township,” by Rick Bodenschatz
- “Dyeing with Natural Plants,” by Suzanne Urton
- “History of Buck Hill Falls,” by John Robbins
- “Patriotic Songs at the Museum,” by Wallenpaupack Elementary School Chorus
Genealogy & Cemeteries
The Society continued its plan for the restoration and preservation of the Gilpin Cemetery in Dreher Township.
Volunteers document and maintain six historic cemeteries in Greene and Dreher Townships. A tour of the historic cemeteries is conducted each spring and is open to the public. A booklet is available for self-guided tours.