Carla Smith is a lifelong resident of Newfoundland and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2011, where she served as Vice President and currently serves as President. Carla is Chair of the Fundraising Committee and assists with the Property Inventory Project, an ongoing effort to document the area’s historic homes and churches. She conducts genealogy workshops, gives talks on local history, and writes articles for the Society’s newsletter, Echoes from the Greene Hills. She is the Society’s liaison with the Greene-Dreher Alumni Association, founded in 1915, where she is the recording secretary and past president. Carla coordinates our “Welcome Home” activities during GDAA’s annual Alumni Reunion weekend.
“I am a fifth generation resident of Greene Township, but my interest in genealogy and local history really peaked when I moved back into my childhood home. As a GDHS Board member I am able to help preserve this history for future generations of all families.” —Carla Smith
Ruth Altemier resides in Greentown and has served on the Board of Directors since 2005, where she served as President and currently serves as Vice President. As Chair of the Genealogy & Cemeteries Committee, she oversees the Adopt-A-Cemetery Program, conducts genealogy workshops, and coordinates annual fundraising events for the Cemetery Preservation Fund. She manages the Property Inventory Project, an ongoing effort to document the area’s historic homes and churches. As a member of the Programs & Membership Committee, she coordinates special events, such as local history tours. She is the author of a book on local cemeteries and has written articles on early settlers for the Society’s newsletter, Echoes from the Greene Hills.
“I believe in the saying ‘You won’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you came from.’ I find genealogy fascinating. It has led me to the preservation of the cemeteries, to honor those who led the way to where we are today. The world moves so fast that it is easy to not look around and appreciate our world. I feel the work that our GDHS members do is preserving the past for the future.” — Ruth Altemier
Linda Kramer lives in Greentown and has served on the Board of Directors since 2014, holding the position of Recording Secretary since that time. As co-chair of the Refreshment Committee, Linda is responsible for planning and organizing the food and beverages served at programs and events. She assists with the Property Inventory Project, an ongoing effort to document the area’s historic homes and churches. She and her husband, Ed Kramer, participate in the Society’s Adopt-a-Cemetery Program and are responsible for the ongoing care, maintenance and preservation of historic Kipptown Cemetery. Linda transcribes interviews and oral histories for publication.
“I enjoy volunteering and working with other individuals who have the same love of local history.” — Linda Kramer
Bernadine Lennon resides in Greentown and has served as Board Treasurer since 2008. She is Chair of the Finance Committee. As Chair of the Programs & Membership Committee, she is responsible for planning and developing the Society’s annual Calendar of Events. She coordinates the annual Community History Seminar, a series of talks on topics pertaining to local history. She manages the Society’s Veteran’s History Project and is a member of the Historic Preservation Award Committee. Bernadine has given presentations on local history, some of which can be seen on the Society’s YouTube channel. She is the author of numerous books and articles on local history, and was the former editor of the Society’s newsletter for 12 years.
“I enjoy discovering ‘old facts’ that have been forgotten over time and, through research and writing, increasing the community’s awareness of them. One example is the Burns & Cross Pottery, now under Lake Wallenpaupack—who knew we had a local pottery? If it wasn’t for a hawk flying past their window on November 29, 1880, the pottery’s history may have been lost forever!” — Bernadine Lennon
Ellen Drake resides in Newfoundland and has served on the Board of Directors since 2012. She is Chair of the Public Relations Committee. As the Society’s liaison with public media, she coordinates the publicity for all of our activities and events and manages our Facebook page. Ellen is the coordinator for children’s programs, such as field trips to the museum for third and fourth grade students at Wallenpaupack South Elementary School. She also plans our annual Harvest Luncheon and Historic Preservation Awards ceremonies. She has given presentations on local history, including “Grave Matters,” a series of talks and reenactments coinciding with our annual cemetery tours.
“As a retired American History teacher, my work with the Society is a perfect fit for me. It has always been my goal to bring an appreciation of the rich history of Pennsylvania and its communities to those around me.” — Ellen Drake
Bill Dunn has been a resident of LaAnna for the past eleven years and was appointed to the Board of Directors in January 2021. He serves on the Public Relations Committee, where he promotes community outreach and engagement. As a member of the Technology Committee, Bill evaluates and troubleshoots equipment, evaluates needs, and brings recommendations to the Board concerning purchases of equipment and software. Bill is chair of the Historic LaAnna Project, which includes an application to the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission to determine historic district eligibility.
“I was initially drawn to the Historical Society by my good friend and neighbor George Stone. He was an inspiration for me and my family. My interests are the Greene-Dreher communities—this is the world that involves us and I intend to leave the best of me here. The Historical Society is the vehicle for me to make that happen.” — Bill Dunn
Wayne Garafola resides in Newfoundland and has been a member of the Society since 2010 and a Director since 2022. Wayne serves as chair of the Building & Grounds Committee where he is responsible for assessing the condition of our facilities and ensuring they are maintained to preserve their long-term viability and historic character, including our meeting hall which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In this capacity, he oversees construction projects and the maintenance of the gardens and grounds. Wayne is a member of the Technology Committee, serves as a museum docent for visitor tours and student field trips at Peggy Bancroft Hall, and assists with the annual wreath sale in December.
“My wife and I moved here in 2002 and immediately became interested in the area’s history. The tanning and logging industries, the creation of Lake Wallenpaupack, the 1955 flood—we wanted to hear about it all! And GDHS is a great way to learn.” — Wayne Garafola
Diane Smith resides in Bethlehem and has served on the Board since 2010. She is Chair of the Publications Committee and oversees the Society’s various analog and digital publications. As website administrator, she is responsible for the design and content of the Society’s website. Diane is chair of the Technology Committee and a member of the Programs & Membership Committee. As a member of the Collections Committee, she curates and manages the Society’s photographic and digital archives. She coordinates “Stories from the Past,” the Society’s ongoing oral history project. She is the author of books and articles on local history and has given presentations on related topics. Diane was formerly editor of the Society’s journal, The Greene Hills of Home, for 11 years.
“I enjoy learning about the people who made these beautiful mountains their home and sharing their stories with our members and the community.” — Diane Smith
Suzanne Urton resides in Greene Township and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2019. As Chair of the Collections Committee, Suzanne serves as the Museum Curator responsible for implementing the Society’s comprehensive collections policy. She catalogs artifacts and archival records in the museum database and guides volunteers in collections care, including the security, organization, preservation and storage of the items. Suzanne is responsible for the design and installation of displays that showcase our permanent collections and tell the story of our early settlement. She serves as a museum docent and leads tours for visitors of all ages, including student field trips. She has conducted workshops on dying wool with natural plants, wool spinning and weaving.
Valerie Wheeler resides in Greene Township and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2019. As chair of the Refreshment Committee, Valerie is responsible for organizing the set up and cleanup for the food and beverages that are served following programs and meetings and at special events, such as open houses. She oversees the volunteers who provide food items, including for fundraising events, such as our annual pie sale. Valerie serves on the Finance Committee where she is responsible for preparing various monthly financial reports. She is a member of the Genealogy Committee and has led genealogy workshops and assisted with the documentation of historic cemeteries and churches. Valerie has authored articles on local history for the newsletter, Echoes from the Greene Hills. She is a proofreader for GDHS publications.
“My curiosity about the Society was first piqued when I became interested in genealogy and local cemeteries. Becoming a member provided me with an easy way to meet many wonderful people and to learn more about the interesting history of this beautiful area. I’d like to give a little back to the community by helping to preserve that history in whatever ways I am able.” — Valerie Wheeler