members honored at the annual meeting of the Bradford County Historical Society | Arts and life

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At the Bradford County Historical Society Annual Meeting on October 4, 2021, Society President Henry G. Farley opened the program by introducing the Society’s Trustees: Buddy Crockett, Athens Township; Wm. Alan Shaw, Towanda; Mary Skills, Wyalusing; Janet R. Ordway, Troy; Joyce M. Marr, Lake Wesauking; Joseph D. Jones, Stevensville; Steven Benjamin, Durrell; Sue Roy, Wysox; Margaret Walsh, Bentley Creek; J. Kelsey Jones, Township of Wells; and Rita Carey, Camptown. He then introduced Matthew Carl, executive director of the company and Denise Golden, library clerk. It further recognized the Company’s Director Emeritus, James E. Parks.

Society volunteers were featured: Cindy Brown, Tom and Ann Carl, Kay Fulmer, Lois Ball Martin, Janice Otis, Diane Pelton and Sue Roy. The volunteers who completed 50 hours or more this year were: Diane Pelton, Janice Otis and Cindy Brown.

The 2020 meeting minutes were approved, and Farley was once again appointed editor-in-chief of The Settler, the company’s quarterly publication.

Margaret Walsh, Chair of the Nominating Committee, introduced the names of Janet Ordway, Troy; Mary Skilling, Wyalusing; Buddy Crockett, Canton of Athens; and Wm. Alan Shaw, Towanda for re-election as directors for a three-year term expiring in 2024. They were approved unanimously.

While Walsh was on the podium, Farley took the opportunity to recognize her on her 25th anniversary as a director. This happened in 2020, but due to the Covid shutdown, that honor has been reserved for 2021.

In the Executive Director’s report, Carl reviewed operations to include facility improvements, live streaming of event capacity, credit card processing equipment, new lettering on doors and office furniture donated to the company by TREHAB from the old C&N building.

Programming and Community Outreach: Friday Night at the Museum was produced online in 2020 and the company returned to on-site programming in July 2021.

The Century Farm Historic Marker was installed on May 1 after a five-year wait. Carl has spoken outside for groups now that pandemic regulations are not as strict. The company participated in Barclay Mountain Heritage Day with Farley presenting a program on the Irish of Barclay Mountain.

Print and Electronic Circulation: Four issues of The Settler were sent out this year along with the annual issue of the Annual. There was mass mailing to multiple zip codes, resulting in new members. Digital members now total 66, which is one-fifth of current members. The company has been featured in local newspapers over 150 times. The website has been used by 6,100 people in the past year. The Facebook page has 1,995 subscribers, up from 198 since the 2020 annual meeting. The Twitter page has 91 subscribers and the YouTube channel has 90 subscribers, 44 more since the 2020 meeting.

Museum: Carl reported that he worked for several months last winter designing 24 panels that tell the 150-year history of the Bradford County Historical Society; the exhibition opened on June 7. College intern Jonathon Gulyas was the tour guide this year in the museum. Many compliments were received during his detailed tours of the exhibitions.

There were 500 visitors to the museum this season, which was much shorter than usual. Visitors came from 17 states, and there were group tours that included St. Agnes School, Towanda Grade 5 Elementary School, and Towanda High School Summer School. There have been contributions of manuscripts or artifacts from 50 donors since the last annual meeting, as well as numerous other boxes of documents from the attic of the courthouse and a large collection of interesting pieces for the museum exhibits of Richard and Grace Talada.

At the end of his report, Carl acknowledged Farley for his 30 years as a director of the company.

The directors of the company purchased a 4×8 brick outside the Keystone Theater in Towanda to recognize his dedication and service.

Denise Golden, library clerk, said there were 167 registered library users from 18 states since the last annual meeting. There were 344 volunteer hours recorded with 33 last name searches completed, library volunteers completed the filing of archives and photographs, indexing, mailings, diary transcription and work of gardening.

Farley then presented the Clement F. Heverly Outstanding Service Award to the LeRoy Heritage Museum and the Leo. E. Wilt for Historian of the Year at Golden.

After the awards ceremony, the floor was turned over to Michael Burrell, Carrie Hooper and Gary Tucker who presented a program on Philip P. Bliss organized and sponsored by David Lenington. Special thanks to the PP Bliss Songwriter’s Museum for loaning the company the Bliss melodeon for the event.


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