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October 24, 2015

LeRoy Heritage Museum Acquires Victorian Era Hotel; Kicks Off Fundraising Campaign for Expansion

LeRoy Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of an important property along Route 414 in the center of LeRoy, Pennsylvania, which includes a Victorian era hotel. The organization will use the property as the site of its new museum while its current museum will become a research library and local history programming space.

Founded in 2001, LeRoy Heritage Museum purchased and renovated the former Open Hand Grange on Mill Street in LeRoy, opening to the public in 2010. Beginning with LeRoy history, the museum soon added the history of Barclay Mountain to its collection. With the acquisition of the extensive Granville Township collection of Ruth Kinney-McIntire, the museum set about preserving Granville area history. The museum next received the collection of the former Canton Area Historical Society and since then has refocused on southwestern Bradford County as a whole.

The museum has grown rapidly over the years and has developed a need for more exhibit space, programming space, storage space, and a larger research library. The museum began looking at options in 2012 and since then has considered four different properties. Only one of these, the historic hotel set on 3.7 acres, met all of the needs.

Funds for the property purchase were donated by Rodney B. Mott. Mr. Mott was raised in LeRoy along with his four siblings by his parents, Frank and Betty Bly Mott (now deceased). Mr. Mott is a former CEO in the steel industry. Now retired he currently resides in South Carolina and Tennessee.

This contribution has made it possible for the museum to concentrate specifically on raising funds for renovation work. The museum is beginning a major fundraising campaign with a goal of $250,000 to cover both restoration of the historic building and the creation of an endowment fund for long-term support of the museum. A number of donors have already given contributions amounting to almost 1/3 of this goal and the museum is seeking others to get on board with this exciting project. The previous owners of the property invested significant funds in replacing mechanical systems, roof, windows, insulation and more. The museum will focus on completing public building code updates and turning the building into a functioning museum. The elaborate cherry staircase and other Victorian era features will be preserved.

Plans call for the first floor of the hotel to become the museum with four major exhibit rooms, a larger gift shop, and a volunteer room. Large pocket doors separate two of the exhibit rooms and these can be opened for larger temporary exhibits. The second floor will contain the restored Victorian ballroom for events and rooms for storage, the museum office, and an onsite caretakers living quarters. The basement will contain a workshop for the cleaning and restoration of new museum pieces while the attic contains space that can be finished for future storage needs. The two floors of the house contain over 5,600 square feet of space and as much as 9,000 square feet including the unfinished basement and attic spaces. The current museum building, in comparison, contains 2,500 square feet of space.

The current museum building, located on Mill Street in LeRoy, will contain an expanded local history research library, gift shop and a first-floor multipurpose room for local history programming, handicapped accessible research space and special museum events.

Built in 1896 by the Lewis Brothers company of LeRoy, the shingle-style Victorian was built to house a hotel and ballroom/opera house, general store, post office and lumber office. The family business was composed of brothers, George Lewis, Harrison Lewis, and E. Lloyd Lewis, along with a brother-in-law, H.L. Stone. The brothers started in the lumbering business shortly before the end of the 19th century and after several years of success, built the hotel, known as the Lewis House with lumber produced at their portable saw mill on the mountain south of LeRoy. The company cut timber at Cranberry Marsh and moved its way across the mountain to Sunfish Pond and on to Carbon Run. In 1901 the company bid on a lumber contract that would have allowed them to continue working their way across the mountain. The Union Tanning Company ultimately chose the Barclay Brothers of Sinnamahoning, Pennsylvania, and the town of Laquin was born. Lumber stockpiled at the Lewis Brothers mill in Carbon Run was sold to the newly formed Laquin Lumber Company and used to build the sawmill there. The Lewis Brothers then closed down their mill and travelled by railroad to West Virginia and lumbered there for a period of time.

The hotel served as the stagecoach stop for LeRoy and travellers could get food and a room for the night. Regular dances hosted by the LeRoy Silver Cornet Band were held in the second floor ballroom as well as many community events such as LeRoy Center School graduation ceremonies. During weekends, single young men from Laquin would visit LeRoy for some entertainment in the ballroom. As the story goes, one time the young men from LeRoy, jealous that these Laquin men were stealing their girls, threw them out one of the ballroom windows.

In later years, the hotel was turned into a doctor’s office, then a funeral parlor, and finally a rest home before it became a private residence.

The museum board is excited about this project as they have searched for the right opportunity for a long time. “Many hours have been spent over the past four years discussing the best way to expand,” said Matthew Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum. Board members include Scott Shedden, Bob Storch, Lorelei Colton, Tom Carl, Donna Stone, Ann Carl, Dona Beers, Jeanne Butters, Ted Tomlinson, Marie O’Hara, and Matthew Carl.

The new location will be located on Route 414 and will therefore be more visible to travelers.

“Several historic homes in the center of LeRoy have been restored in recent years and the preservation of the hotel as a museum will be a great addition,” said Carl.

For more information about giving opportunities and the recognition that donors will receive in the new museum, visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org or call 570-364-5003. Contributions are tax-deductible and may be sent to LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., 8051 Southside Road, Canton, PA 17724.

LeRoy Heritage Museum to present McFadden program at Rialto Theatre, March 8

February 9, 2014

LeRoy Heritage Museum announces the first of two new local history presentations to be held at the Rialto Theatre in Canton during 2014. The first event will be held March 8, 2014 at 1 p.m. with doors opening at 12:30 p.m. Titled, “McFadden: Bad Boy of the Republican Party”, the presentation covers the life of Canton’s home-grown Congressman and one of America’s most controversial politicians in the first half of the 20th century.

Louis T. McFadden is today most often known as the Congressman who lived at Mourland Park, east of Canton, where a road is now named in his honor. Others might know him as the man who tried to impeach President Herbert Hoover, a fellow Republican. Those who attend this program will learn that there is a much broader story to be told.

McFadden first entered Congress in 1914, making this year the 100th anniversary of his election to this office. Even after a century, conspiracy theorists are still writing about McFadden. His strong opinions about the Federal Reserve were cheered by some and hated by others. His strong anti-Semitic views brought him under scrutiny by the U.S. government while bringing him into contact with some shady characters, some of whom contacted him at his home or visited Canton.

McFadden battled not only Hoover, but also Franklin D. Roosevelt. He fought tough election battles against Cornelia Pinchot, the wife of Pennsylvania Governor and Father of American Forestry, Gifford Pinchot. One of their “battles” took place in the very room where this program will be presented. His anti-Semitic remarks were praised by Adolf Hitler. Republican colleagues at one point considered him dead. Newspapers at the time called him the “Bad Boy of the Republican Party.” But this is only part of the story. McFadden also made positive accomplishments and his opinions about the Federal Reserve are still considered relevant today.

This program will be presented by Matthew Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum, based on documented reports and first-hand accounts including McFadden’s own words.

Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance as no tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets are $8 each and may be purchased at the Canton Independent-Sentinel office or online at the museum website, www.leroyheritage.org. Click on “Events” and then “Theater Tickets”. Secure online purchases may be made with a major credit card or EFT payment. Ticket purchases are non-refundable.

Proceeds from this event benefit the local history preservation work that is done by LeRoy Heritage Museum. The museum preserves the history of LeRoy, Canton, Granville and old Barclay Townships in southwestern Bradford County. More information about the museum is available at the website.

The second local history event will be held at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, November 15, 2014. More information will be announced later in the year.

LeRoy Heritage Museum is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Historic Quilt Exhibit & Luncheon, December 14

December 2, 2013

The LeRoy Heritage Museum will host its annual Christmas event, December 14, 2013 from 11 am to 3 pm at the museum and neighboring LeRoy Community Building. The event, “A Quilter’s Christmas”, will feature over 30 historic quilts from local families and the museum collection covering a period of 100 years. The regular museum exhibits will be available plus a homemade luncheon and the gift shop will be open to help complete your holiday shopping list.

During the event, quilts will be displayed at the museum and also in one room of the LeRoy Community Building. A homemade soup and sandwich luncheon with homemade Christmas cookies will be served in another room of the Community Building.

The quilt exhibit will feature quilts as old as “Crazy Quilts” from the 1890’s and will include a variety of quilts from nearly every decade up through 1990. Many different designs will be on display and the historic details of each quilt will be included. Special quilts will include a signature quilt featuring names from the LeRoy, Granville and Canton area; quilts made from feed sack material; and many more.

Many sizes of historic quilts will be on display, from a baby quilt up through a queen size quilt.

A number of the pieces to be exhibited during the event have never been on display previously for the public. This event is certain to be a treat for visitors of all ages.

“Quilts tell a story of times past, much like a written document,” said Matt Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum. “We are pleased to tell our history through quilts made by many generations.”

Admission to the event is $10 per person (age 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult) and may be paid at either the museum or the community building on the day of the event. Both buildings are located on Mill Street in LeRoy, off Rt. 414. A ticket will be issued giving the holder entrance to both buildings. The entrance fee includes the cost of admission to the quilt show in both buildings, the regular exhibits on two floors of the museum and the luncheon in the Community Building. Proceeds benefit the work of local history preservation and education that is performed by LeRoy Heritage Museum.

Several new pieces have been added to the regular museum exhibits this fall since the museum closed for the season. Get a look at these new additions throughout the museum before next spring. The high-quality exhibits feature the history of LeRoy, Granville, Canton and former Barclay Townships. The history of Barclay Mountain including Laquin is prominently featured.

The museum gift shop offers a variety of great gift ideas for the holidays including local history and general history books; CD’s, DVD’s, and CD-ROM’s; apparel; geological survey maps; decor pieces; homemade jam, jelly, marmalade and apple butter; homemade maple syrup; postcards and more.

More information about LeRoy Heritage Museum can be found at www.leroyheritage.org. LeRoy Heritage Museum is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Monogram Features Canton History

November 6, 2013

The LeRoy Heritage Museum recently published the Fall 2013 issue of the Monogram, it’s semi-annual local history journal. Members of the museum will receive their copy soon.

The current 32-page full-color issue features the extensive story titled, “Canton’s Benefactors: The Story of the Lemon, Lewis and Marble Families”. The story includes new research into these families and describes their contributions to Canton. Beginning with Martin Perry Lewis and Emma (Lemon) Lewis, the story then goes into the life of George E. Lemon, who operated the largest pension claim agency in the country after the Civil War. The second half of the story discusses the lives and contributions of Louis and Flora (Lewis) Marble. The story outlines the many contributions to Canton made by these families including the Lewis Opera House, Belmar Manufacturing, Red Cross work, Canton Community Nursing Service, Rockgirt Apple Orchard and the Marble Laboratories. Many photographs accompany the story.

This issue also contains historical information pertaining to Laquin, Granville and LeRoy. As in every issue of the Monogram, a list of recent donation to the museum collection is offered and also several articles and photos describing events and accomplishments of the museum over the past six months.

The Monogram is a high-quality publication and this is the thirty-third issue that has been published since 2002. Members of LeRoy Heritage Museum receive the Monogram as a benefit of membership. Other benefits of membership include invitations to Barclay Mountain Walking Tours and Member’s Day; and the ability to schedule appointments to access the research library collection. An online membership form is available at the museum website and the form and payment by credit card may be submitted securely through the website at www.leroyheritage.org. A form may also be mailed with a check to the museum. Those unable to access the website may call the museum and leave a message at 570-364-5003 or may email leroymuseum@frontiernet.net to receive a full-color brochure and membership form.

Upcoming at LeRoy Heritage Museum is a Christmas event titled “A Quilter’s Christmas” on December 14, 11 am – 3 pm, an exhibit of historic quilts throughout two buildings along with the regular museum exhibits and lunch. Details coming soon. For the latest news, “like” the LeRoy Heritage Museum page on Facebook.

The LeRoy Heritage Museum is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

"Minnequa Springs" at the Mt. Pisgah State Park’s Nature Center

June 2, 2013

Peter Herdic was a visionary. He was a key player in making Williamsport the “lumber capitol of the world.” Shortly after the Civil War, his attention was drawn to Bradford County where he would build and open a fabulous hotel and resort in 1869. The wealthy, the politicians and the famous would flock to Minnequa Springs for relaxation and relief provided by its mineral waters.

Following the establishment of Minnequa Springs, Herdic’s greatest venture in Minnequa was dreamt –the creation of Minnequa County. But opposition, fire and bankruptcy destroyed his dream. Find out how close Bradford County came to being torn apart to accomplish one man’s vision.

Please join Matthew Carl, President of the LeRoy Heritage Museum, on Sunday, June 9th, 7 p.m. at Mt. Pisgah State Park’s Nature Center for his Powerpoint presentation on Minnequa Springs.

Mt. Pisgah State Park is located 3 miles off Route 6 between Troy and Towanda. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset for hiking and other environmentally related activities. If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks: 1-888-PA-PARKS (voice), 1-888-537-7294 (TTY), 1-717-558-2711 (local or international TTY), or make inquires through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984 (TDD). The Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks will gladly discuss how to accommodate your needs.

For more information about state parks, visit the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources online at www.dcnr.state.pa.us.

To find historic sites across the state, visit the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission online at www.phmc.state.pa.us.

Find additional opportunities to explore Pennsylvania’s many unique tourism assets at www.visitPA.com.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Walking Tour Held at Laquin

May 8, 2013

The LeRoy Heritage Museum recently held its annual Barclay Mountain Walking Tour on Saturday, April 27, 2013. For eight years, walking tours of various locations on Barclay Mountain have been conducted for members of the museum.

This year’s tour was held in the western half of the valley of Laquin and participants learned about the Pennsylvania Stave Company, the Barclay Chemical Company, the immigrant population of the town, and other details about west Laquin. The work of the Civilian Conservation Corps was also discussed.

Forty people participated in the tour and enjoyed the beautiful spring weather. LeRoy Heritage Museum walking tours are four-hour-long walks that include numerous stops, photographs, and stories. These tours provide a unique experience for participants as they cover the history of the mountain in great detail while visiting important historical sites in order to understand how those sites fit into the overall story.

At the conclusion of the tour, members enjoyed refreshments before departing for home.

Participation in a LeRoy Heritage Museum walking tour is a benefit of membership in the organization. Only members receive an invitation to the spring tour each year. Membership is affordable and includes several other benefits aside from the walking tours. The museum now offers the option to pay membership dues and become a member through its website. The museum website also has photos of past walking tours including this year’s event.

LeRoy Heritage Museum is located at 257 Mill Street, off Rt. 414, in LeRoy, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org. Visit the museum Facebook page at facebook.com/LeRoyHeritageMuseum. The LeRoy Heritage Museum is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

LeRoy Heritage Museum to Open Season with Civil War Encampment, May 18

April 29, 2013

LeRoy Heritage Museum announces the opening of its 2013 season with a Civil War Encampment on Saturday, May 18, at the community grounds on Mill Street in LeRoy, Pennsylvania.

The activities open at 11 a.m. with cannon fire by the 4th US Light Artillery. This cannon fire will officially begin the 2013 season and LeRoy Heritage Museum will open at that time with new temporary exhibits including Civil War artifacts. Admission to the museum, as usual, is a donation to support the local history preservation work of LeRoy Heritage Museum.

At 11:30 a.m., the 141st PA Volunteer Infantry, Company A, will demonstrate a dress parade including a weapons safety check. The safety check will be narrated. This will be followed with gun fire by file and volley fire by the Company. The Company's camp will then open for public inspection to give visitors an opportunity to see how Civil War soldiers lived on the field.

Also at 11:30 a.m., museum volunteers will begin serving lunch which will be available until 3:30 p.m. or until it runs out. An Ice Cream Social will be held. All food will be served inside the LeRoy community building and proceeds benefit the museum. A tent on the community grounds will be available for lunch or to simply relax. Bring a lawn chair and spend the day.

A presentation will be given at 12:30 p.m. under the pavilion at the rear of the community building entitled, "Local Stories from the Civil War". The half hour presentation by museum president, Matt Carl, will highlight some local residents and their experiences during the war.

A cannon firing demonstration will be given by the 4th US Light Artillery in the ball field on the grounds beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The "School of the Soldier" will be performed by the 141st PA Volunteer Infantry, Company A, at 2:30 p.m. followed by gun firing demonstrations and an advance on the enemy at 3:30 p.m.

The event will close at 4 p.m. with cannon fire by the 4th US Light Artillery.

All ages will enjoy learning about life in the Civil War during this event, from young children to senior citizens.

The Barclay Mountain Visitor Center gift shop, inside the museum, will be open throughout the event and features DVD's, CD's, t-shirts, postcards, children's gifts, hiking gear, jam, jelly, apple butter, maple syrup, and much more. The selection of over 50 book titles include local history, Civil War, forest conservation, railroading, lumbering, coal mining, cookbooks, and several more. Gift certificates are also available. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about museum membership, the exhibits or the research library.

In addition to the temporary exhibits that will showcase Travel, Canton History, and other topics this year, the museum offers twelve main exhibits that describe life in LeRoy Township, Granville Township and old Barclay Township, the most remote area in Bradford County. The museum features the largest collection of items from the abandoned lumbering town of Laquin. These main exhibits also include some new pieces.

Admission to the Civil War Encampment grounds is free although donations at the museum are appreciated. These contributions make it possible for the museum to hold special events throughout the year.

LeRoy Heritage Museum is located off Rt. 414 on Mill Street in LeRoy Township. Watch for the museum sign on Rt. 414. Parking will be available on the grounds.

LeRoy Heritage Museum also announces that museum hours from May 25 until Labor Day will be Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. For those interested in contributing time as a volunteer, either as a tour guide or by working on projects in the research library, an orientation meeting will be held May 25 at 10 a.m. at the museum. The only requirement as a volunteer is to become a member of LeRoy Heritage Museum. Membership is very affordable and a senior citizen discount is offered beginning at age 62. A list of membership benefits is available on the museum website. The museum website now offers the opportunity to become a member online using a major credit card or bank transfer.

For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, visit the website at www.leroyheritage.org or call 570-364-5003. The LeRoy Heritage Museum is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way. The Civil War Encampment is sponsored in part by the Bradford County Room Tax Fund and the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Receives Canton Area Historical Society Collection

April 22, 2013

The LeRoy Heritage Museum recently expanded its research library with the receipt of the Canton Area Historical Society collection. The addition of this collection to what is already an extensive local history research library ensures that these resources will be protected and made available for generations to come.

Over the years, the Canton Area Historical Society accumulated a large collection of local history resources pertaining to Canton and the surrounding area. During the past decade, however, the society has experienced a decline in participation at meetings. With this decline came a concern about the future of the collection. Although the collection has been available for use on a limited basis, the majority of the material has not been easily accessible.

The CAHS collection includes photographs, minute books, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and other local history that has been preserved in various forms. These materials are being catalogued and transferred into the proper archival folders, sleeves and boxes by LeRoy Heritage Museum. This work will ensure that these resources will last for many years.

The LeRoy Heritage Museum is a 12-year-old organization that has been very active in saving local history. The museum and accompanying Rancy K. Morse Memorial Research Library houses the history of LeRoy, Granville, Canton and old Barclay Townships. While the museum accepts few objects from Canton due to space limitations, the research library accepts all research material from these areas.

The research library has spent several years collecting LeRoy history. Within the last few years, the significant Ruth Kinney-McIntire collection was added, featuring Granville history. The donation of the CAHS collection to the LeRoy Heritage Museum increases the Canton portion of the research library. Combined, these resources now form the largest local history archives in southwestern Bradford County.

“We are pleased to make these local history resources available for those researching their family or community,” explained Matthew Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum. “The collection will be available for use after June 1, 2013.

The Rancy K. Morse Memorial Research Library is available for use by members of LeRoy Heritage Museum. Membership is very affordable and, among other benefits, provides the opportunity to use the research library throughout the year without charge. Proceeds benefit the museum so that the collection can be properly stored. The museum and research library are operated completely by volunteers.

For questions or more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, call 570-364-5003, visit online at www.leroyheritage.org or visit facebook.com/LeRoyHeritageMuseum. The LeRoy Heritage Museum is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

LeRoy Heritage Museum to Host "Gifts of Yesteryear" Christmas Event

November 26, 2012

LeRoy Heritage Museum announces its annual Christmas event scheduled for Saturday, December 8, 2012, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year, the event is entitled, "Gifts of Yesteryear," and will feature special exhibits of gifts that could be purchased at local stores over the past century. Also, there will be a luncheon and the museum gift shop will be open with special deals to help complete your Christmas shopping list. Both the museum and the luncheon will be available at any time during the event.

The museum will feature special temporary displays throughout the building such as vintage clothing and accessories, a large collection of wooden hangers from Canton businesses, a collection of Christmas gift wrapping supplies from the Laquin store, a display of receipts from stores in LeRoy, Granville, and Canton townships, and product advertisements. A selection of vintage Christmas cards will also be on display. The items in these temporary exhibits are a part of the museum collection and have not been on exhibit until this event.

The gift wrapping supplies from the Laquin store have never been on public display. Visitors will have the opportunity to see wrapping paper, name tags, gift boxes, and a variety of Christmas ribbon that was available in Laquin in the early part of the 20th century. These supplies are unsold merchandise that remained when the store closed.

The collection of clothing will feature both adult and children’s clothing from various generations.

Hangers from Preston’s, Biddle’s, and others will be displayed. Various styles of Belmar hangers, produced in the Canton, will be available.

Old time Christmas music will be heard throughout the museum and the entire building will be decorated for the Christmas season with Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. Before leaving the museum, be sure to check out our gift shop where you can find over 60 different book titles, puzzles, a fine selection of CD’s, CD-ROM’s and DVD’s, mouse pads, seven different t-shirts, jams and jellies, wood crafts, decorative tin signs and many other excellent Christmas gifts. Some items will be marked down just for this holiday event. Many new products have been added since the end of the museum season. Purchase your Christmas gifts here and support the preservation of local history at the same time.

Either before or after your museum visit, you will want to relax and have a warm, homemade soup and sandwich lunch at the community building next door served by museum volunteers.

Admission to the event is $10 per person and includes admission to the special one-day exhibits, the regular museum exhibits, and the luncheon. Children age 12 and under are admitted free with an adult and will receive a special Christmas gift at the museum. Admission for all participants may be paid at either the museum or the community building on the day of the event and a ticket will be issued allowing entrance to both the museum exhibits and the dinner. All proceeds benefit the continued preservation of the museum and research library collection.

If you still haven’t experienced the charming and professional exhibits that are offered at LeRoy Heritage Museum, don’t miss out on this event. The museum features objects that tell the story of LeRoy as well as the coal and lumbering era in LeRoy Township and former Barclay Township as well as pieces from Granville Township. Several items from Laquin can be found in the exhibits. Come and experience the new exhibits that were added on the second floor of the building during the past year.

This event will be a good opportunity to become a member of LeRoy Heritage Museum in order to take advantage of yearly Barclay Mountain walking tours, our quarterly full color newsletter, our research library and more!

LeRoy Heritage Museum is located at 257 Mill Street, LeRoy. For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, or to find a membership form, visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org. Also join the Facebook page at facebook.com/LeRoyHeritageMuseum.

The LeRoy Heritage Museum is supported in part by the Bradford County United Way.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Holds Members Day; Receives Contribution from Chesapeake Energy

August 13, 2012

The LeRoy Heritage Museum held its annual Member’s Day event on August 11, 2012 at the LeRoy Community Grounds with a large crowd present to participate in the activities.

The day began with a chicken barbecue and picnic held in the new pavilion on the community grounds. Following lunch, a number of door prizes were drawn including books, a t-shirt, and other special items from the museum gift shop.

The museum annual meeting was called to order by Matt Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum, who presented various reports outlining the progress made by the museum over the past year.

During the “Year in Review” report, it was announced that the museum has seen record numbers in new members, museum visitors, and financial support with expansion of the museum exhibits and the research library. The increase in museum visitors was illustrated at the conclusion of the meeting when the museum opened for regular hours and 26 visitors arrived to the tour the museum in addition to the Member’s Day crowd. The majority of those visitors had never toured the museum before.

It was also announced during the meeting that LeRoy Heritage Museum has expanded the scope of its collection to include Granville Township. This means that the organization is now actively collecting and preserving the history of LeRoy Township, Granville Township and former Barclay Township (now part of Franklin). The museum exhibits already include Granville Township history and the research library contains resources on Granville Township. The addition of the Shoemaker Collection and the Ruth Kinney-McIntire Collection in recent years has made this possible.

LeRoy Heritage Museum now holds the largest collection of Laquin objects and artifacts available in any museum. The museum is constantly searching for items from Laquin to add to the exhibits as there are thousands of descendants of Laquin families who wish to learn more about the community where their family lived.

It was reported that 31 families donated museum pieces or research material to LeRoy Heritage Museum over the past year. The museum board is excited about the massive growth of the collection and will consider possibilities for future expansion of the museum, the research library and its services over the next year.

Chesapeake Energy recently contributed $5,000 to LeRoy Heritage Museum to pay for the new educational museum exhibits.

Over 35 new families have joined LeRoy Heritage Museum in 2012 alone and numbers continue to climb. The total number of members is now over 160. New families are joining in order to take advantage of museum and research library services; to receive the full color local history magazine, the Monogram; and participate in special events such as the museum’s comprehensive Barclay Mountain Walking Tours each spring. Members continue to tell the museum board that they appreciate the quality exhibits, the attention to detail throughout our facility and the care with which the collection is handled, stored and exhibited. LeRoy Heritage Museum adheres to current standards in museum practices.

Over 30 people participated in the Barclay Mountain Walking Tour held this year at Laquin. LeRoy Heritage Museum has conducted walking tours for members now for seven years.

All volunteers were thanked during the meeting including 18 people who have served as tour guides and worked in the museum gift shop over the past year. In addition to these 18 volunteers there are 11 volunteer board members. Three board members had terms expiring this year and were approved by the membership for another term. These three were Lorelei Colton, Ann Carl and Joe Chaapel.

The museum has leveraged support from grant funding, foundations and local contributions to finish several projects over the past year. A new full color brochure, a new website and signs marking the entrance to the community of LeRoy were all made possible through the work of the museum.

A financial report and collections report were also reviewed.

At the conclusion of the picnic, members were invited to the museum, adjacent to the community grounds, for a tour of resources available in the research library as well as a tour of the new exhibits on the second floor.

The LeRoy Heritage Museum is growing rapidly and now is a great time to become a part of an organization that is preserving the history of southwestern Bradford County. For information on how to become a member, visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org and click on Membership or call the museum office at 570-364-5003, leave your name and address and a full color brochure will be mailed to you.

LeRoy Heritage Museum has recently created a Capital Reserve Fund to ensure a solid future for the museum and research library and to support future development. If you would like to make a special tax deductible contribution to the fund, simply mention “Capital Reserve Fund” when you mail your donation to LeRoy Heritage Museum, 8051 Southside Road, Canton, PA 17724.

For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum visit the museum website mentioned above or follow the museum on Facebook by visiting facebook.com/LeRoyHeritageMuseum. The museum is currently open for the season each Saturday, 1-4 p.m. The last day that the museum will be open this season is September 1. Admission is a donation. Group tours may be scheduled by calling the museum office or contacting the museum through the website. Also watch for special events this fall and winter such as special hours during Apple & Cheese Festival weekend.

The LeRoy Heritage Museum is a member agency of the Bradford County United Way.

Barclay Mountain Highlighted as LeRoy Heritage Museum Opens for 2012 Season

June 4, 2012

LeRoy Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its 2012 season with regular hours of 1 to 4 p.m. each Saturday until Labor Day weekend.

The museum has changed substantially since last year with the addition of a new exhibit area on the second floor, several changes to existing exhibits on the first floor, and the expansion of the Rancy K. Morse Memorial Research Library. During the winter, the number of semi-permanent exhibits has increased from nine to 12 and the number of cases with rotating displays has increased from three to nine.

The new exhibits now include a history of the Game Refuge at Sunfish Pond, a history of the Civilian Conservation Corps on Barclay Mountain, a large exhibit about entertainment of yesteryear, an extensive display of items that came from the Barclay house at Laquin, the Ruth Kinney-McIntire Bottle Collection (featuring over 200 bottles found locally), a display of clothes irons from many generations and a collection of early shaving and hair curling devices.

Several changes were made in the first floor exhibit room with the addition of the Laquin Baptist Church cornerstone, a restored 1880’s Shoninger pump organ from Granville Township, an exhibit of local election campaign material dating back to the 1960’s, a case featuring various Laquin items, an early Burroughs manual calculator from Laquin, a model of an actual house that was located at Laquin, a display of books from the den inside the Barclay house at Laquin, and much more.

These changes were made possible by the many generous donors who have contributed local history items to the museum so that they may be enjoyed by the public. The core of the museum collection is made up of items from LeRoy Township, Granville Township and former Barclay Township (commonly called Barclay Mountain).

The same applies to the Research Library collection which has doubled in size over the past year alone, prompting the addition of new cabinets to house the material. The research library is available for use by members of the LeRoy Heritage Museum and research may be done by appointment only. An online appointment request form may be found on the museum website.

The entire museum and research library collection is cared for using the latest methods for preservation including archival safe boxes and storage materials and the facility is climate controlled. The exhibits also meet certain standards which make them as nice as those found in much larger museums. This is the reason that most new visitors tell us they are surprised when they enter the building for the first time. The museum is typically much better than they expected. The facility is bright, clean and welcoming. Because of these factors, many people have turned to LeRoy Heritage Museum when considering a permanent home for their local history or family collections from the areas described. The work of the organization is accomplished strictly by volunteers who act as tour guides, participate in fundraising efforts, care for the museum flower gardens, design and build exhibits, and meet other needs as they arise.

LeRoy Heritage Museum has accomplished much during the past winter and spring including the release of a new full-color brochure (available at the Canton Independent-Sentinel, the LeRoy General Store and the museum); the redesign and launching of a new website sponsored by the Bradford County Room Tax fund; a walking tour of Laquin for members; and participation in the Bicentennial Passport Through Time event along with the other museums of Bradford County.

The latest edition of the full-color museum newsletter/magazine entitled, the Monogram, is currently being prepared for members. This benefit is one of several received by members with other benefits including invitations to walking tours, use of research facilities, free museum admission and more. Over 30 new members have joined LeRoy Heritage Museum this year alone with total membership approaching 200.

Visitors at LeRoy Heritage Museum also enjoy shopping in the Barclay Mountain Visitor Center gift shop where they can find a variety of products including t-shirts; postcards; mugs; locally made jewelry; local history books; wood crafts; lamps; CD’s, DVD’s, and CD-ROM’s; Boyd’s Bears; tin signs; puzzles; tote bags; homemade jam, jelly, marmalade and apple butter; locally produced maple syrup; walking sticks; and much more.

For more information about the museum, research library, membership or activities of the LeRoy Heritage Museum, visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org, call 570-364-5003, or pick up a brochure. The museum Facebook page can be found at facebook.com/LeRoyHeritageMuseum. Don’t forget to visit the museum, Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. this summer, or on LeRoy Old Home Day, July 4th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 257 Mill Street, off Route 414, eight miles east of Canton or 18 miles west of Towanda. Admission is a donation.

Toys of Christmas Past Exhibit and Luncheon at LeRoy Heritage Museum, December 10

December 5, 2011

LeRoy Heritage Museum announces its annual Christmas event scheduled for Saturday, December 10, 2011, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s event is entitled, “Toys of Christmas Past,” and will feature special exhibits of old toys from many generations, a luncheon, and the museum gift shop will be open with special deals to help complete your Christmas shopping list. The museum will be open throughout the event and the luncheon will last as long as the food holds out.

The museum will feature several displays of toys in the exhibit room and in the library on the second floor of the building. The toys in this year’s exhibit are different from those featured last year. Many generations of toys will be on display from as early as the 1890’s to as late as the 1970’s. Some toys will be from the LeRoy Heritage Museum’s collection, but many from private collections as well.

The exhibit will feature dolls from different generations, doll house furniture, a tea party set from Laquin, a tin dollhouse, a 1970’s pedal car, board games, metal trucks, train sets, a 1930’s bicycle, early story books, skis and skates, a Roy Rogers & Trigger child’s guitar and much more. Come and reminisce with your children!

The exhibit room will also be open and all of the regular exhibits will be available. A new addition to the regular exhibits, a replica of a house that was located at Laquin, will be debuted at this event.

The entire museum building will be decorated for the Christmas season with Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. Before leaving the museum, be sure to check out the Barclay Mountain Visitors Center gift shop where you can find a long list of book titles, puzzles, homemade Christmas stockings, CD’s and DVD’s, mouse pads, postcards, coffee mugs, hiking sticks, Laquin and Barclay Mountain t-shirts, maple syrup, jams and jellies, decorative tin signs, Boyd’s Bears, a large selection of children’s gifts, and many other excellent Christmas gifts. Some items will be marked down just for this holiday event. Purchase your Christmas gifts here and support the preservation of local history at the same time.

Either before or after your museum visit, you will want to relax and have a warm, homemade soup and sandwich lunch at the community building next door served by museum volunteers. Homemade Christmas cookies will also be served.

Admission to the museum is $3 per person (paid at the museum) while the luncheon will be $7 per person (paid at the community building). Children age 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult and will receive a special gift at the museum. All proceeds help to support the continued preservation of the museum and research library collection.

If you still haven’t experienced the charming and professional exhibits that are offered at LeRoy Heritage Museum, don’t miss out on this event. The museum features objects that tell the story of LeRoy as well as the coal and lumbering era in LeRoy Township and former Barclay Township. Several items from Laquin can be found in the exhibits. Changes will be made to the main exhibits this coming winter to add new items so this will be the last time to see them as they were originally designed.

This event will be a good opportunity to become a member of LeRoy Heritage Museum in order to take advantage of yearly Barclay Mountain walking tours, our semi-annual full color newsletter, our research library and more!

LeRoy Heritage Museum is located at 257 Mill Street, LeRoy. For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, or to find a membership form, visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org. Also join the Facebook page by searching for “LeRoy Heritage Museum” and clicking “Join” in order to keep up with recent news and announcements.

LeRoy Heritage Museum to Open for 2011 Season

May 16, 2011

LeRoy Heritage Museum announces the opening of the 2011 season beginning Saturday, May 21, and lasting until Labor Day weekend. Museum hours are Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. The admission fee per person is a donation. Use of the research library is by appointment only and these may be scheduled by calling the museum office at 570-364-5003 and leaving a message or by email at leroymuseum@frontiernet.net. As use of the research library is a benefit of membership, patrons are expected to become a member prior to, or during, their first appointment.

LeRoy Heritage Museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

New this season is the Barclay Mountain Visitors Center, which is the newly expanded museum gift shop. The Visitors Center features over 120 items for sale, many of which will be available for the first time this year. Remember to shop at LHM for all of your gift-giving needs and support local history preservation at the same time. Products include over 30 different hard cover and soft cover book titles (Barclay Mountain books, game commission history, books by Bill Bower, hiking, railroading, cookbooks, logging, coal mining, Civil War, World War II, barns, and more). Also featured are two new t-shirt designs in addition to the LeRoy patriotic t-shirts. The new designs include the Barclay Mountain shirt and a Laquin shirt. Other products include tin signs; LHM tote bags, pens, and mugs; 1000-piece puzzles; hats; CD’s; DVD’s; CD ROM’s of local geological survey maps, aerial photography and county history; locally made maple syrup, jam, jelly, marmalade and apple butter; wood crafts and birdhouses; lamps; locally-made Victorian style Christmas stockings; hiking sticks; marble products; throws; embroidered pillow cases; note cards; locally-made bracelets; and a line of 20 different Barclay Mountain and LeRoy postcards featuring both old photos and recent photography. LeRoy Heritage Museum is a retailer of official US Geological Survey printed maps and these will be available soon.

The Visitors Center also features the Kids Corner with several items ideal for children such as historic-themed coloring books, agate and obsidian arrowheads, agate stones, bouncing rocks, wooden tops, wooden games, pencils, and other fun items.

Patrons will find various changes throughout the building this year. A new display case has been added to the first floor and features a collection of antique eye glasses from the 1890’s up through the 1970’s with nearly every decade included. This case also features antique men’s and ladies hats and a collection of 1920’s beaded jewelry which was worn by Cleo Barclay and comes from the Barclay house at Laquin. Another new case on the second floor features select pieces of antique china that were once used during Ladies Aid dinners at the LeRoy Church of Christ as well as some designs used during Open Hand Grange dinners in LeRoy. A black pitcher from the Barclay house in Laquin is also on display. One of the large display cases from the first floor has been moved to the second floor and is in the final stages of being restored. Another case features a collection of Game Commission signs and posters donated by Bill Bower. A case on the first floor will display a fine collection of antique needlework.

Many visitors remarked during the 2010 season that the exhibit designs rival much larger museums. They include eight main exhibits featuring LeRoy and Barclay Mountain history. Patrons are also encouraged to sit on the James Tomlinson memorial bench while viewing the military display case. James was a World War II veteran. A new addition to this case will be the Air Force Reserve uniform of Lt. Col. Donald Ayres, former Canton High School teacher, whose grandfather was born in LeRoy. A multimedia slideshow exhibit also features local historic photographs.

There is no better time than the 10th anniversary year to become a member of LeRoy Heritage Museum. A downloadable membership form may be found on the museum website or may be found in the Visitors Center gift shop. A form can also be received by mail by calling the museum office. Membership includes benefits such as the annual Barclay Mountain Walking Tour, the full color newsletter entitled the “Monogram,” the annual Members Day chicken barbecue, special sales in the museum gift shop, and use of the Rancy K. Morse Memorial Research Library.

Donations of items, photographs or information pertaining to the history of LeRoy and/or Barclay Mountain (including coal mining, lumbering and hunting/game lands history) may be made during museum hours or by calling the museum office at the number below.

A new event for 2011 is Barclay Mountain Heritage Day scheduled for October 1. More information will be announced soon.

LeRoy Heritage Museum is a non-profit organization located at 257 Mill Street, just off Rt. 414, in LeRoy, PA. For more information about the museum, research library, or other topics, write to the mailing address, 8051 Southside Road, Canton, PA 17724; call the museum office at 570-364-5003; email leroymuseum@frontiernet.net or visit the website at www.leroyheritage.org. Check out and “Like” the LeRoy Heritage Museum page on Facebook to get all of the latest news!

LeRoy Heritage Museum to Host "Toys of Christmas Past," December 11

November 15, 2010

LeRoy Heritage Museum announces its annual Christmas event scheduled for Saturday, December 11, 2010, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year, the event is entitled, “Toys of Christmas Past,” and will feature special exhibits of old toys from many generations, a luncheon, and the museum gift shop will be open with special deals to help complete your Christmas shopping list. Both the museum and the luncheon will be available at any time during the event.

The museum will feature several displays of toys in the exhibit room, gift shop, and also in the library on the second floor of the building. Many generations of toys will be on display from as early as the 1890’s to as late as the 1970’s. Some toys will be from the LeRoy Heritage Museum’s collection, but many from private collections as well.

The exhibit will feature early porcelain dolls of different sizes (some incorporated into the regular exhibits), a tin-head doll, a 1950’s walking doll, doll house furniture, train sets, remains of a wind-up locomotive found in the old town of Barclay, Tinker Toys, “American Logs,” a wooden dancing man, a doll cradle made by Rancy K. Morse, a child’s microscope and science set from the 1930’s, tea party dishes, early story books, early homemade and commercially made board games and much more. The exhibit room will also be open and all of the regular exhibits will be available. Come and reminisce with your children!

Old time Christmas music will be heard throughout the museum and the entire building will be decorated for the Christmas season with Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. Before leaving the museum, be sure to check out our gift shop where you can find a long list of book titles, puzzles, homemade Christmas stockings, homemade Christmas door arrangements, CD’s and DVD’s, mouse pads, t-shirts, jams and jellies, patriotic throws, decorative tin signs and many other excellent Christmas gifts. Some items will be marked down just for this holiday event. Purchase your Christmas gifts here and support the preservation of local history at the same time.

Either before or after your museum visit, you will want to relax and have a warm, homemade soup and sandwich lunch at the community building next door served by museum volunteers.

Admission to the event is $8 per person for members, $10 per person for non-members. Children age 12 and under are admitted free with an adult and will receive a special Christmas treat at the dinner. Members can receive the discounted admission rate by presenting a coupon that will be mailed to members soon. No tickets will be sold in advance. Admission for all participants may be paid at either the museum or the community building on the day of the event and a ticket will be issued allowing entrance to both the museum exhibits and the dinner. All proceeds help to support the continued preservation of the museum and research library collection.

If you still haven’t experienced the charming and professional exhibits that are offered at LeRoy Heritage Museum, don’t miss out on this event. The museum features objects that tell the story of LeRoy as well as the coal and lumbering era in LeRoy Township and former Barclay Township. Several items from Laquin can be found in the exhibits.

This event will be a good opportunity to become a member of LeRoy Heritage Museum in order to take advantage of yearly Barclay Mountain walking tours, our quarterly full color newsletter, our research library and more!

LeRoy Heritage Museum is located at 257 Mill Street, LeRoy. If you have toys that you would like to add to the exhibit, call the museum office at 570-364-5003. For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, or to find a membership form, visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org. Also join the Facebook page by searching for “LeRoy Heritage Museum” and clicking “Join” in order to keep up with recent news and announcements.

The LeRoy Heritage Museum is supported in part by the Bradford County United Way.

LeRoy Heritage Museum to be Open at Old Home Day, July 3th

June 28, 2010

The Board of Directors of the LeRoy Heritage Museum invite everyone to visit the completed museum and research library facility during LeRoy Old Home Day, July 3rd, from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the exhibit room is a donation.

The LeRoy Heritage Museum is Bradford County’s newest museum, featuring eight exhibits that cover life as it was in LeRoy Township and on Barclay Mountain, including life in Laquin. The exhibits also feature selected items from Granville Township. In addition to the main exhibits, there is also a military display case that covers the Civil War, World War I and World War II. Two additional display cases feature rotating displays that will change each year. There is even a multimedia photograph exhibit. Each exhibit includes large easy-to-read labels.

This year marks the first time that the second floor of the building will be open to the public. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the finished Rancy K. Morse Memorial Research Library. Research materials are accessed only by appointment with the assistance of a volunteer. No material will be available for use during Old Home Day.

The LHM Gift Shop will be open in its new location inside the museum and all purchases support the preservation of local history. It is fully stocked with a variety of items including 30 book titles. The book selection is excellent and features both soft cover and hard cover books on local history, Civil War, World War II, old time farming, schoolhouses, hiking, and much more. All four history books that have been published on Barclay Mountain over the years are available. The Gift Shop also has available children’s games and toys, hats, LeRoy t-shirts, LeRoy and Laquin mouse pads, souvenirs, reproduction tin farm signs, throws, CD’s, DVD’s, homemade jam, jelly, marmalade, apple butter, handmade jewelry, marble tractors and the list goes on and on.

All of the engraved memorial plaques and signs have been mounted throughout the building honoring the various gifts that made the museum building project possible. A wall of engraved signs honoring the major donors to the building project will not be completed by Old Home Day but will be finished in July.

“Visitors have been very surprised when they come to the museum,” said Matt Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum. “The quality and detail with which the building and exhibits have been done really sets this museum apart from others of the same size.”

Museum volunteers will be selling funnel cakes and ice cream outside during Old Home Day.

The museum will accept donations of historical items pertaining to LeRoy and Barclay Mountain inside the building.

Please note that the following items are not permitted inside the museum building: food and beverages, pets, flash photography, smoking and large bags. Children visiting the exhibit room should be supervised by an adult. Thank you for helping the museum preserve its collection for future generations.

LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the preservation of LeRoy and Barclay Mountain history and the education of the public about that history. The facility, which houses a museum on the first floor and the Rancy K. Morse Memorial Research Library on the second floor, is located on Mill Street, LeRoy, PA.

For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., visited the website at www.leroyheritage.org. The LeRoy Heritage Museum is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Grand Opening to be Held May 15

May 10, 2010

LeRoy Heritage Museum announces the completion of its museum and research library facility in the former Open Hand Grange building, Mill Street, LeRoy. As a result, a grand opening celebration will be held Saturday, May 15, 2010, with a ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. under a tent next to the building. Everyone is welcome and are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair.

Almost eight years ago local residents joined in an effort to save LeRoy Township and Barclay Mountain history. The group acquired the former Open Hand Grange building and has rehabilitated it piece by piece. A board of directors was formed in 2001 and the organization was incorporated as LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. in 2005. The organization has worked through years of grant writing, architectural drawings, and renovation work to create the beautiful facility that exists today.

Important architectural details were saved including the front doors and two large front windows; 100 year old wainscoting that was produced at the H. Crawford & Son mill in Canton; the second floor hardwood floor and the second floor hand-grained wood work and interior doors. Crown molding, doors, baseboard and other details were either salvaged for reuse or identical materials were acquired or custom made if they were not available. Original door hardware was used on all of the interior doors, some of the hardware having been found in the dirt floor of the basement. Reproduction lighting fixtures were installed that were similar to those used when the building was first wired for electricity in 1930.

“We have kept a close eye on the details throughout this entire project,” said Carl. “Not only is this facility a historic landmark in itself, but now it also honors hundreds of families who lived in the LeRoy Township/Barclay Mountain area. It was important to do the work thoughtfully, and we hope that the public will appreciate that we took the extra time to do it right.”

Exhibits have been built in the museum exhibit room. Eight main exhibit spaces have been designed by LHM president, Matt Carl; each assembled with objects and artifacts that have been collected by LHM over the past eight years. Additional rotating display cases have also been created as well as a multimedia exhibit.

The museum gift shop has also been stocked with a variety of great items including several interesting book titles, puzzles, mousepads, t-shirts, tin signs and much more.

The celebration on May 15th will be highlighted by several speakers including representatives from county and state government as well as representatives from the Endless Mountains Heritage Region, Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, and the Bradford County Historical Society.

A recently completed oil painting of Rancy K. Morse will be unveiled during the ceremony. It will be hung in the second floor research library which is named after him.

The ceremony will conclude with a ribbon cutting and dedication to officially open the museum and the Rancy K. Morse Memorial Research Library. An open house will be held after the ceremony until noon.

LeRoy Heritage Museum continues to search for items that will help tell the story of our area. Anything made in, used in, photographed or written about pertaining to LeRoy Township or Barclay Mountain is appreciated. This includes any families, communities, organizations, and businesses. Items that came from the town of Laquin are also being sought. In addition, LHM continues to collect material for preservation in our research library. If you have items from LeRoy Township or Barclay Mountain that should be shared with the public through a local museum and research library, please contact the museum office at 570-364-5003 and leave a message or email leroymuseum@frontiernet.net.

Regular hours begin on May 29th. The museum will be open Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. until the last week in September, or by appointment. Group tours are available by appointment only. The research library will be open by prior appointment only. Admission is free for members and is a donation for nonmembers to tour the museum or use the research library. Again, these hours begin on May 29th. Call the museum office or email for more information or to schedule a tour.

If you are interested in volunteering as a tour guide, please contact the museum, as volunteer training will be held soon.

For recent news from LeRoy Heritage Museum, join the LHM Facebook group by searching for “LeRoy Heritage Museum” on Facebook and clicking Join. The museum website can also be found at www.leroyheritage.org.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Inc. is supported in part by the Bradford County United Way.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Grand Opening Set for May 15

March 1, 2010

LeRoy Heritage Museum announces the completion of its museum and research library facility in the former Open Hand Grange building, Mill Street, LeRoy. As a result, a grand opening celebration is being planned for Saturday, May 15, 2010.

Almost eight years ago local residents joined in an effort to save LeRoy Township and Barclay Mountain history. The group acquired the former Open Hand Grange building and has rehabilitated it piece by piece. A board of directors was formed in 2001 and the organization was incorporated as LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. in 2005. The organization has worked through years of grant writing, architectural drawings, and renovation work to create the beautiful facility that exists today.

“The building had begun to collapse prior to renovation,” said Matt Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum.

Important architectural details were saved however including the front doors and two large front windows; 100 year old wainscoting that was produced at the H. Crawford & Son mill in Canton; the second floor hardwood floor and the second floor hand-grained wood work and interior doors. Crown molding, doors, baseboard and other details were either salvaged for reuse or identical materials were acquired or custom made if they were not available. Original door hardware was used on all of the interior doors, some of the hardware having been found in the dirt floor of the basement. Reproduction lighting fixtures were installed that were similar to those used when the building was first wired for electricity in 1930.

“We have kept a close eye on the details throughout this entire project,” said Carl. “Not only is this facility a historic landmark in itself, but now it also honors hundreds of families who lived in the LeRoy Township/Barclay Mountain area. It was important to do the work thoughtfully, and we hope that the public will appreciate that we took the extra time to do it right.”

The LHM Board of Directors will be making decisions on museum and library hours, admission fees, policies and other matters over the next few months in preparation for its first regular season beginning this summer.

Exhibits are currently being built in the museum exhibit room. Six 5x9’ exhibit spaces have been designed, each with a different theme that was developed four years ago. These six exhibits are being assembled with objects and artifacts that have been collected by LHM over the past eight years. One exhibit will feature a general store; another, a history of LeRoy Township and Barclay Mountain churches; and still another, a school room.

In addition to the six main exhibits, there will be others featuring some special exhibits as well as display cases that will feature rotating displays of interesting items that are in storage, thus providing new things to see each season. The exhibits will be completed in time for the grand opening celebration.

LeRoy Heritage Museum continues to search for items that will help us tell the story of our area. Anything made in, used in, photographed or written about pertaining to LeRoy Township or Barclay Mountain is appreciated. This includes any families, communities, organizations, and businesses. LHM would be grateful to receive hand tools, chains, etc. that were used in lumbering or coal mining operations on Barclay Mountain. Items that came from the town of Laquin are also being sought.

In addition, LHM continues to collect material for preservation in our research library. Thanks to a special gift received last year, the entire research library collection is properly preserved in quality steel book storage cabinets, file cabinets, archival boxes, etc.

If you have items from LeRoy Township or Barclay Mountain that should be shared with the public through a local museum and research library, please contact the museum office at 570-364-5003 and leave a message or email leroymuseum@frontiernet.net.

If you are interested in receiving the full color quarterly LHM newsletter filled with information about our work and also stories about LeRoy or Barclay Mountain history; or if you are interested in participating in a yearly Barclay Mountain walking tour (next one in April 2010) consider becoming a member of LeRoy Heritage Museum. Only members receive an invitation to our popular walking tours which always highlight a different part of Barclay Mountain. Membership prices, benefits, and a printable form can be found on the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org or call the museum office at the number above, leave your name and address, and a membership form and brochure will be mailed to you.

For recent news from LeRoy Heritage Museum, join the LHM Facebook group by searching for “LeRoy Heritage Museum” on Facebook and clicking Join.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Inc. is supported in part by the Bradford County United Way.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Receives Financial Support

by Matt Carl

December 16, 2007

LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. was recently the recipient of a significant financial contribution from the Vicki L. and Rodney B. Mott Foundation. The funding will allow renovation projects to continue at the museum during the Winter and Spring so that the facility will be completed during the summer of 2008.

"The museum board of directors have been closely following a timeline in order to get funding and projects lined up," said Matt Carl, President of LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. “This donation will enable us to stay on our month by month schedule."

Many parts of the renovation will be completed with this funding including electrical, security, insulation, drywall, and several other small projects.

Another phase of the museum has recently been completed. Eleven different families each donated the cost of a new window for the museum in memory/honor of a person of their choosing. As a result, all of the windows have now been installed.

A separate but related phase is currently underway thanks to funding provided in memory of Dean Chaapel. The original 1876 front double doors and two large windows have been removed and are being completely restored to look as they did when first installed. The original thumb-latch door hardware, found in 2001 when the basement of the building was cleaned out, will be reinstalled.

Contributions continue to be received to help with other portions of the museum, including the Rancy K. Morse Memorial Research Library that will be found in the completed facility. Donors who give $100 or more designated to the Morse Library will receive permanent recognition in the library.

"We are quite anxious to finish the building and open the museum. We have an amazing collection of items, photographs, historical and genealogical data, and original records that we want to share with the community," said Carl.

The LeRoy Heritage Museum was formed in 2001 by residents who were concerned that LeRoy’s past was quickly disappearing. Over the years, the organization has actively collected historical objects and archival material pertaining to LeRoy and Barclay Mountain and now has well over 2,000 items in its collection. Some of these items are over 200 years old. The museum has rescued items from local auctions and other items destined for the garbage. In addition, the museum receives several donations of artifacts and material related to LeRoy or Barclay Mountain each month.

With over 160 members in 11 states, the LeRoy Heritage Museum has preserved an enormous amount of history that was on the verge of being lost forever. Perhaps the largest item to be saved by the organization has been the building that will be the museum.

"The Open Hand Grange was really the center of the agricultural community in LeRoy Township. Aside from lumbering and mining, agriculture was the largest industry in LeRoy," said Carl.

When museum volunteers began working on the building over six years ago, it became obvious that saving it would take plenty of time and money. "Although it has been a long process, volunteers continue to press toward the completion of the museum," said Carl. He continued, "It hasn’t all been about how we can start a museum in the most economical way. If that were the case, we certainly could have built a new building. It has been about how we can save a building that was built by our ancestors and was important to them. It has been about creating a facility that will be a monument to our ancestors."

Carl explains that starting a museum in this building has saved one of the towns important landmarks while at the same time developing a new use for the facility for generations to come. Important architectural aspects of the building have been preserved while the building has been modernized in some ways to meet the needs of the present.

"Funding provided by the Mott family and others is an important part of the preservation work that is being done," said Carl.

Board members of LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. include Ted Tomlinson, Ann Carl, Joe Chaapel, Donna Stone, Bob Storch, Betty VanNoy, Tom Carl, Lorelei Colton, Jason Krise, Charles Brackman, Matt Carl, and Dona Beers. For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org.

Memorial Contributions Needed to Finish LeRoy Heritage Museum

by Matt Carl

September 20, 2007

A significant number of renovation projects have taken place at the LeRoy Heritage Museum this summer.

Work began with the installation of a new roof and a series of rafter supports in the attic. The wooden soffit and roof returns were repaired and partially rebuilt which has helped return the building to its original look. New vents were also custom made for the attic. The north and west side of the building was upgraded with new siding to match the original, and both the siding and soffit was painted.

The project continued with the installation of three new exterior doors. A new side entry porch was created and a handicap accessibility ramp and entry porch was added at the rear door. Currently a new exterior fire escape is being built for the second floor.

Underground electrical service has been installed and a new service panel now allows work to continue inside the building. Furring strips are being installed on the second floor and the last of the framing is being finished.

The remainder of the deteriorated portions of the siding will soon be replaced, and new windows are slated to be installed this fall.

Volunteers have completed other clean-up work and have organized the museum collection into new storage boxes.

“We are making significant progress this year,” said Matt Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. “Our goal has been to finish the outside of the building before winter and we are currently on schedule.”

During the winter, the LHM board of directors hope to finish the electrical, insulation and drywall with the financial support of the area. “These final projects are very crucial and must be completed this winter so that we can open the building in 2008,” said Carl.

Interior finish work will be done in the Spring of 2008 and a heating system will be installed after the building has opened to the public.

The board of directors plan to be able to open the building for the first time in the Summer of 2008. As a result, LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. is working to raise $25,000 which will allow the facility to be completed. Contributions to assist in finishing the museum are gratefully accepted and may be mailed to LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., RR 1 Box 5152, Canton, PA 17724. The museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Contributions may be designated to one or more of the following projects.

The cost of one new museum window can be given in memory of a LeRoy Township or Barclay Mountain ancestor, school teacher, or other individual. For a donation of $300, the name of the memorial and the donor will be permanently engraved on a placard to be placed beside a window in the museum.

The board of directors recently voted to name the museum research library, to be located on the second floor of the building, after Rancy K. Morse. Morse was a well known town historian for many years. For a donation of at least $100 designated to the Rancy K. Morse Memorial Research Library, the name of the donors will be listed near the library door as having supported the creation of the library in memory of Morse.

Finally, donors may support the purchase of a sheet of drywall for $16 each. Approximately 200 sheets will be required for the project. A thank you card will be sent to those contributing to this and all of the other projects.

LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. is based in southwestern Bradford County. It is located on Mill Street in LeRoy and occupies the historic 130 year old Open Hand Grange building. LHM is dedicated to preserving the history of LeRoy Township and Barclay Mountain and educating the public about that history. If you have historical material pertaining to LeRoy or Barclay Mountain (including Laquin), consider donating these items to LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. Exhibits are now being planned and LHM would like to make them as complete as possible. Please contact Matt Carl, museum president, at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email leroymuseum@frontiernet.net. For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org.

Bradford County Historical Society Hires New Curator

by Bradford County Historical Society

June 26, 2007

The Bradford County Historical Society has named Matthew Carl as the museum’s new full-time curator.

The position includes exhibition planning and development, collections management, educational programming development, and staff supervision.

Matt has an extensive background in both preserving and promoting Bradford County history. At the age of 10, he became interested in local history as a result of a trip to the abandoned lumber town of Laquin, located on Barclay Mountain.

Throughout high school, he created local history exhibits for display at community events and later as school projects.

“That was the beginning of a hobby,” relates Carl. After graduation from high school, the hobby of collecting and exhibiting area history turned into a regular volunteer effort.

In 2001, he organized a group of residents in LeRoy Township to form the LeRoy Heritage Museum, and has served as president of that organization ever since. “I noticed that we were losing our history, and decided to do something about it,” said Carl. “With the help of several people, we formed a board of directors and began the long process of renovating and restoring an 1876 grange hall to become our community museum.”

Today, the LeRoy Heritage Museum has saved countless historical artifacts and information from LeRoy Township and Barclay Mountain that would have been lost forever.

Matt has also served in the past as a member of the Bradford County Historical Society Board of Trustees. Working mostly with the Technology Committee, he has helped update the Society’s computer systems, and inventory software program. As a result, patrons can now utilize the computers to access online resources such as Ancestry.com or to view digital images of historical records when they visit the research library.

As a former board member for three years, Matt is familiar with the issues that face the Society. “The Bradford County Historical Society has been growing rapidly since it moved into its new home in the former Bradford County jail. There is a lot of potential here and I feel honored to be a part of the Society‘s future,” explains Carl.

Matt is planning a great deal of reorganization which will lead up to the time when the Society’s complete collection will be catalogued in it’s computer inventory system. In addition, he is planning more educational programming for the public.

The Bradford County Historical Society is located on Pine Street in Towanda and features two floors of professionally designed exhibits that include something for every interest. The third floor features a vast library where history and genealogy records are available for research. For more information about the Society, visit the website at www.bradfordhistory.com.

The Bradford County Historical Society is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

Yard Sale to Benefit LeRoy Heritage Museum

by Matt Carl

May 7, 2007

Members and friends of LeRoy Heritage Museum (LHM) are organizing a yard sale to benefit the museum building fund. The sale, which is scheduled for May 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be held along Rt. 414 in LeRoy, near LeRoy General Store. No early sales.

Sale items will be provided by several families and will include something for everyone. Anyone interested in donating items for the sale are encouraged to call XXX-XXX-XXXX or XXX-XXX-XXXX to set up a drop off time. LHM will also accept good saleable items at the museum on Mill Street in LeRoy on May 19, from 1 to 2 p.m. No clothes or mattresses will be accepted.

“This is a great way to support the museum,” said Matt Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. “People can either donate items for the sale, or stop by on the 26th for a lot of great deals, or both. The best part is that it all helps the museum.”

All proceeds from the sale will benefit the ongoing renovation at the museum building, located in LeRoy Township (southwestern Bradford County). LHM is raising funds to help pay for the final renovation costs associated with the interior of its historic 131 year old building, which will house exhibits relative to LeRoy Township and Barclay Mountain history.

“We are trying to finish all the work that is needed to open the building by the end of the year, and we are grateful that many of our members are stepping forward to help us accomplish that goal in any way possible,” said Carl.

For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Prepares for Exterior Restoration

by Matt Carl

March 5, 2007

The board of directors of LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. (LHM) are preparing to begin an extensive exterior restoration project at its facility.

The restoration, which is the beginning of a long list of work planned for 2007, is designed to finish all of the exterior work needed at the building. “The community will really begin to see changes this spring,” explains Matt Carl, president of LHM. “Up to this point we have been working inside, completing the framing and other work required by code.”

The goal of the project is the same as the goal of the entire building renovation - to preserve as much of the original building material as possible while at the same time making the facility function well as a museum.

The exterior restoration plans include repair or replacement of any wooden siding that has deteriorated beyond repair, while maintaining the siding that is still in good condition. The first floor windows will be repaired and the second floor windows will be replaced with energy efficient replicas of the original windows. According to Carl, the current second floor windows are not original to the building. “Through research, it was discovered that the originals were a ‘four-over-four’ sash design, so that’s what we are using,” he said. Two of the old windows can still be seen in the building.

Other work will be done to comply with Pennsylvania Labor and Industry standards, including new exterior doors at the side and rear of the building. A handicapped access ramp will be built to connect to the rear door. The side entrance will become the main building entrance through the installation of a porch and steps.

A fire escape stairs and a sidewalk that were removed during a previous project will be rebuilt. Other architectural details will be restored, and the facility will be made weather tight.

The project is being put out for bid this month, with a bid opening scheduled for April. “If bids fall within the budget, we could see this project get underway this Spring,” Carl said.

The budget for this project is composed of a Community Development Block Grant received through the Bradford County Commissioners, and a grant from the Pennsylvania Heritage Parks Program, through the Endless Mountains Heritage Region. Additional funding has been provided by the Allen F. Pierce Foundation and through a variety of fundraising efforts conducted by LHM volunteers.

Throughout the Summer and Fall seasons, work will continue inside the museum with electrical and insulation work, followed by the installation of drywall and trim. The board of directors have been closely following a timeline that is set to bring the building project to a conclusion by the end of 2007. Local support is being sought to complete these final projects. Contributions can be sent to LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., RR 1 Box 5152, Canton, PA 17724. Donations of $250 and above are tax deductible.

“We are tentatively planning an open house to be held closer to the end of this year,” explained Carl. “Plans will be finalized when we are closer to the goal.”

The completed museum with exhibits may officially open for the first time in the Spring of 2008. These exhibits will focus on LeRoy Township and Barclay Mountain history. The museum’s collection is unique, with each item having either been made or used in this specific area. “We have many fascinating items covering 200 years of LeRoy history, as well as items from Barclay Mountain, including Laquin,” said Carl. The facility will also include a research library, gift shop, and museum office.

Based in southwestern Bradford County, LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which promotes its goals of preservation and education through its quarterly newsletter (the Monogram), an annual LeRoy Holly Home Tour in December, as well as various programs and member specific events, such as walking tours of Barclay Mountain, Members Day, and its annual dinner meeting and program each year. For more information on how you can become a member of LHM, or to view further information and photos of past renovation projects, visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org.

LeRoy Home Tour offers Christmas cheer, ghost stories

by Eric Hrin, The Daily Review

December 10, 2006

Three homes were featured on the self-guided tour: the residence of Mike and Lisa Miosi, the home of Ted and Karen Tomlinson and Ron and Ruth Bly's house.

Live musical entertainment, including performances by the Alba Brass & Chancel Choir as well as several vocal singers, was scheduled at the community building, where a number of items, including LeRoy t-shirts and LeRoy and Laquin mousepads, were on sale.

Ann Carl, treasurer of the LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., which benefits from the first-ever tour, said she thought the event was going "wonderfully."

Lisa Miosi was taking visitors through her home, which was decorated in holiday trimmings including a large Christmas tree. A fresh scent filled the air.

"I didn't realize the place was 153 years old, but I absolutely love it," she said. The couple has made extensive renovations to the home the last two years.

According to a flier for the event, the house, built around 1853 by Hugh M. Holcombe, is usually recalled by many natives of LeRoy as Wesley and Alma Mott's home. They operated the Mott Coal Company. It mined coal at Carbon Run.

Meanwhile, at the home of Ted and Karen Tomlinson, the couple showed visitors some unique features of their house, including what used to be a dumb waiter.

They also were showing off a number of other historical items, such as an old trunk and a coverlet from 1851 that is hanging on their living room wall. Their farm has been owned by the same family for more than a century.

James O. Tomlinson and his wife, Dora, bought the farm for their family in April 1887.

Ted Tomlinson pointed out that the couple lived in a woodshed for nearly two years while the house was built.

After James Tomlinson died in 1924, his son, Earl, and wife, Grace, made their home on the farm.

Earl's sister, Reuby, it was noted, died at 10 years old in 1900.

Karen Tomlinson said she believes the spirit of the little girl is still at the house. Karen said she and her daughter were in their computer room one day when they saw a glass come off a shelf and come to rest on the floor. It didn't fall, she said, but looked like someone was taking it and placing it on the floor. She also said her daughter has claimed to hear a little girl laughing.

©Daily and Sunday Review 2006

LeRoy Heritage Museum Holds Annual Dinner Meeting

by Matt Carl

October 23, 2006

LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. (LHM) held its annual dinner meeting on October 14, 2006 at LeRoy Independent Baptist Church, Mill Street, LeRoy, Pa.

LHM is dedicated to the preservation of LeRoy Township and Barclay Mountain history, and the education of the public about the fascinating history of this area through exhibits, programs, and walking tours. The organization is based in southwestern Bradford County, Pa.

Museum members were welcomed by LHM president, Matt Carl. Following the invocation by Pastor Ron Bly, and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Ted Tomlinson; the evening began with a delicious roast beef dinner catered by Mrs. Fran Martin.

The business meeting started at 7 p.m. with the introduction of the board members from the previous year. These included Charles Brackman, Ann Carl, Joe Chaapel, Donna Stone, Jason Krise, Betty VanNoy, Tom Carl, Lorelei Colton, Bob Storch, Ted Tomlinson, and Matt Carl.

The Presidents Report highlighted numerous items of interest from the past year including a description of the work completed on the interior of the building; the new museum website; a board field trip; the Laquin Walking Tour; and several other activities and important decisions.

In the Inventory Report, several important collections received in the past year were mentioned, such as the Holcombe Collection, the Chaapel Collection, and the acquisition of the pulpit from the former Laquin Baptist Church. The website has been instrumental in bringing LeRoy Township artifacts found in other states back home. Thirty-six people made donations to the museum since the last annual meeting.

During the Financial Report, a description of major deposits and disbursements for the year was given. The Fundraising Report listed 30 new members for the year. The museum has over 120 members in 15 different states. The grant work for the year was also described. Several fundraising activities were completed by the committee this year.

Four board members were reelected for the coming year. These were Joe Chaapel, Charles Brackman, Ann Carl, and Lorelei Colton.

Following the business meeting, the 2006 A.T. Lilley Community Service Award was presented to Mike & Lisa Miosi, owners of LeRoy General Store in LeRoy, Pa., in honor of their work to renovate and preserve two of LeRoy’s historic buildings. This is a very special award presented each year in the form of a plaque to an individual or individuals who have displayed the characteristics of Albert Tell Lilley (1838-1922), a prominent citizen in the history of LeRoy Township who was known for his community involvement and desire to make this a better place to live. Throughout his life, Mr. Lilley was a geologist, stone mason, teacher, farmer, local historian, and took leading roles in community organizations including the Independent Order of Good Templars, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Patrons of Husbandry, Bradford County Historical Society, LeRoy Township Supervisors, LeRoy Township School District, and much more.

The program for the evening was given by Matt Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. The program was entitled, “Our Collection and its Stories”, and included a first hand look at several of the items in the museum collection, and the stories behind them. Participants in the evening enjoyed seeing only a sampling of the items that will be on exhibit when the museum renovation is complete.

Several door prizes were awarded, and displays were on hand, including a computer which showed the museums new website.

LeRoy Heritage Museum is located on Mill Street in LeRoy in the former Open Hand Grange building. The facility is not currently open as it is in the midst of a $100, 000 renovation project to preserve it for future generations. An exhibit area and gift shop will be found on the first floor and a research library and museum office will be found on the second floor. A tentative grand opening is planned for Fall 2007. The museum is currently holding a membership drive. If you are interested in LeRoy Township or Barclay Mountain, please consider supporting LHM this year. For a list of membership fees and benefits, or to learn more about LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., visit the museum website at www.leroyheritage.org or write to LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., RR 1 Box 5152, Canton, PA 17724-8735. LHM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Bradford County Historical Society Hears about Heyday of Laquin

by Wes Skillings, The Rocket Courier

October 12, 2006

The Bradford County Historical Society’s (BCHS) annual dinner meeting last week was a time to announce the winners of its two coveted annual awards—the Leo E. Wilt Award for Historian of the Year and the Clement F. Heverly Award for Outstanding Service. As reported in last week’s Rocket-Courier, they were, respectively, Susan Miller and the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies.

The gathering, held on the evening of Monday, Oct. 2, in the dining hall of the LeRoy Independent Baptist Church, was also a time to look back at the previous year, honor a core of valued volunteers and hear one of its trustees, Matt Carl, offer a fascinating account of the bygone days of the lumbering town, Laquin. Carl, a native son of LeRoy, has become an expert on Laquin (pronounced lay-kwin by combining the last names of the two great entrepreneurs who created it, Watson Barclay and Martin “Matt” Quinn) and offers popular walking tours of the vanished lumbering mecca.

Prior to Carl’s presentation featuring vintage photos from the heyday of Laquin there was the taking care of business, with BCHS President Vince Amoroso doing the honors. Aside from the reading of reports and the reappointment of Henry G. Farley as editor of The Settler, the society’s quarterly magazine, Amoroso presented plaques to the newest Emeritus Board Members—three people who have served the BCHS and its board faithfully for at least a decade. Those achieving this distinction were Harold and Sylvia Race and Carolyn Russell, who leaves the board at the end of this year.

Farley proudly introduced the top three winners of the Sixth Grade Historic Essay Contest, chosen from 116 essays submitted by students from elementary schools in Sayre, Powell, Wysox and Wyalusing. One of the winners was Wyalusing sixth grader, Austin Rizzo. The other two were Terra Landis, Monroe-Franklin School, and Katherine Hicks from the Snyder Elementary School in Sayre. The essays of all three appear in the September 2006 issue of The Settler. All three were in attendance to receive their awards.

In his President’s Report, Amoroso expounded on how volunteers with a common interest in history —headed by its 15-member board of directors—have made the BCHS an entity that rises above preserving the past.

“What keeps us moving forward is our common appreciation of history and your support…,” stated the New Albany area resident. ”If we could have a legacy, it would be that we have been able to maintain an honorable place in history, one that is known for keeping Bradford County history alive.”

Special events have again proved to be valuable fund-raisers for the society, with the Christmas Tree Gala and St. Patrick’s Celebration becoming traditions at the museum. A special event of particular note last year at the museum was “Baseball Heritage Day,” the brainchild of Dewey Russell who also chaired the committee that organized the event.

Many volunteers were honored with certificates of appreciation for their hundreds of hours of work on behalf of the society and the museum, and many of the 29 people highlighted by Chairperson Lynn Pliske and her Volunteer Committee were in attendance.

One of the reasons for a healthy turnout at this year’s annual meeting was the program by Matt Carl, who is also president of the LeRoy Heritage Museum. Carl, using a computerized power-point presentation, spoke on “Laquin: Behind the Pictures.”

Carl covered a wealth of material, combining photos from Laquin 100 years ago in the early 1900’s to the way it looks today. He brought to life this place, which during its brief but bustling life, was the economic center of Bradford County with its own railroad line and railroad station, a huge store, a prodigious hotel, active Baptist and Methodist Churches and congregations, scores of homes for its workers and even the mansion of the man who oversaw it all, Watson Barclay. All of this civilization and commerce were made possible by the key links on this industrial chain—the massive sawmill, an impressive stave mill and a chemical factory that was years ahead of its time.

Using photos and descriptions, Carl took his audience through the various elements of the operation forged from the partnership of Barclay and Quinn which sprouted up in 9,000 acres of virgin forest and its treasured hemlock, supplying “several hundred men with 10 or 12 years of constant work,” as explained in a newspaper account in the first decade of the 20th Century.

Carl provided intimate looks at everything from the manmade lake that floated the logs that were pulled up to the jack slips into the mills. Aside from the operation of the sawmill and the power plant that made it all work, the rapt audience learned about other aspects of the business end of Laquin. There was a kindling wood mill, the previously mentioned stave mill and chemical factory, the sprawling lumber yards and stave drying barns and the network of railroad lines that was an integral part of it all.

Fittingly, he closed by telling about those who worked there, many of them immigrants working in dangerous and unhealthy conditions and living in virtual slums along the polluted Schrader Creek. He showed Laquin warts and all, but it was also a place where families lived, baseball teams played and hard-working men played and prayed. The last chapter of the Laquin story was the CCC Camp, or Civilian Conservation Corps, that came there in the Depression years. The major strides they made in conservation, which included closing the chemical plant, making it safe and cleaning up the Schrader, did not necessarily pay homage to preserving history. Perhaps it was because Laquin was a recent phenomenon then, but by the time the nation and county recovered from the Depression and moved on, Laquin was all but gone.

One of the lures of Laquin is that there was so much life there so few years ago, and now there is nothing. However, Carl and other local historians who lovingly bring this ghost town back to life know where to look.

Carl relied heavily on the James Smith Collection of articles, research and photographs on Laquin and a committee headed by Trustee Guy Abell will soon be publishing a comprehensive book on the topic on the historical society’s behalf.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Holds Membership Drive, Plans Activities

by Matt Carl

September 8, 2006

LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. has begun its 2006 Membership Drive and encourages anyone interested in LeRoy Township or Barclay Mountain to support LHM this year.

Several benefits are associated with LHM membership including: a walking tour of a historic LeRoy or Barclay Mountain location in the spring; an annual dinner meeting and program in the fall; the museum’s quarterly newsletter, the Monogram; a special Members Day that is being planned for next summer; with more benefits to come, such as free admission to the museum when it opens.

Membership follows the museums fiscal year, which begins on October 1, and ends on September 30 of the following year. Categories include Individual (One Year) - $15; Group (Household, Business, Club One Year) - $25; Senior (One Year - Beginning at age 62) - $10; Student (One Year - High School & College) - $10; LIFE Individual - $150; LIFE Household - $250; LIFE Business/Club - $500; LIFE Benefactor - $1,000. Membership may be mailed to LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., RR 1 Box 5152, Canton, PA 17724.

In other museum news, volunteers have been working on a steadily to install the remaining stud walls, which are almost complete. The LHM Board of Directors recently developed a timeline to guide the remaining renovation work in the building including electrical, handicapped accessibility, exterior restoration, etc. The project is currently on schedule, and if all deadlines are met, the museum may open for the first time in the fall of 2007.

Aside from the building renovation, museum volunteers have been busy planning a smorgasbord benefit dinner for Saturday, September 16, starting at 4:30 p.m. at the LeRoy Community Building, adjacent to the museum, on Mill Street, in LeRoy. Also, membership forms will be available for those wishing to join the museum, as well as books, t-shirts, mouse pads, and other gifts. A complete menu is available on the museum website.

Some of the many donations in the past month have included a 1935 photo of actor Harry Davenport of Canton, Minnequa Springs advertising poster, Lecanville School District Teachers Monthly Report book (July 2, 1878 - June 25, 1886); Laquin Baptist Church pulpit; the Holcomb Collection which includes the 1876 diary and recipes of Sophia Holcomb, 1896 diary of Sophia Holcomb, Lamarr Holcomb's WWI uniform, coverlet made in LeRoy by Sophia Holcomb in 1888, and much more donated by Mary Conkling and Robert Day; and four school books from LeRoy Center School, donated by Bob & Janet Chilson; narrow gauge railroad track found near the Mott coal mines, donated by Bernie Bly. For a complete list of recent donations, be sure to subscribe to the Monogram by becoming a member of the museum this month!

The fifth annual dinner meeting of the membership will be held on October 14th. The evening will feature a catered dinner, short meeting highlighting the accomplishments of the museum during the past year, and a program which will feature several items that have been collected by the museum, and the stories behind them. This will be a very enjoyable evening. All members will receive an announcement and reservation form soon.

For more information about LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., or any of its upcoming events, visit the museum website at http://www.leroyheritage.org/.

LeRoy Old Home Day to be Held July 4th

by Matt Carl

June 27, 2006

LeRoy Old Home Day will be held on Tuesday, July 4, 2006 at the Community Grounds on Mill Street, LeRoy, PA.

First organized by the Open Hand Grange in the 1940‘s, the event is now sponsored by the LeRoy Community Association, Inc., who took over its planning in 1975. The event is held on the historic grounds of the former LeRoy Consolidated School.

This hometown Independence Day celebration will start at 9:30 a.m. with a "Golf Closest-To-The-Pin Tournament" held on the Little League field.

Throughout the morning, several vendors will be on hand both inside and outside, selling an assortment of craft and flea market items. The LeRoy Little League will operate their concession stand inside the Community Building.

During the day, the LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. will be set up next to their future community museum selling funnel cakes, ice cream cones and sundaes. The museum building will be open for those wishing to see the current renovation progress, view a display about the museum, or purchase various LeRoy and Laquin gift items. The 150 year old 10-seat outhouse, which was moved to its present location last year, will be open for curious visitors to view. The building was originally built for one of LeRoy’s first hotels.

The Community Association will provide various games of skill for the children including the Dime Toss, Dunking Booth, and more!

At 10:30 a.m., the LeRoy Community Association will begin serving home cooked dinners in generous portions at a reasonable price. A dining area will be available under a nearby tent.

The much anticipated auction will be held at 11:00 p.m. this year with Ed Pepper as auctioneer. Please note the change in time for the auction as it is being held prior to the parade this year.

The annual parade will line up on Mitstifer Road in LeRoy at 12:30 p.m. All area children, pets, classic cars, bicycles, floats, novelties, and other entries by churches, civic groups and businesses are welcome. THE PARADE BEGINS AT 1:00 P.M. followed by prizes being awarded to participants in three categories: Bicycles, Novelties, and Floats. The Association has increased the prize amounts for each category this year!

The Alba Brass will provide music during and after the parade.

LeRoy Community Association will be selling memorial bricks to be displayed at the former LeRoy Consolidated School. Another Association fundraiser will be the raffle of a flower design glider made by Kyle Martin. Tickets will be sold for $1 each or 6 for $5.

The Merchandise Walk will be held after the parade at 1:30 p.m. Immediately following this event will be a ball game on the LeRoy Little League field at 2:00 p.m.

The last event of the day is the Duck Derby in the Towanda Creek at 2:45 p.m. for those who have purchased ducks during the day.

Other features of this years event will include snow cones, face painting, log sawing, a watermelon eating contest, fun, food, and fellowship.

Please note that a free parking area will be available on the Association’s lower recreation field. Visitors are encouraged to use this parking area as it will help relieve congestion on Mill Street.

The Association welcomes everyone to come out and see the work that has been completed on the grounds in the last year. Bring a lawn chair and lounge under a nearby tent.

If you are interested in setting up a booth at LeRoy Old Home Day, contact Amber Chaapel, 570-364-5642. For information on how you can help, or for any other questions, please call Carrie Wilcox, 570-364-5473.

Matt Carl to Speak at the County Library

by Claire Borits, Bradford County Library

May 2006

Matt Carl, President of the LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc., will address the Genealogy/Local History group which meets at the County Library on Thursday, May18th, 6:30 p.m. The subject of his talk "Where we've been, where we are, and where we're going," will trace the development and progress of the museum from its inception to its incorporation. The LeRoy Heritage Museum is dedicated to the preservation of LeRoy Township history and to the education of the community about local heritage. The museum currently under restoration will be housed in the 1876 Open Hand Grange building.

The Monogram, a quarterly publication sent to members, publishes historical information, photographs, and updates on the museum restoration progress. The Monogram is named for the original Monogram, a weekly paper published in LeRoy in 1891 by Charles Holcomb.

Matt's talk will review the recent walking tour he led in Laquin, a ghost lumber town on Barclay Mountain. Original photos and restored enlarged copies taken in Laquin include portraits of the entrepreneurs, Barclay and Quinn, and industry sites of the stave sheds, the chemical works, the sawmill, schoolhouse, and churches.

Interested local historians are also invited to join the workbee at the LeRoy Museum on Saturday, May 13th from 9 a.m. to noon. Work ranges from stuffing envelopes, scraping paint, and moving lumber. Bring a dish to pass and stay for lunch. The museum is located on Route 414, between Monroeton and Canton, in LeRoy.

To register for the program at the County Library, call 297-2436 during library hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. The County Library is located on Route 6, midway between Troy and Towanda.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Moving Closer to its Goal

by Matt Carl

September 2005

LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. (LHM) is moving closer to its goal of providing a facility for the exhibition and interpretation of LeRoy Township history.

Museum volunteers have finished removing the old lath and plaster from the building. This is the end of the demolition work inside the building. The board of directors are now working with an architect to complete drawings for code approval. Once this is done, volunteers can go to work again to complete the interior renovation work, and handicap accessibility issues. Board members, who have held meetings in the building during the summer months, are anxious to open the museum for the public.

Aside from the building renovation, the museum board of directors have been busy in other areas as well. LeRoy Heritage Museum became incorporated on July 5, 2005, and soon received the deed to the museum property from the LeRoy Community Association, Inc.

On Saturday, September 17, LHM will hold a benefit beef stew and biscuit dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the LeRoy Community Building, adjacent to the museum, on Mill Street, in LeRoy. A donation is requested to benefit the building fund. Framed photos and LeRoy t-shirts will be for sale as well. Also, membership forms will be available for those wishing to join the museum, or for those who are interested in giving museum membership as a gift.

The fourth annual dinner meeting of the membership will be held on October 8th. The evening will feature a catered dinner, short meeting highlighting the accomplishments of the museum during the past year, and a program given by Guy & Marti Abell about the use of the hemlock tree in Laquin. This will be a very enjoyable evening. All members will receive an announcement and reservation form this week.

The museum collection continues to grow, and the board of directors are pleased with the variety of artifacts and other material that will be included in the museum. Most recently, the museum has developed a collection of Canton postcards and photographs, as well as a collection of photographs of the famous actors who had homes in Canton: Frank Mayo, Harry Davenport, Phyllis Rankin, and Frank Mayo. Some of these photos will be reproduced and the framed copies sold as a museum fundraiser. These framed photos make great Christmas gifts for the local historian in your family. If you are interested in acquiring framed historic photographs for yourself or as a gift, be sure to stop by the museum dinner on September 17, or at the museum tent, where a large selection will be available during the Fall Fling in Canton on October 1st and 2nd.

LeRoy Old Home Day, July 4th

by Matt Carl

July 2005

The 58th LeRoy Old Home Day will be held on Monday, July 4, 2005 at the Community Grounds on Mill Street, LeRoy, PA.

First organized by the Open Hand Grange in 1947, the event is now sponsored by the LeRoy Community Association, Inc., who took over its planning in 1975. The event is held on the historic grounds of the former LeRoy Consolidated School.

This hometown Independence Day celebration will start at 9:30 a.m. with a "Golf Closest-To-The-Pin Tournament" held on the Little League field.

Throughout the morning, several vendors will be on hand both inside and outside, selling crocheted items, quilts and quilted items, flea market items, garden items, painted saw blades, jewelry, homemade pens, wooden crafts and more. Chainsaw wood carving will be done throughout the day. The LeRoy Little League will operate their concession stand inside the Community Building.

During the day, the LeRoy Heritage Museum will be set up next to their future community museum with information and membership forms. This group will be selling funnel cakes, ice cream cones and sundaes, LeRoy patriotic t-shirts, framed duplicates of historic LeRoy photographs, and a LeRoy history book entitled, “The Best of Looking Back”. Copies of this booklet are going fast, and will have a special sale price of $25 at LeRoy Old Home Day only. Several attractions from throughout the Endless Mountains and northeast PA will be featured through pamphlets, booklets, and other information provided free to visitors. All funds collected from food sales, and other donations, will help in the renovation of the museum building.

This year, the LeRoy Heritage Museum will open a portion of its building for visitors to see the tremendous amount of work done within the last year. The front doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for those wishing to step inside for a peak. A display of pictures illustrating the recently completed structural renovation will be available inside during the day. The museum will hold a FREE raffle for visitors. The prize is a beautiful patriotic basket which includes a LeRoy t-shirt, framed historic photo, “Looking Back” book, and more.

The Community Association will provide various games of skill for the children including the Dime Toss, Fish Pond, Dunking Booth, and more!

At 11:00 a.m., a special ceremony will be held to dedicate several of the new additions to the Community Association grounds. These include the new multi-purpose recreation field, electronic scoreboard, bleachers, and outfield fence. Several remarks will be made by various people, and all donors/volunteers who contributed to these projects will be recognized. The Association encourages everyone to come out and see the work that has been completed on the grounds in the last year. Other projects include a new granite sign, new bathrooms and hall in the community building, a volleyball court on the recreation field, new roof, gutters, and trim paint on the community building, children’s play area, and much more.

Also at 11:00 a.m., the LeRoy Community Association will begin serving home cooked dinners in generous portions at a reasonable price. A dining area will be available under a nearby tent.

The annual parade will line up on Mitstifer Road in LeRoy at 11:30 a.m. All area children, pets, classic cars, bicycles, floats, novelties, and other entries by churches, civic groups and businesses are welcome. The parade starts at 12 noon followed by prizes being awarded to participants in three categories: Bicycles, Novelties, and Floats.

The LeRoy Community Association will be selling memorial bricks which will be used to create a walkway on the community grounds. Another Association fundraiser will be the raffle of an wooden octagon picnic table. Tickets will be sold for $1 each or 6 for $5.

The Merchandise Walk will be held after the parade at 12:30 p.m.

The much anticipated auction will be held at 1:00 p.m. with Ed Pepper as auctioneer. All proceeds support the upkeep of the Community Association grounds.

Immediately following the auction at about 1:30 p.m. will be the ball game on the LeRoy Little League field. The game will feature the Major Boys All Star Team vs. their fathers. Be sure to watch the game while sitting on the Associations new bleachers.

The last event of the day includes the Duck Derby in the Towanda Creek for those who have purchased ducks during the day.

Other features of this years event will include snow cones, face painting, log sawing, fun, food, and fellowship.

Please note that a parking area will be available on the Associations new recreation field. Visitors are encouraged to use this parking area as it will help relieve congestion on Mill Street.

If you are interested in setting up a booth at LeRoy Old Home Day, contact Amber Chaapel, 570-364-5642. For information on how you can help, or for any other questions, please call Carrie Wilcox, 570-364-5473.

LeRoy Heritage Museum Completes $64K Structural Renovation

by Matt Carl

June 2005

The LeRoy Heritage Museum recently completed a $64,000 structural renovation project at the former Open Hand Grange in LeRoy, Pa.

Built in 1876, the Open Hand Grange building was in need of a tremendous amount of work when it was purchased from the grange in 2001. “We were afraid that the building would be demolished.” said Matt Carl, museum president. “It would have been too expensive for a private individual to renovate the building.”

The museum board, which consists of twelve directors, went to work raising funds through memberships and fundraising events. Additionally, the museum applied for grant funding, eventually receiving a $30,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a $15,000 Pennsylvania Heritage Parks Program grant through the Endless Mountains Heritage Region, and $18,000 over two years from the Allen F. Pierce Foundation.

“It’s a significant amount of money to spend on just repairing the structural issues of a 26’ x 48’ building,” said Carl, “but preserving the history is worth it.” Several board members and much of the museum membership are descendants of farming families who spent many hours in the grange over the years. Open Hand Grange minutes, which are in the museums collection, detail events that occurred in the building over the last 130 years.

“This was originally the town hall,” explains Carl. The grange rented the second floor until 1904 when it purchased the building. The first floor was open for use by the community and often hosted traveling shows, plays, and other activities. Later, when the building was purchased by the grange, members completed several renovations. A room which was used as a kitchen was converted into a general merchandise store for grange members. On the second floor, another room contained a large library of books and reference materials for members to use. This was maintained by Albert T. Lilley, the first Master who also was a charter member of the Bradford County Historical Society, and the counties only geologist at the time.

The recent structural renovation was completed by DeCristo, Inc. of LeRoy, Pa. Additionally, the museum board worked with Anne Hersh, an Architect from Corning, N.Y.

The project began in August 2004 with demolition of the following: first floor interior walls, hardwood floor, sub floor, joists, and beams; a deteriorated sidewalk and three sets of concrete steps; and an old fire escape.

After the initial demolition, the following work was completed (not necessarily in the order listed): installation of a new 6” concrete floor in the basement; a new steel support structure to support both the first and second floors; new custom cut hemlock floor joists and 1 inch tongue and groove pine flooring to match original; four new basement windows and aluminum window wells; basement stairway relocated; main stairway removed and a new stairway reconfigured and installed; new seamless gutters and downspouts; two drainage systems (one to drain the gutters and window wells, the second to drain the ground water around the foundation); and the grade was raised 6” on the southern and eastern sides of the building, and lowered several inches on the northern side.

“The building is no where near completion,” Carl said, “but the major part of the overall project is done.” The museum board is planning several work bees through out 2005 in order to tentatively open part of the building by next summer. One work bee has already been held, and another is scheduled for June 11th. Carl indicated that further grant funding will be applied for, but that the museum will need a great deal of financial help from those interested in seeing the museum completed. “Each month we receive several donations of artifacts, memorabilia or photographs to add to the collection, and usually its something different all the time,” explained Carl. “It’s amazing how much history is in one township in Bradford County. We are anxious to show the community what we have collected!”

The LeRoy Heritage Museum has three major goals: preservation of artifacts, photographs, and manuscripts relevant to LeRoy Township; educating the local community and surrounding area about their heritage; and promoting local economic development through heritage tourism. The LHM Board of Directors consists of: Charles Brackman, Joe Chaapel, Tom & Ann Carl, Lorelei Colton, Susan Chaapel, Jason Krise, Matt Carl, Donna Stone, Bob Storch, Ted Tomlinson, and Betty VanNoy.

“We certainly are grateful to our members and our community who have made this possible. We’ve come a long way in four years,” said Carl. “We’re also grateful for the LeRoy Community Association, Inc., who have allowed us to grow and develop on their grounds.”

In other museum news, members recently moved an old 10-seat outhouse to be part of the museum. The building, donated by Mike and Lisa Miosi, originally came from the Holcomb Hotel in LeRoy that was built in 1851, and burned in 1894. It is divided into two rooms, with five seats in each room. Museum members will restore the outhouse to become an exhibit.

LeRoy Heritage Museum is planning a benefit dinner for June 18th, 4:30 p.m. to ?, at the Canton Fireman’s Building, Springbrook Drive, Canton. The dinner will feature sloppy joes with homemade salads, and apple pie with a dip of ice cream for desert. The dinner is $7. Also available for sale will be LeRoy patriotic t-shirts, framed/matted historic photos of LeRoy, books, and membership applications. Photos of recent work at the museum will be displayed.

For information about membership, museum activities, or how you can help, visit the LHM website. Write to LeRoy Heritage Museum, RR 1 Box 5152, Canton, PA 17724 or email leroymuseum@frontiernet.net.

Wysox I.O.O.F. Lodge #1152 Provides Financial Support for LeRoy Heritage Museum

by Paul Shapiro

December 2004

In a move to strengthen both groups, the LeRoy Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge merged with the Wysox IOOF Lodge #1152. The LeRoy Lodge was founded in 1873 and has celebrated many years of community service. Members recently assisted in the construction of a flag pole memorial to the late Jean Holcomb on the LeRoy Community Association Grounds. Jean comes from a long line of LeRoy families who lived in, and founded LeRoy.

In a brief ceremony the two Lodges were joined together. In celebration of the merger the Wysox Lodge made a sizable donation to the LeRoy Heritage Museum to further their work.

According to Noble Grand White this merger will enhance the Wysox Lodge's ability to serve the community. It continues the community service with the very active recycling program of paper, magazines, glass, plastic and cans for the Townships of Asylum, Standing Stone, and Wysox. Residents in these Townships are invited to bring their recyclable material to the pick up point on the 2nd Saturday of each month between the hours of 8am and noon. The pick up point is on Route 187 at the Asylum Township Building. They also provide fabulous pancake dinners on the 4th Sat of the month.

The idea for the LeRoy Heritage Museum was first formulated in the summer of 2001. According to President Matt Carl the idea was born in order to bring the community closer together and preserve the deep history of the area. The Museum was able to secure grants from the Department of Community and Economic Development (through the Bradford County Commissioners), the Pennsylvania Heritage Parks Program (through the Endless Mountains Heritage Region), the Allen F. Pierce Foundation, the Wysox Order of Odd Fellows as well as other private donations.

The Museum's vision is to honor long term residents of LeRoy such as the Holcombs, Morse's, and others; to preserve the history of the region; for educational value; to aid in economic development and increase local business through tourism. The community has been instrumental in helping the museum fulfill its goals. LHM has collected many pieces of LeRoy history, conducted educational history programs for local groups, and has encouraged local business development in LeRoy. The completed museum will house exhibits showcasing the heritage of LeRoy Township businesses, farms, schools, and social organizations including the churches, Grange, and Odd Fellows Lodge. Other plans include a genealogical/historical research library and gift shop.

The Wysox Lodge is always interested in gaining new members. If you believe in helping others while meeting a friendly supporting group, or in obtaining more information about the Odd Fellows, give us a call at 570-265-3789.

Any woman who is interested in a similar organization is invited to call Betty Conner the Noble Grand of Rebekah Lodge #443 at 570-265-2472.

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