The first meeting of LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. was held on May 19, 2001. A group of local citizens, who were both interested in local history and concerned about how that history should be preserved, began to formulate the idea of creating a museum in LeRoy.
The Open Hand Grange #153, which had merged with the Beech Flats Grange #336 in 1999, was for sale. Because of its condition, it was evident that it would possibly be lost forever.
This newly formed group, which became a sub-organization of the LeRoy Community Association, Inc., went to work raising the funds that would be needed to purchase the property. On July 18, 2001, this task had been completed, and work began on raising the funding and making plans to renovate and restore the old building.
The museum began collecting artifacts, furniture, memorabilia, written records, genealogy, photographs, and much more, to be included in the future museum. In many cases, the museum has stepped in and saved local artifacts from being lost forever. Many people have also donated items for the museum. LHM provides a place to store and display these important items for the future, thereby allowing many years of interpretation and study of LeRoy and Barclay Mountain history.
The building houses exhibit spaces, a research library, and the Barclay Mountain Visitor Center gift shop. Funding has been provided by the Pennsylvania Heritage Parks Program (through the Endless Mountains Heritage Region), the Community Development Block Grant program (through the Bradford County Commissioners), the Allen F. Pierce Foundation, the Rodney & Vicki Mott Family Foundation. the Bradford County United Way, the Bradford County Room Tax Fund and the many patrons of LeRoy Heritage Museum, both locally and from across the United States and Canada.
Museum members acquired an old 10-seat outhouse on June 4, 2005 that would become part of the museums collection. The outhouse was originally built for the Holcomb Hotel that existed in LeRoy from 1851 to 1894.
On July 5, 2005, LeRoy Heritage Museum was incorporated and became LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc. At that time, ownership of the building officially passed from the LeRoy Community Association to the LeRoy Heritage Museum, Inc.
The museum opened to the public for the first time with a grand opening in May of 2010. Since then, more new exhibits have been added along with an improved research library and the museum collection has grown tremendously. The board continues to look to the future as we educate the public about the facinating history of our area.