Tours by appointment. The museum will be open Saturdays (10 to 4) and Wednesdays (from 5 to 7 p.m.) through December. Admission is free.

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We will continue to keep you up to date on what’s happening here and on our Facebook sites. Also you can reach us by email at or on our museum phone at 570.882.8221 and leave a message.
Thank you for your continued support.

Time Capsule - Saturday, December 31 at 1pm

Model Train Day coming to Sayre museum

SAYRE – “Model Train Day” rolls into the Sayre Historical Society Museum on Saturday, November 26 with model train-related displays, demonstrations and vendors. Two HO-scale model train layouts will be featured at the annual event. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. A special sneak preview will be held Friday, November 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. to coincide with the new town clock dedication and the annual Christmas Parade in Sayre. Hot chocolate and holiday cookies will be offered on Friday. Donations are accepted.

Photo Caption: An HO-scale Lehigh Valley Railroad steam locomotive is among several unique model trains on display as part of the annual Model Train Day at the Sayre Historical Society on Saturday, November 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The two model train layouts are permanent displays of the museum, located in the Lehigh Valley Railroad passenger station in downtown Sayre. The first includes a replica of the Sayre station, the Desmond Street Park, and buildings on Desmond Street from the 1940’s and 50’s. It was built by Don “Buckshot” Murray, a Navy veteran who worked for General Electric and passed away in 2008. His wife was the former Nancy Springer of Sayre. A special feature of the layout is the sound effects including the clank, clank, clank of passing trains, steam and diesel whistles and a conductor shouting, “All abo-o-o-o-o-o-ard!”

The second layout is located in the building’s old baggage room. It was built by Charles Dixon and moved in two sections to the museum building and reassembled. A rugged coal mining operation and a small town typical of many communities along the route of the Lehigh Valley Railroad highlight this scenic layout. Long maintained by local model railroaders John Knowles and Russ Rawley, the layout has been refreshed and reworked by John Reynolds of Waverly and Aaron Dickson of Athens. Reynolds and Dickson will be available on Saturday offering their expertise on the fine art of model building and scenery creation.

Railroad memorabilia vendors will offer for sale a large variety of vintage railroad items on the second floor of the museum. Bob Gongleski of Vestal, NY specializes in LVRR ephemera including postcards, slides, photographs and books.

Bob Pastorkey of Trackside Photo has a large selection of 8 x 10 black and white photographs he sells at various train shows. The photographs cover the Lehigh Valley, D.L. & W. and Erie-Lackawanna Railroads.

In addition, Sayre historian Jim Nobles will have a number of vintage Sayre postcards for sale during the day-long event. Nobles has presented a number of interesting and well-attended history presentations at the museum.

“Milltown U.S.A.,” the latest Rotating Exhibit located on the second floor of the historic train station, covers the fascinating history of the settlement that dates back to the 1790’s when steam mills powered local industry. Another display, located in the lobby of the museum, highlights the life of Sayre’s “volunteer extraordinaire,” Joe Kennedy, affectionately known as “Smokey Joe.” A second display in the lobby features items from the Centennial Time Capsule that was opened in September as the first of four planned openings. Envelopes are available to purchase to be placed in the Time Capsule drawer that will be resealed on December 31 of this year and then re-opened in 2091.

The Burkhart Gift Shop features a number of Sayre-related souvenirs including two CD recordings of the smooth jazz sound of the Walt Brittain Trio recorded live at the Iron Kettle Inn in Waverly by Roberta Sickler in 1973. Featured musicians include Walt Brittain on piano, Roy Brittain on percussion and Nelson Sickler on trumpet.

The popular Postcard History of Sayre book is available along with two books by railroad author Richard Palmer – The Handsomest Train in the World: The First 25 Years of the Black Diamond Express and A Moment in Railroad History: Theodore Roosevelt’s Presidential Special to Chatauqua, N.Y.

Postcards, fine art prints and notecards, past issues of the Sayre Quarterly, souvenir china and more are also available in the gift shop.

For more information, visit the museum website, like us on Facebook, call the museum at 570-882-8221 or e-mail the museum at The museum is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers and a recipient of United Way funds.

Model Train Day - Saturday, November 26th

Sayre prisoner of war featured in latest Sayre Quarterly

SAYRE – A story about a Sayre man captured by the Germans during World War II highlights the Fall issue of the Sayre Historical Society’s Quarterly.

Photo Caption: Cpl. Glenn Sutton, who was a prisoner of war during World War II, is recalled by his daughter in the Sayre Historical Society’s Fall Quarterly.

Glenn Sutton, an employee of the Bell Knitting Co. before he was drafted, was captured in Belgium in December of 1944 and imprisoned in a German prisoner of war camp. The account, written by his daughter, Nancy Fassett, includes a number of photographs, copies of telegrams announcing his capture and even a letter written by Nancy when she was eight years old. After he was liberated from the camp in May of 1945, he later was discharged from the Army and returned to the Valley. He was known as “one of the best mechanics” in the area, according to his daughter. He passed away on November 1, 1973 at the age of 62.

Along with the interesting account of Mr. Sutton, the Quarterly includes a story on a 1905 ordinance in Sayre Borough limiting motor vehicles to no more than 10 miles per hour. Another item is an early 1960’s brochure on the Donald Guthrie Foundation for Medical Research. Formed in 1942 by Dr. Guthrie, the Foundation supported research activities of the Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Clinic.

Gracing the center section of the publication is a photograph of the Lehigh Valley Railroad station in Sayre from 1966. The photo was made from an original color slide made by an unknown photographer.

The final feature in the Quarterly is an account of the recent “Sayre at 125” exhibit presented by the museum in its second story Rotating Exhibit Room. Commemorating the 125th anniversary of the founding of Sayre Borough, the exhibit examined the first borough council meeting on March 2, 1891 as well as the death of Sayre’s visionary founder, Howard Elmer, on September 9, 1892. The exhibit, which ran from April 2 to September 1, also included photographs and historical information on the 1893 railroad strike, the new railroad shops in Sayre, Keystone Park and “hometown hero” Tom Worthington, who starred in the 1949 Rose Bowl for Northwestern. Some recall the television broadcaster announcing the heroics of the young athlete from “Say-ree.”

The exhibit also included panels on World War II, the Sayre Canteen, the opening of the Valley War Memorial Swimming Pool in 1948 along with the last run of the Black Diamond Express train on May 12, 1959.

Other highlights were the dedication of Guthrie Square in 1957, major league baseball player Jeff Terpko, the Valley Railroad Museum which opened in 1985 and the Guthrie One helicopter crash on January 29, 1991 near Sonestown, Pa.

The exhibit closed with memories of the Century II building program at Guthrie Healthcare System, the Sayre Centennial Celebration in 1991 and the infamous Flood of 2011.

The back page of the publication includes a classic photograph of Joe Kennedy, affectionately known as “Smokey Joe,” peddling newspapers near the Robert Packer Hospital. The photograph taken by the late Luke Hutter of Sayre, was loaned to the Sayre Historical Society by John Lucy for an exhibit in the museum’s lobby.

The Quarterly is mailed four times per year to members of the Sayre Historical Society as part of their membership benefits. Individual copies are available at the museum on Saturdays from 10 to 4 and Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m., and at Carl’s Newsstand in Sayre.

The museum will be hosting Oktoberfest on Wednesday, October 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring craft beers from Bluestone Brewing Co. and Skerpon’s Beverage and a sampling of food including meatballs, bratwurst, sauerkraut, and more. Tickets are available at the museum, from any board member, or at the door.

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit historic preservation organization staffed by volunteers and supported by funding from the United Way.

Be sure to check the Society out at or “Like us” on Facebook.