MUSEUM & GIFT SHOP HOURS OF OPERATION:
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.

Click here for directions

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 sayrehistorical@yahoo.com or on our museum phone at 570.882.8221 and leave a message.
Thank you for your continued support.

Schedule of Events for 2019 - New Books in the Gift Shop

Valley artist M. Louis Gore is the subject of a feature story in the Sayre Historical Society's latest Quarterly history magazine. The story focuses on Gore's "lost mural" at the Wilbur Hotel in Sayre.

Joyce Tice to speak for Sayre Historical Society Genealogy Workshop

On Saturday July 27, Joyce M. Tice renowned local historian will be the speaker for the genealogy workshop hosted by the Sayre Historical Society. The program will begin at 1 p.m. in the Henry Farley Community Room of the Sayre Museum.

Joyce Tice founded and maintains the Tri-Counties Genealogy and History Site which is a search engine for 18,000 pages of resource materials and tools for Tioga and Bradford Counties in Pennsylvania and Chemung County, NY. The site is dedicated to preserving the memory of our pioneer ancestors and the history of the area in which they lived. Tice encourages people to look at the whole environment to understand the lives these women and men lived, the hardships they endured when the area was under development, and the lasting contribution they made in their lives to the world in which we now live. The function of the site is Education, preservation of historic materials, and distribution with ease to the public.

Joyce is also the founder and executive director of the History Center on Main Street in Mansfield, PA. The History Center operates in two locations both on Main Street. The holdings of the museum include business memorabilia of the greater Mansfield area, a history-genealogy library, extensive family files in the genealogy room, and tens of thousands of photos and postcards arranged in albums and in a movie version.

Joyce will be speaking at the Sayre Genealogy Workshop about her website and museum and how genealogy has changed the environment.

This event is free to the public and will be an excellent opportunity for beginners and seasoned genealogists to hear Joyce Tice tell her story and gain some insight on how to start or continue with your own search.

The Sayre Historical Society is located in the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad Station in downtown Sayre. The membership-supported organization is staffed by volunteers and funded in part by the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.

Upcoming events include “History Under the Stars” on Saturday, August 24, History Fair on Saturday September 7 and the rededication of the Dough Boy in Howard Elmer Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the erection of the monument on Saturday September 14, at 1 p.m.

Visit www.sayrehistoricalsociety.org or Facebook for more information.



LV engineer called “Slug” recalled in Sayre Quarterly

SAYRE – William (Slug) Ryan was an engineer on the Lehigh Valley Railroad but it was his power-hitting exploits on the baseball diamond that earned him his colorful nickname.

CAPTION: Lehigh Valley Railroad engineer William “Slug” Ryan was a power hitter on several local baseball teams and is remembered in the summer issue of the Sayre Historical Society Quarterly now available.

Ryan is one of several subjects explored in the Summer issue of the Sayre Historical Society’s Quarterly history magazine.

Other items in the Summer Quarterly include a feature story and photographs of a 11-year-old Sayre girl who corresponded with a soldier during World War I, the Sayre High School Class of 1969, the 1969 yearbook dedication to former teacher Thomas Brown, a 1957 resolution honoring Dr. Donald Guthrie as “Sayre’s greatest man,” and a story on the discovery of unique union records in a Madison Street basement.

The Quarterly is published four times a year and is mailed to historical society members as part of their membership benefits. Individual copies are available at Carl’s News Stand in Sayre and the historical society museum located in the former Lehigh Valley Railroad Passenger Station in downtown Sayre. The museum is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5 to 7. A rotating exhibit titled “Working on the Railroad: Sayre and the Lehigh Valley Railroad” is on display until September 4. Admission to the museum is free.

Ryan was a Sayre native who started working on the railroad as a sixteen-year-old, working his way up to engineer. He acquired the nickname “Slug” while playing baseball in the Valley following World War I, according to his August. 27, 1965 obituary in the Sayre Evening Times. Ryan was called the “home run king” and legendarily hit a long ball into the pond at the old Coleman Field in Sayre. He played on the Ingersoll-Rand team, the Sayre Shops team and the Coleman Memorial team, according to his obituary. The 1915 Coleman team won the Bradford County Championship with a record of 21 wins and five losses.

Ryan was a private with the Engineer Corps of the U.S. Army during World War I and treasurer of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers in Sayre for 20 years, according to the obituary.

The story on 11-year-old Helen Champion was provided courtesy of Tim and Cindy Hill of St. Charles, Missouri who acquired the collection of World War I letters.

“When Helen was a child, she met a U.S. soldier on his way to the European Western Front to begin his journey in World War I,” according to Tim Hill, who inherited the letters from his mother, Liz Hill. “While we have great pride in these artifacts as part of the story of America, we cannot keep them from the Sayre community as this chance encounter between a child and soldier would not have happened if the Lehigh Valley Railroad had not had a train station in Sayre.”

The story includes excerpts from several of the letters, a photograph of the soldier (Sgt. Charles Kennedy), two picture postcards, and an envelope bearing the official censor mark of U.S. military.

In one of the letters, the soldier describes the city of Paris during the war.

“It seems so hard to realize that France is at war, if it wasn’t for the absence of men here,” Kennedy said. “About the only people you can see are old folks and children.”

Kennedy recounts the ocean voyage when they “fairly sneaked out of our port in the evening,” and were not allowed on deck “until we were safe from the curious public.”

Helen (Champion) Haflett was born June 22, 1907 in Athens, the daughter of Edmund M. and Amanda Armsbugle Champion. She lived in Sayre for most of her life, was a member of the Church of the Redeemer and passed away on May 18, 1977. She was married to John W. Haflett, who died on April 2, 1973.

The Sayre Class of 1969 is remembered on its 50th anniversary. The yearbook dedication to class advisor and biology teacher Thomas Brown is included recognizing the “time and energy he expends in completing his duties at SHS,” according to the yearbook dedication. The class photograph taken on the steps of Methodist Church is featured in the center section of the Quarterly. Class officers for the Class of 1969 were President, Joseph Ennis; Vice-President, Daniel Scanlin; Secretary Margaret Burkhart; Treasurer, William Cooper, and Historian, David Rich. Ellen Ganley was the yearbook editor.

In 1957, Sayre Borough honored Sayre physician and hospital administrator Dr. Donald Guthrie by renaming the streets surrounding Howard Elmer Park as Guthrie Square.

According to the resolution, Guthrie was recognized for his “untiring and unstinted devotion to the welfare of humanity, his civic contributions, his benefactions, and his kindly interest in all people, particularly those with whom he has lived as neighbor and friend.”

An article that appeared in the January 11, 1910 issue of the Towanda Daily Review, recounts the board of trustees meeting of the Robert Packer Hospital where Dr. Guthrie was formally approved as surgeon-in-chief of the hospital. The meeting was expected to be contentious but the article stated the meeting was “largely attended and very harmonious.”

The discovery of union records was made by the Harry, Maureen and Brian Howland of Sayre who are renovating a Madison Street, Sayre residence. Nine boxes of records were discovered ranging in date from 1947 to 1968 from Sayre Lodge No. 578 of the Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employees.

Several of the documents include the name of Warren S. Parke, who was a local union chairman, and who at one time lived in the Madison Street home. The records include railroad employee rosters, sick leave requests, furloughs and company bulletins. The treasure trove of records is currently being processed at the historical society.

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers and a recipient of funding from the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.



Northeast railroads subject of Sayre Railroad Heritage Day program

SAYRE – An illustrated program on railroad history is on tap at the Sayre Historical Society on Saturday, June 29 as part of Railroad Heritage Day. Author Jeremy Plant will present a 1 p.m. program on “Northeast Railroads Before Conrail: 1967 to 1976.” Admission is free.

CAPTION: Lehigh Valley Railroad diesel locomotives are pictured in the Sayre service-track area in the mid-1970’s. A program on “Northeast Railroads Before Conrail” will be presented Saturday, June 29 at 1 p.m. by author Jeremy Plant as part of the Sayre museum’s Railroad Heritage Day.

An all-day scavenger hunt for kids will allow youngsters to explore the story of Sayre on two floors of history at the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad Station. Finally, a one-day “Ice Cream Station” will be set up on the grounds of the museum offering old-fashioned ice cream sandwiches from Bethie’s Place.

The event, formerly called Caboose Day, will focus on the importance of railroad history on the development of Sayre and the surrounding Penn-York Valley communities. Downtown Sayre businesses will also also hosting the second annual Street Faire on Saturday.

Plant brings to Sayre an extensive background in transportation and railroad history. A former professor of public policy and administration with Penn State University Harrisburg, Plant has authored a number of books on railroads including the 2003 book Trackside Around Sayre, Towanda and Waverly with Lloyd Hall. In 2008, Plant wrote an article in Milepost Magazine for the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania on Sayre’s “Railfan Bridge” which traversed the railroad yards until 1988.

Plant started railfanning the Penn-York Valley when he was finishing college at Colgate University and his brother was a at law school at Cornell University in Ithaca.

“It was a great area,” Plant recalled, “with beautiful scenery and remarkable railroad atmosphere and activity.”

Plant later returned to the area when his son Brian was enrolled at Ithaca College and they retraced many of the same trips he took when he was Brian’s age, Plant recalled. Many of the photographs from those railfan sojourns will form the basis for Saturday’s program

“I have put together a show of about 160 photographs of Central Railroad of New Jersey, Lehigh Valley Railroad, Erie-Lackawanna and Delaware & Hudson, with a couple of Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad thrown in,” Plant said. “The program goes west on the CNJ and LV from New Jersey to Sayre/ Waverly, then E-L from New Jersey to Waverly and finishes with D&H heading north from Binghamton and finishes with D&H ‘Sharks’ on the branches out of White Hall.”

Plant’s program is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. in the second-floor Henry Farley Community Room. The museum is handicap-accessible and air-conditioned for comfort.

A new publication on the most recent exhibit “Working on the Railroad: Sayre and the Lehigh Valley Railroad” is available in the museum’s Burkhart Gift Shop. The book Trackside Around Sayre, Towanda and Waverly with Lloyd Hall is also available in the gift shop.

The Sayre Historical Society is a membership-supported historic preservation organization staffed by volunteers. The historical society receives funding from the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.



Author headlining Sayre’s “Railroad Heritage Day”

SAYRE – The author of numerous railroad books will be the guest speaker on Saturday, June 29 at the first Railroad Heritage Day at the Sayre Historical Society. Ice cream, special displays and a children’s scavenger hunt will be featured at the event. Admission is free.

CAPTION: Sayre’s “Railroad Heritage” will be celebrated on Saturday, June 29 with an illustrated lecture by noted railroad author Jeremy Plant along with special displays, ice cream and a children’s museum scavenger hunt.

The guest speaker, Jeremy Plant, was the co-author of the 2002 book Trackside Sayre-Waverly-Towanda, published by Morning Sun Books and featuring photographs of the late Lloyd Hall of Towanda. Plant, who has extensive experience as professor of public policy and administration with Penn State University, also co-authored Lehigh Valley – Volume 3 - In Color with Richard Steinbrenner and Trackside Around Allentown, Pa. 1947 - 1968 with Arthur Angstadt.

Plant, who will be presenting an illustrated lecture at the event starting at 1 p.m., recalls the area he refers to as the “two tiers” – the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York.

“When I first started railfanning, I was finishing college at Colgate University in central New York, and my brother Jeffrey, also a railfan, was at law school at nearby Cornell,” Plant recalls. “We would meet and railfan in Sayre, Waverly, Towanda and Elmira, the very same locations covered so superbly in earlier years by Lloyd Hall. It was a great area, with beautiful scenery and remarkable railroad atmosphere and activity.”

Plant said the presence of the Lehigh Valley’s yard and shop complex at Sayre as well as the Erie-Lackawanna in Waverly made the region “a railfan paradise.”

In later years, Plant returned to the region with his son, Brian, “another member of the Plant family railfans,” when the son was enrolled at Ithaca College.

“We retraced many of the same trips I took when I was his age,” Plant said.

Plant said his presentation will include many photographs taken from the “railfan bridge” that crossed the heart of the Sayre yards.

The Sayre museum is presently hosting an exhibit “Working on the Railroad” that traces the railroad industry in Sayre. The exhibit will be on display in the second floor Rotating Exhibit Room until September 4. The museum also includes extensive displays on all aspects of Sayre history including the Robert Packer Hospital, Dr. Donald Guthrie, the Blue Swan Mill, churches, schools and more. The museum also features two HO-scale model train layouts, a gift shop, and reference library. The museum is located in the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad Station and is handicapped accessible and air conditioned.

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit historic preservation organization staffed by volunteers. The member-supported group receives funds from the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.



Vintage items added to the Sayre museum Antique Day

SAYRE – A number of vintage items have been added to the first Antique Appraisal Day on Saturday, May 18 at the Sayre Historical Society.

CAPTION: A painting of the Robert Packer Hospital’s 1916 Cadillac ambulance depicted by Frank Evans of Sayre will be among the items on display at the first Antique Day on Saturday, May 18 at the Sayre Historical Society.

The event will feature a display of antique items from the collection of the Sayre Historical Society along with the opportunity to have Barbara Kotasek of the Emporium in Owego offer an unofficial appraisal on antiques brought in by local people.

Board members and volunteers from the Sayre Historical Society will also be on hand to offer historical information including local historian James Nobles, Henry Farley, president of the Bradford County Historical Society, and Rick Antonetti of Sayre, music enthusiast and collector of records from the past.

Admission to the event, which runs from 1 to 3 p.m., is free. Persons interested in having an item reviewed for an unofficial appraisal will be charged $3 if they are members of the Sayre Historical Society and $5 for non-members. New members who register for membership on May 18 will receive one appraisal.

Registration will begin at 10 a.m. on the day of the event and items will be reviewed first come, first served based on registration.

Kotasek brings a wealth of antiquarian knowledge to the event.

“I’ve done a lot with antiques over the years,” said Kotasek, who helped organize the Owego Antiques and Collectible Market at the Emporium. “I’ve had my hands in a lot of it. I’ve worked with an auctioneer and I had a shop of my own at one time so I have a lot of experience.”

Kotasek said she plans to bring books on antiques to the event for interested people to look at while they are waiting for their appraisal.

The Owego Elks Emporium Market, located on the corner of Church and Front Streets in downtown Owego, is a multi-vendor antique market open on the first and third Sundays of each month from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. They feature antiques, “uniques” and collectibles in over 10,000 square feet of space with over 50 dealers.

Appraisal information provided at this event is for information purposes only and should not be considered an official appraisal. The Sayre Historical Society is not responsible for appraisal information. No firearms will be allowed for display or evaluation.

Items being readied for display at the event are an antique wicker baby carriage made in the 1920’s by the Hedstrom-Union Co., a G-scale Lehigh Valley Railroad model diesel locomotive, an Elgin pocket watch from the collection of the late Sid Glaser of Sayre, and an ice cream container from the former Hicks and Collins store on Desmond Street.

The Sayre Historical Society is a membership-supported historic preservation organization staffed by volunteers. The museum building is handicap-accessible. The historical society receives funding from the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.



Sayre museum hosting first Antique Day

SAYRE – Antiques from Sayre’s past will be on display Saturday, May 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Sayre Historical Society’s first Antique Day. Items will be featured from the historical society’s collection, some dating back to the early days of the Valley Railroad Museum in the mid-1980’s and others from more recent donations. As an added bonus, Barbara Kotasek from the Emporium in Owego will be available to offer expert information on antiques brought in by interested local people.

CAPTION: An antique wicker baby carriage made in the 1920’s by the Hedstrom-Union Co. will be among the various vintage objects on display at the first Antique Day at the Sayre Historical Society on Saturday, May 18.

Admission is free. Persons desiring an unofficial appraisal of their antique items will be charged $5 per item (or $3 per item if they are historical society members). New members joining the historical society on May 18 will receive one free appraisal. Appraisals will be done on a first-come, first-serve basis and registration will begin at 10 a.m.

The Owego Elks Emporium Market is a multi-vendor antique market open on the first and third Sundays of each month from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. They feature antiques, “uniques” and collectibles in over 10,000 square feet of space with over 50 dealers.

Board members and volunteers from the Sayre Historical Society will also be on hand to offer historical information on items brought in to show including local historian James Nobles, Henry Farley, president of the Bradford County Historical Society, and Rick Antonetti of Sayre, music enthusiast and collector of records from the past.

Items scheduled to be on display from the historical society collection include an antique baby carriage from the 1890’s, a G-scale Lehigh Valley diesel locomotive, railroad lanterns, an ice cream container from the former Hicks and Collins store, and much more.

Appraisal information is for information purposes only and should not be considered an official appraisal. The Sayre Historical Society is not responsible for appraisal information. No firearms will be allowed for appraisal or display.

The Sayre Historical Society is a membership-supported historic preservation organization staffed by volunteers. The historical society receives funding from the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.



Sayre museum re-opening Saturday with new railroad exhibit

SAYRE – The Sayre Historical Society is opening Saturday with a new exhibit “Working on the Railroad” featuring more than 25 unique images of railroad employees working in Sayre.

CAPTION: In a June 3, 1944 photograph, Mrs. Clyde Carrington, left, drives a tractor while her daughter, Mrs. Myrtle Pruyne, works in a labor gang. (Her husband was in the U.S. Army). Robert Carrington, second from right, had just returned from the South Pacific when this photograph was taken while Clyde Carrington, at right, was a machinist in the locomotive shop at Sayre. The photograph is one of several featured in a new exhibit at the Sayre Historical Society opening Saturday.

The exhibit will be featured in the museum’s Rotating Exhibit Room starting Saturday and running until September 6. A history of the railroad in Sayre from the earliest days is also featured as part of the exhibit. Admission is free.

The museum, located in the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad Station in downtown Sayre, features two floors of history including two HO-scale model train layouts, local history displays, military uniforms and a gift shop. The historical society also maintains a Sayre-built Lehigh Valley Railroad caboose (#95011) that is open for tours.

A series of ten murals has been added to the Lehigh Avenue wall of the former Newberry building now housing the Desmond Street Guthrie facility. The murals are viewable from the museum grounds. In addition, eight new kiosks outlining the history of Sayre have been added to the area surrounding the museum.

The history of the railroad in Sayre starts back in the days of the Pennsylvania & New York Canal and Railroad Company. The earliest mention of a railroad in the Penn-York Valley dates to the proposed Tioga Point Railroad in 1841 that was never built. The exhibit features historical dates compiled by late railroad historian Hart Seeley and author Richard Palmer.

In 1849, the New York & Erie Railroad was completed between Owego and Elmira. It wasn’t until 1856 that the Junction Canal opened from Athens to Elmira covering a distance of 18 miles.

In 1865, the Pennsylvania & New York Canal and Railroad Company was incorporated taking over the North Branch Canal. The P & NY joined the Southern Central Railroad and the Ithaca & Towanda Railroad at a point between Waverly and Athens that was called Southern Central Junction and later Sayre.

Railroad shops were built at Waverly Junction in the 1870’s followed by new shops built in Sayre in 1880.

According to the May 16, 1902 Sayre Evening News, new shops were proposed for Sayre that would be able to repair “heaviest class of motive power.” Those shops, often referred to the “System Shops,” were completed in 1904 and the locomotive repair building was called by some accounts the largest railroad shop under one roof in the world.

The railroad also offered an apprentice program for young employees starting in about 1909 implemented by F.N. Hibbits, who was superintendent of motive power for the Lehigh Valley and called the “father” of the apprentice system.

“The proof of the success of the system is the fact that almost all our boys fulfill their apprenticeships and remain with the company,” said Mr. Hibbits, according to the January 30, 1914 Waverly Free Press.

The railroad was a mainstay of the local economy for many years providing employment for thousands of people in Sayre, Athens, Waverly and surrounding areas.

Dieselization of the railroad began in 1945 as the Lehigh purchased freight engines from General Motors. Complete dieselization was completed in 1951.

In 1962, the Pennsylvania Railroad took total control of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The move toward highway trucking and other factors spelled defeat for many eastern anthracite railroads including the Lehigh Valley which declared bankruptcy on July 24, 1970.

By February 16, 1974, the Lehigh Valley had 599 employees in the Sayre area and on November 20, 1975, it was announced that the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Sayre Shops would not be part of the Consolidated Rail plan. At the time the shops had 275 employees.

On March 30, 1976, the era of the Lehigh Valley Railroad came to an end.

The Sayre Historical Society is a member-supported organization staffed by volunteers and funded in part by the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.

Starting Saturday, the museum will be open Saturdays from 10 to 4 and Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m.



Asa Packer featured in Spring Quarterly

SAYRE – The Spring issue of the Sayre Historical Society Quarterly highlights the life of Asa Packer, father of Robert Packer, whose industrial empire had a direct and long-lasting impact on the history of Sayre. Other stories in the latest issue of the local history magazine are the sale of Oak Grove Park in 1944, the obituary of former postmaster George M. Lull in 1901 and the railroad photographs of the late James F. Ward.

CAPTION: Asa Packer, father of Robert A. Packer, is the subject of a cover story in the Sayre Historical Society’s Spring Quarterly. The photograph above was taken by photographer Frederick Gutekunst and is part of the historical society’s Chemung Canal Trust Company Collection. (Sayre Historical Society)

The Quarterly is published four times a year and is mailed to historical society members as part of their membership benefits. Individual copies are available at Carl’s News Stand in Sayre and the historical society museum located in the former Lehigh Valley Railroad Passenger Station in downtown Sayre. The museum will reopen for the season on Saturday, April 6 with a new exhibit “Working on the Railroad: Sayre and the Lehigh Valley Railroad.”

Asa Packer was born in Mystic, Connecticut on December 29, 1805 and used his “receptive mind and habits of thought and observation” to amass one of the country’s great fortunes. But the man who founded the Lehigh Valley Railroad and funded the famous Lehigh University had a humble start when he left his boyhood home and traveled west.

“He packed all his worldly possessions, consisting of a few simple articles of clothing, shouldered his humble pack, and set out afoot to make his way in a great world which was altogether unknown to him,” said Hopkin Thomas, who chronicled Packer’s life for the on-line Hopkin Thomas Project.

Packer learned the carpenter’s trade and eventually secured work with the newly-opened Lehigh Canal.

“He drove in a primitive sled to Mauch Chunk, made a satisfactory engagement, and then returned home to close up his affairs in time for the opening of navigation. In the spring, he set out to engage in his new undertaking, walking to Tunkhannock, on the Susquehanna River, where he boarded a raft which took him to Berwick, whence he walked to Mauch Chunk,” according to the Thomas account in the Quarterly.

Through his connections to the Lehigh Canal and the burgeoning coal trade, Packer became acquainted with Commodore Stockton who helped Packer develop the Lehigh Valley Railroad, according to the July 21, 1869 Tunkhannock Democrat.

In his later years, Packer started Lehigh University in South Bethlehem by donating land and money in 1865 and making additional donations ten years later.

Packer also served as an associate judge, was an elected member of the U.S. Congress and was even nominated during the National Democratic Convention for president and later governor. His local legacy includes his son Robert, whose home became Robert Packer Hospital, largely though the donation of the vacant home by Robert’s sister, Mary, in 1885. Through the generosity of Mary Packer, the Church of the Redeemer and the former Coleman Memorial Parish House were built.

Asa Packer died at the age of 74 on May 7, 1879. One of the Lehigh’s fast passenger trains carried the name of its founder and operated between the cities of Easton, Bethlehem, Allentown and Mauch Chunk.

Another story in the Quarterly recalls Oak Grove Park, a short-lived park located on S. Keystone Avenue. An October 19, 1944 article by George R. Loop recounts the site which operated from about 1906 to 1909. The popular recreation spot was located in the 300 block of South Keystone Avenue across from Chemung Street behind the current Family Dollar Store.

Loop describes the somewhat unusual location of Oak Grove Park in his article.

“The steep sides are covered with a fine growth of oak,” he wrote. “The hole in the ground cannot be accounted for. It looks as though a huge meteorite had plunged from the heavens to find its resting place in the pool that exists at the bottom. It might have been created by glacial action during the ice age, as most of the ground in this section shows this effect. Draw upon your imagination for the solution of the mystery.”

The article includes a rare photographic view of what is believed to be the entrance to the park from a postcard dated 1907.

A story on the late James Ward also includes photographs donated to the Valley Railroad Museum in 1994 and recently printed for the new exhibit at the Sayre Historical Society. Ward worked as a senior electrician for the railroad and later was employed as a test lab technician for IBM for many years. He was born on October 19, 1918, the son of James Lawrence Ward and Anna L. Hughes. He was a 1936 graduate of Sayre High School, a member of the Epiphany Church and enjoyed amateur radio, electronics, photography, fishing and watching baseball games, according to his obituary. He married the former Marilyn Jayne Vaughn in 1945.

A double page view of the former Robert Packer Hospital and a four-page section on the R. & E. Pattern & Foundry Corp. in Sayre is also included in the issue.

A 1959 photograph shows John Polinski playing accordion as part of a Sayre Recreation Talent Show. Polinski was also a member of a musical group called the Hi-Lo’s, formerly known as the Eight-Teens. The photograph was donated to the historical society by Sandra Paluzzi.

The Sayre Historical Society is a member-supported, non-profit organization and a recipient of funding from the United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.



Website Accessibility Statement

Sayre Historical Society
Museum Facebook
Sayre Historical Society & Museum | Sayre, PA | sayrehistoricalsociety.org

Home Contact Search