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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Thank you for your continued support.

Sayre Historical Society offers presentation on Asa and Robert Packer - September 25th at 2 PM

SAYRE – Do you know who Asa Packer is? Robert Packer (the man not the hospital)? If not or if you’d like to learn more about these two very important historical figures, please come to the Sayre Historical Society Museum, 103 S. Lehigh Avenue on September 25th at 2 PM. The Society is offering a presentation by Ava Bretzik, Director & Historian of the Asa Packer Mansion Museum from Jim Thorpe, PA, who will speak on the contributions of these two gentlemen to the Lehigh Valley, and Pennsylvania. According to Ms. Bretzik, “Mr. (Asa) Packer was a humble man of very little words and did not need to be in the limelight because of his contributions. He was a true philanthropist and a God fearing man who left this world better than he found it.”

There is no charge to attend this event although donations are always appreciated. Light refreshments will be available during a question and answer period after the initial presentation.

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit historic preservation organization staffed by volunteers. The group is membership-supported and a recipient of United Way funding.

The Sayre museum received the 2015 Clement F. Heverly Outstanding Service Award presented by the Bradford County Historical Society. Be sure to check the Society out at or “Like us” on Facebook.


History Fair - Sept 3rd - featuring new exhibit on Milltown…and more

SAYRE – The 6th Annual History Fair at the Sayre Historical Society on Saturday, September 3 will feature unique historical items from private collections, a “visit” by George Westinghouse, and a special Sayre Centennial Time Capsule event.

Caption: An exhibit on “Milltown, U.S.A.” will open Saturday, September 3 as part of the 6th Annual Sayre Historical Society History Fair. Pictured above are members of the J.E. Wheelock Hose Company, 1991 Bradford County Hose Competition All-Points Champions. In the front row from left are Mike McCutcheon, Skip Searfoss and John Blackman Sr. In the second row from left are Matt Viselli, Dave Haines, Tom McCutcheon II, Joe Covey, Gil Crossett and Bob Johnston Sr. In the back row is Don McCutcheon II. (Photo courtesy of Milltown Hose Company)

A new exhibit titled “Milltown, U.S.A.” will also be unveiled in the museum’s Rotating Exhibit Room. The exhibit will run until December 21.

The History Fair event will be held on the grounds of the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad Station in downtown Sayre, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Exhibits will include Sayre souvenirs and Valley Directories from the past, history items from foreign wars, Sayre School District archives items, Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Clinic history, railroad lanterns and local history books. Doug Weeks from “Yesterday’s Gentlemen” will portray George Westinghouse, the American inventor who developed the railroad air brake.

A special feature of the History Fair will be the opening of the first drawer of the Sayre Centennial Time Capsule which was sealed on December 31, 1991 to conclude the year-long Centennial celebration. Four drawers were sealed with openings scheduled for 2016, 2041, 2066 and 2091. Envelopes included in the first drawer will be distributed during the next several months to individuals and groups that are identified on the envelopes. Valid identification will be required before envelopes are released. The drawer is scheduled to be resealed on December 31, 2016.

The Milltown, U.S.A. exhibit will highlight the fascinating history of the 18th century settlement that was developed by pioneer John Shepard and was an early industrial center of the Penn-York Valley. Despite changes caused by the development of Factoryville in Waverly in the 1830’s and the coming of the railroads to Waverly and Sayre in the 1850’s through 1870’s, the community has adapted and continues to epitomize community spirit. A number of rare images from the past are featured in the exhibit.

A flax demonstration and blacksmithing by Tim Sanphy of Sayre will also be held as well as an antique car show. Old-time games will be available for kids.

A video of the Sayre Centennial Variety Show will be playing in the Henry Farley Community Room on the second floor of the museum starting at 11 a.m. The museum is air conditioned and handicap accessible.

Boy Scout Troop 4019 of Sayre will be hosting a chicken barbecue on the grounds. Chicken halves and dinners with salt potatoes and baked beans will benefit the local Boy Scout troop.

The event follows a “show and tell” format with no judging of exhibits.

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers and a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

Sayre Class of 1966 takes center stage in Summer Quarterly

The 50th anniversary of the Class of 1966 is commemorated in the Summer issue of the Sayre Historical Society Quarterly with a two-page center section photograph of the happy graduates.

Photo Caption: The Sayre High School graduating class of 1966 is the featured photograph in the Summer 2016 Quarterly of the Sayre Historical Society. (Photo courtesy of the Sayre Area School District Archives)

Among the other stories featured in the latest issue are the 125th anniversary of the Sayre Times newspaper, the death of 87-year-old Annie Stephens (vice-president of the Sayre Printing Company), a profile of Sayre resident Dick Johnson, the 1894 annual report of the Robert Packer Hospital, the Sayre Ukes Boy Scout Troop, and a photograph of the town clock.

“The Times, as it is christened, peals its note of news to this highly intelligent public today for the first time, making its bow in as graceful a manner as possible,” states the editor, C.L. Francisco in the newspaper’s first issue. The first news of the new journalistic endeavor was the inaugural meeting of the new Sayre Borough Council. Sayre was incorporated as a borough on January 27, 1891.

A number of news items from the first issue are included in the Quarterly such as the new electric street railway, the new Methodist Church, the 760 pupils in the school system, news of Howard Elmer and spouse returning from California, and more. A number of advertisements from 1891 are also included in the story.

Mrs. D.R. (Annie) Stephens was thrust in the newspaper business when her husband passed away only a year after they purchased the Sayre Times-Record from C.L. Francisco. When her son died three years later, she became more active in the Sayre Printing Company which published the Evening Times. Her interesting life is recounted in the Summer Quarterly.

A well-known Sayre man, Dick (DJ) Johnson, who passed away earlier this year, is recalled through a series of photographs, newspaper clippings and even a U.S. Navy commendation.

One of several pictures donated by his niece, Michael Ann Wayman, includes a dance routine from the 1955 Redskin Revue with “D.J.” and Nancy Miller performing “An Old Soft Shoe.”

Mr. Johnson was a 1955 graduate of Sayre High School. After service in the U.S. Navy, he accepted a position with WATS radio. He later worked as an audio-visual coordinator at the H. Austin Snyder Elementary School.

The 1894 Annual Report of the Robert Packer Hospital includes some interesting tidbits of history. Franklin M. Stephens was superintendent of the institution during its ninth year.

Crowding was an issue that had to be dealt with as well as outside painting and plumbing “which has been thoroughly overhauled at an expense of $300,” according to the report.

A separate section lists donations made to the hospital including “a basket of cherries” by Mrs. S. J. French, a carload of wood by Trexler, Terrell & Co., and two boxes of oranges from Julius Hayden of Jacksonville, Florida.

The final story recounts a new Boy Scout Troop organized in 1937. The article appeared in the Ukrainian Youth magazine and was donated to the Sayre Historical Society by Jerry Pryslopski. Officially called Troop 2 of the Ascension of Our Lord Church, the group included “Ukrainian boys” of the community led by Scoutmaster Andrew Costic. Boys included Philip Ball, Steve Ball, Peter Ball, Matthew Cheresnowsky, Mike Fedchak, John Fedorka, Mike Halitski, Steve Pryslopski, John Ryck, John Stromick, Steve Kachmar, Mike Zaborney and John Jascomb.

A poster for a Block Dance to benefit the Sayre Canteen is included on the inside back cover.

The final item is a photograph of the Sayre town clock which is now located in Ithaca at the former Lehigh Valley Railroad station, now a bank. The clock was purchased and relocated by an Ithaca restaurant owner.

Copies of the Quarterly are mailed four times per year to members of the historical society. Individual copies are available from Carl’s Newsstand in Sayre and from the museum on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.