The Dream Begins
In December 2002 the Sayre Historical Society signed a 99-year lease with Sayre Borough for the former Lehigh Valley Railroad Passenger Station in the amount of one dollar to be paid yearly. That act began the long-held dream of the Society for a museum to represent “all of Sayre.”
Planning began to renovate and restore the stately Queen Anne Victorian-styled station to prepare it to house the Sayre Historical Society Museum.
The museum will contain displays which highlight Sayre's illustrious past, its people and industries. To that end, for example, items from the former Valley Railroad Museum collection have been returned by the Bradford County Historical Society to Sayre to become part of the displays featuring the renowned Lehigh Valley Railroad history in Sayre.
These items, along with many others donated by individuals or companies will be placed on display within the station museum.
Museum Renovation Update
Renovations to the Sayre Historical Society Museum located in the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad Passenger Station continue although much has already been accomplished.
Restoration of the exterior brick was completed. The work revealed a black-faced brick detail in various places on the exterior which is quite in keeping with the Victorian design of the gracious 1881 building. Also completed was a new roof.
Extensive work on the placement of the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning units has been done. Electrical work was also completed.
The Guthrie Gallery, a Naming Opportunity donation from the Guthrie Healthcare System which kicked off the capital campaign to design and construct the first room in the museum, has been opened for viewing. Located in the former south waiting room, it was completed with extensive displays detailing the origins of Sayre and the importance, influence and development of the town, its people and activities.
The renovations of two meeting rooms in the north end on the second floor were undertaken as a project by the Sayre Rotary Club, another Naming Opportunity to provide the resources to aid in the capital campaign. Through their efforts of donated time, renovation expertise and materials, the society now has two totally refurbished rooms for business and collections use.
On the first floor in the south end, a new entrance was constructed at the street side of the building, the Ken Bracken Entryway, complete with a new doorway. To provide access to handicapped visitors, the building has an entrance with a slopped sidewalk for easier entry, a handicap-accessible restroom and handicap-accessible elevator to the second floor.
The Burkhart Gift Shop, a Naming Opportunity donation from the Burkhart family to fund the design as well as the construction of the society gift shop, was completed just off the lobby with an area for displaying the many and diverse gifts of books, clothing and other merchandise for sale to visitors.
Other donations for naming opportunities were received. For the Stephens/Redman Room to design and construct the displays detailing the scope and influence of the Lehigh Valley Railroad were (1) First Citizens National Bank, First Energy Foundation, Allen F. Pierce Foundation; (2) for the Lehigh Valley Collections Room, Valley Energy; (3) for the Staging Workroom, the Visions Federal Credit Union.
Aside from the Naming Opportunity donations, much of the work has been accomplished through the aid of grants—area, state and federal—administered through the building owner, the Borough of Sayre. Securing additional funding continues through the efforts of Grant Committee Chairperson Kenneth Bracken. If you have any information concerning new or different grants for historic buildings or interior design, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, Attention: Grants.
With the assistance of the local, state and federal representatives, both in the present and the past, the Sayre Historical Society Museum has made the dream of a museum for “all of Sayre” become a reality.