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Schedule of Events for 2021 - New Books in the Gift Shop

Sayre museum announces 2021 event schedule

SAYRE – The Sayre Historical Society has a full season of activities planned for 2021 including two new rotating exhibits and the return of several popular events.

CAPTION: A rotating exhibit on businesses in Sayre, including Stein’s Men’s Store on Desmond Street shown above in 1965, will be featured in 2021 at the Sayre Historical Society. Pictured from left are: Fred Baglini, Sam Stein and Bernard Pietro. (Ruth Schwartz collection)

The museum will re-open for the new season on Saturday, May 1st with a display in the Rotating Exhibit Room on “Downtown: A History of Sayre’s Business Community.” The exhibit will feature an overview of some of the many businesses that have called Sayre home including Jump’s Pharmacy, Bolich Hardware, Paluzzi’s Toggery, the Market Basket and the Victorian Dandy Mini-Mart. The exhibit will run until September.

On Saturday, August 7th, the museum will welcome back Antique Appraisal Day along with Trunk Auction. Last year’s inaugural effort was well-received with Barbara Kotasek of the Owego Emporium providing unofficial appraisals and tips on preserving antiques.

In June, the museum will host Railroad Heritage Day on June 26th. A guest speaker and special exhibits will be featured at this event.

History Under the Stars will return in September with a new date scheduled for September 11th and an evening of entertainment being planned.

In October, the historical society will host the second History Trivia Event on Sunday, October 10th.

Model Train Day returns on Saturday, November 27th. This popular event centering on model trains this past year featured a Lionel train exhibit, railroadiana vendors and a special display.

The museum will close for the 2021 season on Wednesday, December 23.

The Sayre Historical Society is a member-supported non-profit supported entirely by volunteers. It receives funding from the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.

Volunteer opportunities are available ranging from event preparation, groundskeeping, tours, research and collections. Contact the museum at for more information.

Early Recollections of the Church of the Redeemer

Volume 1, Number 1
By Louise Bishop Kennedy

When I first went to Sunday School, we did not have a beautiful church building like this, but we did have a lovely little frame chapel which stood where the Town Hall is now located. Mr. Robert Packer, the superintendent of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, was the founder of Sayre, and built his fine home, now known as the old part of the hospital. The next thing he built was the chapel, which though small was complete, and fitted with a suitable altar, lectern, font, etc. There were not many families in Sayre in those early days, so it was large enough for all, and as it was the only place of worship for a number of years, people of different denominations attended service.

The first organist was Mrs. Holly Thomas, whose fine old farm house was on the east side of the track. Mrs. Packer and my mother sand in the choir and Mrs. Percy Lang was one of the quartette. I don’t remember the fourth member.

Now I want to tell you about some of the good times we used to have in Sunday School. Mr. Packer was a devoted churchman, and he was also very fond of children and at Christmas time always planned a treat for the children. For two weeks before Christmas, we children would go to the chapel after school and rehearse the Christmas carols. Our rector then, Mr. Morrow, was a fine musician, as is our present rector, Mr. Walter, so were well drilled on the carols.

During the evenings of those weeks before Christmas, my father and mother, and other older people of the congregation gathered together to wind evergreens to decorate the chapel. Mr. Packer would have loads of ground pine and other evergreens sent to work on, and we children thought it great fun to help by bunching the evergreens and handing to them, and playing around during the evenings. Then on Christmas Eve there was always the big tree beautifully decorated and every child was given a bag of candy, an orange and a gift.

One year, I remember, the Christmas Eve celebration was different. It was in 1881 and the present railroad station had just been completed, so that year the tree was set up on the second floor of the new depot. We gathered at the chapel and marched to the depot and upstairs there was the tree twinkling with candles and gifts. We sang carols and had our service, and then a good play time.

It was not only at Christmas that Mr. Packer thought of the children. For the Fourth of July, he would order a big supply of fireworks, and children and their parents would be invited to gather on the sloping lawn in front of the Packer residence, now the hospital. Then two or three of them, of whom my father was always one, would set off the rockets, red lights, etc.

After a number of years, the congregation grew, with the growth of the town. The building became crowded and they enlarged the chapel by cutting it in two in the middle – moving back the part with the latter and then building a new part in the center.

Another thought that comes to me was about the bell. After the chapel was enlarged, it was decided that we must have a bell for the belfry of the chapel. So the Sunday School children all helped earn money to buy one. I was treasurer of the fund, and was so happy when at last we had enough to buy the bell, and the money was handed over to the church treasurer. Bishop Howe was our dear old Bishop at that time, and for a few years he came for confirmation service, but he became too feeble to travel and had an assistant, Bishop Rulison, who confirmed me. To honor Bishop Howe, a tree was planted in the park, and I hope some time it will be marked so all may know for whom it was planted.

Later, Rev. Dr. Leighton Coleman, and his wife, who was a DuPont of Wilmington, Del., came to Sayre at the request of Mrs. Cummings, formerly Miss Mary Packer, to erect a more suitable church building. Dr. Coleman took a great part in civic affairs, as well as creating great interest in the church. He was elected a school director and offered prizes for excellence in certain subjects. He at once began the work the work of getting the new church building started and consulted with architects and Mrs. Cummings, and was here when the cornerstone was laid. He was then called to the Bishopric of Delaware and had to leave at once. So the Rev. Mr. Carr was called to our parish, and was rector just 50 years ago when the church was consecrated, but Bishop Coleman came back to preach the sermon. My mother played the organ part of the time in the chapel, and was organist when we moved to the new church. Later I was organist for six years. After we moved to the new church, the chapel was used as a parish house, and many entertainments, plays, etc. were given there.

When the services were first held in the little chapel, there were few houses as yet in Sayre. There were fields all around. The Heister Piollet house was one of the first and it was here that Bishop Coleman lived while in Sayre. The park was planned but not laid out; it was nothing but a field and there were paths around it. From my father’s house on the corner of Park Place, there were no buildings in view in the direction of the church until one reached the Hayden property, except the small shanties located where the superintendent of shops now resides. The men who occupied these small houses worked in the brick yard which was located on what is now the far end of the Coleman Memorial Field.

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