Museum Hours are from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm on Wednesdays and from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays.
These hours are seasonal. The museum is closed from December 1 to May 1.
For special tours, call 570-882-8221.
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Schedule of Events for 2024 - New Books in the Gift Shop

Looking Back: Sayre and World War II - New Booklet

In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt declared that the United States would remain neutral in response to the rise of Nazi German and Adolph Hitler. However, the rise of nationalism around the world including Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union, thrust the U.S. into the struggle with allies England and France. The attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 caused the U.S. to declare war on Japan. Incredible sacrifices, on the battlefield, in factories and at homes, helped turn the tide.

The World War II experiences of people from Sayre and the Penn-York Valley could fill an entire book. Included in this booklet are photographs, stories and inspiring lessons that are part of the huge story of Sayre and World War II.

Buy your copy now!

New booklet focuses on historic railroad corridor

A new publication from the Sayre Historical Society titled "Route 220: The Railfan Road in Bradford County" focuses on the fascinating railroad history along Route 220 in Bradford County. The historic corridor includes interesting accounts of the canal and railroad as well as coal mining and lumbering. The booklet was inspired by an October 2019 cover story in Trains magazine by Oren Hoelbok that followed the historic highway through five states and over 680 miles.

CAPTION: The extensive "system shops" of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Sayre are shown in this photograph from the new publication "Route 220: The Railfan Road in Bradford County".

The new 28-page booklet was printed by Clare Printing in Sayre and funded by a grant from the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.

"The booklet is intended to serve as a tour of Route 220 in Bradford County with notes and images of the railroad history along the way, states the publication. The tour starts at the beginning of Route 220 in Waverly, NY and travels south through South Waverly, Sayre, Athens, Milan, Ulster, N. Towanda, Monroeton and New Albany. Approximate miles points on Route 220 are included."

More than 25 historic photographs (several in color) and two maps are included in the booklet.

The historical account also includes a list of books and resources used in the publication. These include Robert Archer's A History of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, Staley Clarke's "The Romance of Old Barclay", and Richard Palmer's "The Coming of the Railroad to Sayre", among others.

Side tours in the publication include the remote coal mining settlement of Barclay Mountain and the "railroad that never was" called the Pittsburgh, Binghamton & Eastern Railroad. A brief mention of Dushore, also along Route 220 just over the county line in Sullivan County, includes an 1896 photograph of the railroad trestle that ran through town.

The section on Sayre includes mention of railroad founder Asa Packer and his son, Robert, as well as the Southern Central Junction and the "new" railroad shops which opened in 1904.

"All major car and locomotive work was centralized on 70 acres in the Susquehanna Valley (in Sayre), and the scattered smaller shops phased out or reduced to minor repair work," stated Herbert Harwood, Jr. in an article from the April 1972 issue of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin. "Sayre itself was central - slightly half the way from Jersey City to Buffalo - and was within easy reach of both the coal country and the widespread New York state lines. Sayre was subsequently publicized as the country's third largest railroad shop and, for the first 22 years of its life, built new locomotives as well as handling normal heavy repairs and rebuilding."

The member-supported historical society is funded by the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.

New Exhibits at the Sayre Historical Society

The featured exhibit in the Ken Bracken Rotating Exhibit Room is "Downtown: A History of Sayre's Business Community" featuring rare images of many of Sayre's commercial ventures. Among the business establishments recalled are Bolich Hardware, Vail Brothers Café and Restaurant, Union Cigar Store, Teed's Grocery, Star Theater, Glaser's Drug Store, Seven Sisters Sweet Shop, Hicks & Collins, W.T. Grants, Lambert Chocolatier, and Albro House, among others. The "Downtown" exhibit is being held over from 2020 due to the closure of the museum last year for Covid. A new exhibit on World War II and Sayre is being planned for the fall.

In the Henry Farley Community Room, an exhibit of paintings and art work by Robert and Gertrude Gauss is on display. Among the original works being shown are a painting of Rev. Albert Greene (former pastor of the Church of the Redeemer) and a pencil drawing of the Sheshequin Church along with a photograph of the Howard Elmer Park bandstand and a sketch of Harry Harford (the "rag, paper, rags" man) on his horse drawn wagon going through downtown Sayre.

In the museum's model train room, a display of O-scale model trains featuring the famous John Wilkes steam locomotive and cars is currently on display. The impressive collection features the 4-6-2 John Wilkes locomotive and tender, a complete Lehigh Valley coach set (two coach cars, a combination car, baggage car and observation car) an LV map car, along with a separate set of LVRR passenger cars (three passenger cars, a combination car and a Railway Express car). The model train collection was donated to the museum by Richard Poletto of Sayre.

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