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.

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