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President’s Address for the Spring 2014 Bulletin

             Consider what you are a part of when you support the Clearfield County Historical Society.  The list can go on and on and on, and when you consider that we have no paid staff, what we accomplish as volunteers is really quite remarkable.  Here is a list of some of our accomplishments over the years:

 

--We restored the Shaw burial ground, the oldest family cemetery in West Clearfield.  We completely refurbished the Old Clearfield Cemetery, repairing broken tombstones and replacing those that were pushed over and buried under the grass.  We replaced many military tombstones across the county.  We have begun defoliating the Old County Home cemetery and have made plans for clearing it, fencing it, and placing a sign to identify it.  We’ve worked on tombstones at the Alexander Cemetery, Tate Cemetery and Harmony Chapel.  This kind of work is often labor-intensive and needs specialists that can identify and repair worn out and displaced tombstones. 

--We published several new informative and historical works which included a Hillcrest Cemetery Walking Tour booklet,  Hunting Camps of the Allegheny Plateau, Bard’s History of the Old Bucktails, 80 Miles of Wilderness canoe booklet,  four of Sam King’s “Sportsmen’s Maps,”  Bloody Knox,  Tonkin’s My Partner the River, books on the Italian Immigration to East End and Ghost Town of Clearfield County.  The Society has republished Caldwell’s Atlas of Clearfield County and Aldrich’s History of Clearfield County twice.  Add to this Straw’s History,  Allison’s Early Marriages and we’ve marketed and sold Hughes’ 20th Century History of Clearfield County along with many other books relevant to the history and heritage of Clearfield County.

--We’ve had several entries in the Clearfield County Fair Parade and won several awards.  We’ve traveled to Harrisburg to represent Clearfield County in a heritage parade, been part of the Clearfield County Bicentennial Parade and Curwensville Day’s Parade. 

--We’ve researched thousands of genealogical and historical queries and each year we publish two magazines, The Bulletin, with county relevant articles and records of acquisitions and the opportunities provided by the Society.  We house and care for thousands of important Clearfield County artifacts and invaluable historical records. 

--In recent years we’ve held open houses around Independence Day and Thanksgiving, opening our facility to visitors, who, by the way, can always visit our museum for free. 

--We’ve acquired, rebuilt and maintained the Bloody Knox cabin in Knox Township and conduct our Fall Festival providing activities and educational opportunities for the public.  Attendance for this event has grown exponentially over the years to more than 1,000 visitors.  Parking is at a premium.  This year we will conduct a reenactment of the draft resistance activity that made this site an historical landmark.

--We conduct an annual dinner meeting with a program, and it is open for our membership as well as the public.  We have speakers who speak on Clearfield County topics, our meeting is held at a Clearfield County site and our food is prepared by Clearfield County resturanteers. 

--We have placed historical site highway signs throughout the county

--We have cooperated with Eagle Scout projects, providing information and opportunities for Boy Scouts to continue their volunteer efforts in the county. 

--We have done displays at local schools and we’ve conducted tours of our museum and Bloody Knox on countless occasions to senior organizations, Scout troops, church groups, and other county organizations. We’ve opened our building for meetings of the D.A.R.

--We open our museum twice each week throughout the spring, summer and fall, and we staff it to welcome and assist our visitors.

--Last year we had visitors from 24 states and two foreign countries.  Over the years we’ve had visitors from all 50 states, people who often stay in local motels and visit local merchants and restaurants.....  We are the face of Clearfield County to many visitors.

--We’ve served as a speakers’ bureau for countywide organizations from Rotary and school groups to the visiting Susquehanna Greenways folks.

--We promote Pennsylvania Wilds, Pennsylvania Lumber Region, the Clearfield Revitalization Corporation, and we are members of the Chamber of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Museum Commission.

--Check out our excellent web page and face book page that represent our community and Clearfield County.

 

            So why am I taking your time to recall all of this.  It’s because today, I heard it suggested that the Society didn’t, "fit the footprint” of an essential component in the community.  I took this to mean that a historical society isn’t a critical component to a community,  Perhaps we are not a high profile part of the downtown landscape, but we certainly have done well representing the community and the county in which we are part of the footprint.  The list above doesn’t really begin to address the hours of planning and work needed to carry these things all off.  Our footprint is huge, and we are the face of the county to many people located in other states and localities.

           

            We have embarked on a great new endeavor to develop a new, up-to-date research center that will improve our service capability and promote the image of a county that is west of the Allegheny Ridge.  You are reading the latest edition of the Bulletin and have shown your interest and support of our mission, and now I am asking you to take a close look at the insert pertaining to our campaign to remodel and support our new William B. Alexander V Research Center.  The Society is not part of the annual United Way campaign.  We have not sent out annual appeals for funding.  We have done so much based on support from our county commissioners, book sales, dues, some wonderful benefactors who support our vision to promote our history and heritage, and to you our membership.  We’ve searched and applied for grants to help fund the maintenance and improvement of our facility. Our Kerr house museum is wonderfully restored and serves as a touch-point to Clearfield history and Clearfield County’s heritage.  The Bloody Knox cabin is a wonderful resource to promote our county’s Civil War heritage and a facility that promotes early county activities.  Our footprint is huge, but at this moment, I am thinking that it may only be obvious to those of you who are not living in Clearfield County.  Could it be true?  Could you be our best supporters in the end?  How ironic if this were actually true. 

 

            This is my appeal to our membership.  Our campaign committee asks you to  stand with us to honor our county’s heritage and support our efforts to open this new facility.  Help stand with us financially and consider a one time, generous donation towards the development of this research center.  Read the enclosed pledge form and consider that the dream to open the William B. Alexander V Research Center is our generation’s dream to expand past the occupation of a couple of rooms in the upstairs of a Market Street business.  This issue of The Bulletin is our official kick-off for our campaign to raise $200,000.  We have set our goals to enable us to remodel our new building, which will be compliant with existing public access laws, and to help us establish endowment funds to run the center into the future. 

 

            I do believe that people who care about Clearfield County can be proud of the work that the Society has done, and I ask you to support this appeal.  We are all  encouraged by your thoughtful consideration, as we continue to serve and represent our pioneer ancestors.              

 

Thank you,

 

Denny Shaffner, President CCHS

 

CONTACT INFORMATION...

Clearfield County Historical Society

   511 Van Valzah Ave.
   Clearfield, PA 16830


Phone: 814-765-6125 for a brief recording... then leave your message after the beep.

VISITOR INFORMATION...

    Our Clearfield  'Kerr' Museum and Alexander Research Center is open each Sunday and Thursday from  1:30 to 4:30pm weekly.

  ....hope to see you soon !

We'll continue Museum Hours every Sunday and Thursday through the last Sunday in October 2017.

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It's a great way to spend a delightful afternoon!

COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUMS

1. 'KERR HOUSE' MUSEUM :

 104 E. Pine St,

  Clearfield, PA 16830

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2. 'WILLIAM B. ALEXANDER V' RESEARCH CENTER:

  511 Van Valzah Ave.

  Clearfield, PA  16830

        (official business address)

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3. 'Bloody Knox' Cabin MUSEUM

Route #453,

Village of Kellytown

(Madera, PA 16661)

    Courtesy guided group tours of our 'Kerr House' Museum can be arrainged year round by calling 814-378-5748.

Appointments for research at the Alexander Center can be arranged by calling 814-765-6125 and letting a request on the answering service.

Make requests well in advance as there are no regular hours from Nov. thru April.

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Keep current by visiting this web site for updated information.

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