Wisdom Wednesdays

The Forest County Historical Society is ramping-up its efforts to educate the public on topics relating to Forest County history.  In addition to the History Center’s many and varied exhibits, the organization is presenting a series of weekly lectures and demonstrations throughout the summer months called “Wisdom Wednesdays”.

June 5th – This series began with Jeff Scott, fourth generation lumberman, talking about the history of the Wheeler and Dusenbury Mill, Endeavor Lumber Company, and several other local lumber companies.

June 12th – Rodney Daum, recently retired manager of Tionesta Dam, giving a very interesting talk on the history of Tionesta Dam from its construction in 1939-1940 to present day.

June 19th – Holly Komonci, Executive Director of the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania, presented on the lumbering industry in western Pennsylvania and Forest County’s part in that history.

June 26th – Amy Deitzer Wallace, Army Corp of Engineers employee retired from Tionesta Dam, talked about and demonstrated Pioneer Crafts, such as churning butter and the homemade toys pioneer children played with.

July 3rd – We celebrated the Fourth of July with a program by Amanda Hetrick, Superintendent of Forest Area Schools, and her parents Clarke and Carol Hall performing old fashioned patriotic songs and teaching us about the origins of those songs.

July 10th – Retired Penn State Extension Agent Bill Wallace spoke about the tornadoes of May 31, 1985 and how the local community responded to the tragedy.  The presentation included photos taken by fellow former Extension Agent Russell Smith and stories shared by residents in the audience of their memories of that memorable day.

July 17th – Rodney Daum returned with Cindy McCoy in costume to talk about Forest County’s 83rd Pennsylvania volunteer infantry regiment of the Union Army during the Civil War.  This regiment participated in every major battle in the East, including Seven Days Battles, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Petersburg and Appomattox Court House.

July 24th – Forest County Commissioner Basil Huffman shared his knowledge of the Forest County Courthouse, including the renovations to the building and hand painted murals found under paneling during the 2007 renovation of the courtroom.

July 31st – Summer Intern and local resident Aimee Haslet presented a program about the Haslet Funeral Home of Tionesta (started by her great grandfather) and the history of funeral homes in general.

August 7th – Julia McCray gave a presentation on the Kelly Mansion (now Kellygreen Bed & Breakfast) in Tionesta, including photos of this beautiful home and a history of the house and its owners.

Upcoming presentation topics include Nitroglycerin and Shooting Wells by Jeff Pierson of Warren, PA on August 14th, Leonard Nicklas with a topic to be determined on August 21st, and a history of West Forest Schools by Denny O’Toole on August 28th.

Each event begins at 7:00 pm with a 30-minute presentation, followed by a Q&A period until 8:00 pm.  The events are open to the public for a small donation at the door and free to FCHS members.

See the Forest County Historical Society Facebook page for announcements of upcoming programs and other events at the History Center.

Did you attend these events? Would you like to see us continue the series and have ideas for future topics? Contact us at fchs@zoominternet.net.

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