Happenings from the Heisey

By JOANNE BOWES

Our free Second Sunday programs begin on Feb. 12 at the Poorman Gallery, 2 to 4 p.m. Each month throughout 2019 we will highlight items from our collection as a reflection of the history of our county.

Come learn about the traditions and the “secret language” of fans, view vintage valentines and the fabulous collection of vintage handkerchiefs from all over the world! This will be on display until March 10.

We are pleased to welcome the following business supporters: Murray Motors, Anastos Brother Auto Sales and Stella A’s Restaurant.

Thank you to Fred Bucheit! He has been working on restoring a large set of early 20th Century glass negatives by an unknown photographer. All record a part of Clinton County history: people, places, events, etc. There is astonishing detail in these old images.

A photo of the Castanea train station shows the horse-drawn carriages, multiple train tracks (soon to be the Bald Eagle Valley Rails to Trails) and the approaching steam engine.

March 24 is the date of our annual membership meeting, also open to the public. We will be electing board members for a three year term, voting on revision to the By-Laws, and reviewing our accomplishments of 2018 and looking forward to 2019.

If you have a piece of Clinton County history bring it to the meeting. You will have an opportunity to show it and talk about it. We’ll bring history alive!!

Thank you to the following for sending memorial donations honoring Henry Mellinger: Ken Starr, Julie Foley, Tracie Hegenstaller Shreckengast, Scott Harris, Gurden Dietz, Loretta Coltrane, Christopher and Laura Milarch, Alan and Marjorie Weisel, Jane Coffey, Paul, Dennis and Jeffrey Lowe, Edward Buss, Bill and Gina Kraus, John and Jeanine Lipez.

We have received money from the Mary Cook and Barb Theil estates. We appreciate their forethought.

We have a reception planned for Feb. 12, having invited attorneys and funeral home directors to learn more about how planned giving benefits the Historical Society.

Victor Widmann sent us a very nice book tracing the Rudolph Widmann family and the brewery.

We’re looking forward to LHU Center for Student Engagement help on Feb. 2 to help at the Heisey.

From the Collection:

The Bald Eagle crosscut of the West Branch canal, opened in 1839, played a major role in the growth of Lock Haven during the mid-1800s. The West Branch canal ran from Sunbury to Bellefonte. The park between Church and Water streets was part of the waterway which joined the Susquehanna a quarter block east of the current Court House.

The Heisey is home to several artifacts and depictions of the canal.

The collection includes examples of the conch shells used to signal the approach of a canal boat to a lock.

The reference library includes several books and articles about the contribution of the canals to the economic growth of the area through the lumber industry.

Photos of the canal are displayed in the Heisey and the Ice House contains several tools used in the lumbering. After the railroad came to Lock Haven in the late 1860s, the days of the canal were numbered and it closed in 1889.

Hope to see you in 2019!

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