Happenings from the Heisey
This has been a very challenging year for the Historical Society. We had to cancel our largest fundraiser, Wine in the Wilds, as well as our monthly Second Sunday programs, which highlight people, places and events of Clinton County. Due to the pandemic the lack of travel has impacted our visitation, which also impacts donations. Memberships are down. As of Sept. 30, our revenue loss was 43%. Utilities, payroll taxes, insurance, accounting fees and maintenance are our primary expenses. Our campaign to solicit Year End Appeal donations and 2021 Business Supporters has begun.
We were fortunate to receive CARES grants from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Clinton County Commissioners and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to help pay for operating expenses, programming and equipment for remote meetings and programs; Clinton County Tourism toward Stage III of painting the Castanea Train Station and the Clinton County Community Foundation for refurbishing the Water Tank Information Kiosk at the train station complex.
We held several small fundraisers: A Walking Tour of Historic Old Town, and Night at the Museum; candlelight tours of the Heisey highlighting the collection and former Heisey owners; holiday photos sessions by Budget Artist Bill Crowell; visits with the “Ghosts of Scrooge” tours at the Heisey. We held a free book reading of the Chris Mouse series by author Michael Schloegl and offer the books sets with accompanying craft kits in our gift shop. All programs were well received. We are still receiving generous donations for our Year End Appeal and Business Sponsorships.
We have tried to be pro-active as much has possible in the community. We offered free pamphlets for a self-guided tour of the levee information signs. We held two free movie nights on the Heisey lawn, where people could choose their own distance from others, with free popcorn.
With the aid of The Clinton CARES grant we were able to purchase equipment to offer programs via Zoom, as well as PPE for limited museum visitation. We held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Castanea Railroad complex, celebrating the renovation of the Water Tank Information Kiosk, the installation of vintage signal lights and the completion of restoration of the exterior of the station itself. Lock Haven City is included on the plaque recognizing funding sources for that project. The caboose was open for visitation as well as the Clinton Central Model Railroad Club display. With the Bald Eagle Valley Trail access there is much to offer our local residents and visitors.
The Historical Society is run by a board of 15 volunteers. We were able to create a new position of Museum Aide and hire two part-time employees in this position. They had been working with us for two years in affiliation with AmeriCorps, which ended in August, and knew all the routines in mailings, collection documentation and display, cleaning, tour guides, research, etc., and we are able to divert the budgeted funds toward their salaries.
We truly appreciate the efforts of our volunteers: Joyce Adgate, fields research inquiries; Dave Muthler who mows the Barton Street School property and especially Jim Hanna, our go-to guy for anything electrical. The exterior lighting on the Heisey is a result of his generosity.
We are still working on details for our annual meeting, now held in January, as the state has shut down museums. Members have the opportunity to vote for directors via email (if you haven’t received a ballot we don’t have yours), via our website (www.clintonpahistory.ort) or by picking up a ballot at the Heisey House 362 E. Water St.. The deadline is Jan. 11.
Looking forward to 2021, We will be commemorating our 100th year! Special events are in the planning stage.
Our major fundraiser Wine in The Wilds will be held on April 24. Pre-sale reduced price tickets are offered on our website www.clintonpahistory.org. We have a lot more in the works!