Smith is guest speaker at Rotary meeting

At Joe’s Place on Monday evening, Rotarians heard Tyrone Area Historical Society President Nancy A. Smith (center) talk on the mission of the Society, its activities and events, and that it is always open to new members. At left, Tyrone Rotary President Terri Swann, and at right, Rotarian Bobby Ramsay, who invited Nancy to be the evening’s guest speaker.

At Monday’s meeting of the Rotary Club of Tyrone at Joe’s Place, Tyrone Area Historical Society President Nancy A. Smith spoke about the mission of the Society, the museum collections, and a Christmas exhibit now at the Tyrone History Museum.
Nancy, who lives in Warriors Mark, said that since its founding in 1990, the Society has attempted to bring about an awareness in the community of the unique history of the Tyrone area to ensure that present and future generations can share in and understand their rich heritage.
She spoke about how a small group of residents had organized the Society, particularly the late Suzanne Ohl and her husband, Paul, who laid a lot of groundwork in establishing a collection of artifacts and archival materials and in trying to stimulate interest in the people of Tyrone of their local history. Suzanne wrote many articles in The Daily Herald and the Chamber tab. She also established an annual “Friendship Night” for members and their guests.
Suzanne created calendars depicting scenes from Tyrone’s past. The Daily Herald has continued that tradition. She also initiated a walking tour of downtown Tyrone, which has since been adapted – first by Elizabeth ‘Lu’ Beringer, for 5th-grade pupils, and again, under the auspices of the Tyrone Area School District, for the 3rd-grade curriculum.
Nancy said that the Society publishes a quarterly newsletter “Tyrone PastTimes,” as a benefit to members and operates an informative Web site, www.TyroneHistory.org.
In 2002, through negotiations with Borough Council and assistance by the Johnstown Heritage Museum staff, the Society opened a museum in the railroad station at the Tyrone Rail Park. Visiting hours during the regular season are 1-4 p.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays. Admission is free.
Nancy said that the Society again will participate in “Yuletyme Tyrone,” with the Tyrone History Museum open on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The special exhibit for the Christmas season will feature Nativity scenes from around the world, depicting a wide variety of interpretation of this tradition. Several of the scenes are on loan from area residents. Nancy said, “Fran Bigelow has been very helpful in organizing the exhibit, which will be featured now through Sunday, Dec. 14, when the museum closes for the winter.”
The Society boasts a membership of 260 individuals, families, and businesses – many out of state. Various categories of membership are available: Individual, Family, Supporting, Friend, Life, and Corporate.
The membership year runs from May 1 to April 30, but if you join now, your first year’s membership will expire on May 1, 2010. Please go to www.TyroneHistory.org and click on “Membership Application Form.”

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