Dear Friends in History,
In reflecting on the past two years I am amazed and proud of all the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County has accomplished given the myriad of challenges we have faced amid the pandemic. Our staff and board of directors remains committed to preserving the history of our fine county and providing educational programs that create awareness and help keep our heritage alive. In 2021, we were able to reopen the Historical Center with limited hours and to continue both workshops and events. We also successfully and safely held the fifty-first (51st) annual Mountain Craft Days. Earlier in the year, while still mandated to be closed to the public, our dedicated staff worked on cleaning out and updating our collection and answering genealogy inquiries. The Society created and approved a new logo recently which you will see in this letter and we are looking forward to offering a full program schedule in 2022. We continue to look for new and interesting avenues to promote and preserve the history of Somerset County.
Our volunteers are essential to our operations and we are extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful individuals contributing their valued time. These individuals have varying talents and assist in everything from keeping the grounds manicured, to researching genealogy, to writing articles for the Laurel Messenger. There seems to be an endless list of activities that require volunteer assistance and we would be remiss if we did not convey our deep appreciation for all those who have been willing to share their time and skills with us. We have been blessed with several new volunteers this year but we want to acknowledge the loss of some of our dedicated long-time volunteers. We fondly remember them and all of their contributions to the Society over the years. They will be missed.
We continue to partner with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to provide a superb visitor experience at the Somerset Historical Center. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful facility to showcase our collection and events and to welcome visitors to our county. That said, and likely unknown to many of you, yearly the Society takes on more of the expense of maintaining and operating the Historical Center. In addition, the increased staffing expenses, which seem to be universal in business today, continue to test our abilities to meet the fiscal needs of the Society. Thus, as we look towards the new year, I would ask you to consider a donation to continue to help sustain our efforts in preserving our local history and providing unparalleled historical educational experiences. As you may know The Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County is a designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization and thus your gift is eligible as a tax-deductible donation.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank you in advance for your sustaining gift and invite you to join us in the new year for a workshop or an event. Bring a friend and spread the word as we hope to continue to grow Somerset County’s Historical Society for many years to come.
Lisa M. Bittner
I (we) believe in the mission of the Historical & Genealogical Society of Somerset County, Inc. I (we) am making a contribution of: