Dear Friends in History,
How often do you hear the expression, “Time Flies?” As stewards of the history of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, one would think Society members would recognize how fleeting time is, yet I personally am amazed that another year has come and gone. A mentor of mine once told me to always take the time to reflect on all that has been accomplished before moving on to the next challenge. When I look back on 2022, I can appreciate what the Society has accomplished. This year, despite lingering COVID issues, the Society was able to present a full schedule of programs.
Early in the year we again hosted the Maple Taste and Tour. As we continue to grow our collection related to maple production, the Society is excited to announce we are working on an expanded exhibit related to the proud tradition of maple production in Somerset County. There is a marker at the Somerset County courthouse that notes how Somerset County was formed and that we are a farm county noted for the production of maple syrup dating back to the mid-1700’s, and it seems only natural that we help preserve and educate on the maple production industry.
In the Spring we also held our annual workshops in Tin Smithing, Coopering and Pysanky Egg Decorating. We also held a Common Threads Symposium and a Civil War Living History Day. The summer saw the return of the Historical Society’s popular First Fridays, where we host live music and have food trucks.
As our largest event of the year, Mountain Craft Days preparation begins at the end of the summer and opens our fall activities. We celebrated our 52nd Mountain Craft Days and I am happy to report that we continue to draw a wide variety of artisans and attendees. In October we host Historical Halloween and it is fun to see hundreds of children on the grounds learning a little more about our county’s history while having fun in costumes. Our Christmas Craft Shoppe will open the weekend after Thanksgiving and we will again have our Ethnic Traditions dinner in December. For information on these last two events, please check our website, www.somersethistoricalcenter.org
In addition to our programs, we also worked on updating and sorting our collection. Our Society is very fortunate to have the well cataloged, preserved and maintained collection that we have. I am confident that few county collections compare to ours. Our genealogy research requests keep our library busy as well.
While it is satisfying to reflect on all we have accomplished, it is important to note that our ability to offer a full program schedule and host these events is dependent on our being financially viable as an organization. Funds generated by events do not cover our annual expenses. As we enter the season of giving, please consider a donation to the Historical Society that will help us continue to offer these programs and to sustain our efforts to preserve the rich history of Somerset County. The Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County is a designated 501(c)(3) organization and 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.
Lisa M. Bittner, President
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