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PLYMOUTH HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Plymouth Historical Society was established in 1986 by a group of eight local citizens interested in preserving and promoting our local history. That modest group has now grown to include nearly 300 members nation wide. Our intent was to offer local history programs, assist in genealogical research and provide a forum where persons of similar intent could meet and discuss historical topics of interest. We have had great success.
On our own, and in conjunction with other groups, we have erected the Abijah Smith Coal Mine Marker (the site of the first commercially successful anthracite coal mine in the United States), Sephaniah Reese marker (the first steam driven car in America was built in Plymouth), and two Avondale Mine commemorative markers (over 150 men and boys lost their lives in the tragic 1863 Avondale mine disaster). We are currently working on the erection of a marker highlighting the historical value of the Shawnee Flats.
Our organization has presented historical and educational programs on the history of education, sports, and local community organizations. Primary was the doctoral thesis presentation by Dr. Robert Mettrick from LCC on Arthur James, the only Pennsylvania governor from Plymouth. This presentation was attended by Dorothy Sinon, Governor James’ daughter, and her family, who traveled from Harrisburg to be present. A few years ago when we organized and presented a program on coal mining music, the musicians and singers played to a standing room only crowd. We also organized and presented to the public a cultural program featuring the Northeastern Alliance of Native Americans complete with historical displays, and two days of Native American song, dance and story telling. In addition, we host an annual spelling bee where local seventh and eighth grade children can proudly represent their schools and compete for prizes.
Today the Plymouth Historical Society owns, and is housed, in the Welsh Baptist Presbyterian Church on Gaylord Avenue in Plymouth. This former church was donated to the Society in 1991 by the members of that congregation. At the open house, Dr. James Wallace of Kings College, premiered his original film on the life and music of the local coal miner during the last part of the 19th century. At that time we also arranged to have the Mobile Museum from Harrisburg present on the WVW school grounds. They toured local citizens through a colorful and informative WWII display.
Our holdings now also include the Polish Heritage Collection donated from Luzerne County Community College. We have an entire room on the second floor dedicated to the tools and equipment used by early coal miners. Another room houses Governor James memorabilia and papers from former Plymouth Mayor, Edward Burns. Our research area now contains over 40,000 records on local families and businesses. This summer we will receive a state grant of $5000 from Rep. John Yudichak for the preservation of the church’s stained glass windows. We are busy. We are involved. We are serious.
The Plymouth historical Society can be reached by email: email@example.com or by calling: 570-779-1850
Society hours are: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12:30pm to 4:30pm.
We are also open to the public during those times.
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