Home of the Stourbridge Lion Replica, The First Steam Locomotive To Run in America

December 28 2005

Press Release: Wayne County’s Museum to Open New Exhibits

On Friday, April 1st the Wayne County Historical Society will open its new exhibits for 2005, Here Comes the Bride and the World War II Collection of Edgar Pohle. The public is invited to attend the reception from 00 to 00 P.M at the society’s main museum, 810 Main Street, Honesdale. Refreshments will be served.

Here Comes the Bride is an exhibit of eleven wedding gowns and related items dating from the 1850’s onward. One gown was worn in 1937, 1942, and 1989 by three Wayne County women. The most elaborate gown in the exhibit was worn my Lizzie Wood of Waymart when she married Thomas B. Clark, a well known Honesdale cut glass manufacturer, in 1888 and then by her granddaughter, who donated the gown to the historical society in 1998. Also included is a satin and toile beaded gown worn by Lizzie’s daughter, Faith when she married into the Morton salt empire. The oldest gown, from the 1850’s, is simple in style but all silk. It was worn by Anna Lohr who married John Brill soon after she arrived in New York City. They then made their home in Smith Hill, Wayne County. The most recent gown was worn by Clara Morrison when she married John Kelly in 1952. Its unusual waltz length was popular at the time.

The other new exhibit for 2005 is The World War II Collection of Edgar Robert Pohle. Edgar Pohle, the son of a well-known Honesdale merchant, was born on his mother's birthday, May 7, 1917. He graduated from Honesdale High School, and then worked with his father for eight years before being drafted into the United States Air Force on February 4, 1943. He was trained as an aerial gunner and assigned to a B-24 Liberator Bomber the Betty Jean, 217 based in southern Italy. On January 19, 1944, during its sixth mission as a member of the 449th Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force and just after releasing its bombs, the plane was hit by enemy shells, and caught fire. The crew of ten bailed out, landed 150 miles behind enemy lines, and was reported "missing in action" in northern Italy. This was Pohle's first parachute jump, which ended in a tree breaking his fall, and landed without a scratch. For six months Sgt. Pohle evaded being taken prisoner by hiding out, sleeping in barns and hilltops, working for a sympathetic farming family in the mountains of central Italy, and walked several hundred miles back to where his squadron was stationed in southern Italy. He returned to Honesdale to resume work in his father's store, Pohle Clothing Store, 809 Main Street which was directly across the street from the building in which this exhibit is housed.

These and the museum's permanent exhibits about the history of Wayne County can be seen through 2005 beginning on April 1st from Wednesday through Saturday, 00 to 4:00 P.M. Call 570 253-3240 for possible summer and fall Sunday hours. Or visit their web site at www.WayneHistoryPA.org. These exhibits are funded in part by generous grants from the Wayne County Commissioners and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

To learn more about the Wayne County Historical Society go to www.WayneHistoryPA.org.