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December 15 2009

Press Release: Bethel School Schedule 2009

The Wayne County Historical Society and the Commissioners of Wayne County have announced the 2009 schedule of open houses at the historic Bethel School. The open houses, from 1 to 4 pm on June 21, July 25 and August 30, feature special presentations at 2 pm. On June 21, the Open House Program will be a Quilt presentation by Dorothy Kieff and Jane Ganatra. Today's quilts are works of art, but the quilts of times past documented the fascinating stories of this country's history. As educators, the presenters introduce students to quilting so that the children may have a respect and appreciation for the talents of their ancestors, whose practicality produced the historical artwork so admired today.

Bethel School, located a few miles from downtown Honesdale, is well-preserved one-room school house, built about 1870. The school sits on county land near the former Poor Farm in Berlin Township. It was closed as a school in 1951, and its stone foundation was beginning to crumble when the Wayne County Historical Society met with the County Commissioners in May of 1997 at Bethel School to discuss the possibility of "saving" Bethel before it collapsed. The Commissioners agreed to put in a new stone foundation and paid for a new roof, rebuilt the porch and stairs, and had the exterior painted in historically accurate colors. Much work was provided by the County Jail's Work Release Program

Since the summer of 1998 the historical society's volunteers have organized educational programs and open houses at Bethel School. 1998 and thousands of visitors have walked back in time by visiting Bethel School. The Wayne County Historical Society is pleased to provide these programs and help preserve this treasure of Wayne County's rich history.

For more information or to schedule a group tour, contact the Wayne County Historical Society at (570) 253-3240, wchs@ptd.net or visit their website at www.waynehistorypa.org. The main museum is open from 10 am to 4 pm Wednesday through Saturday.