On Sunday evening, October 21st The Wayne County Historical Society presented four Historic Preservation Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award to area residents making a difference through Historic Preservation. Due to the efforts of Juan Espino (Head of the Historic Preservation Committee) assisted by Historians Gloria McCullough and Ann OHara, the recipients also received a special Resolution from The Pennsylvania House of Representatives signed by Representatives Michael Peifer and Sandra Major for their outstanding accomplishments.
The first Historic Preservation Award was given to Pennell Whitney and Edward Cremo for The Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse of the McKanna Cooperage. Built in 1861 by Patrick McKanna for the manufacture of barrels, the building at 1030 Main Street has been lovingly adapted. Whitney and Cremo bought the property for the parking lot to start a Wednesday afternoon Farmers Market. They decided to refurbish the building to find a way for people to be together with classes and activities.
The second award was given to Monique Greenwood for the Adaptive Reuse of the building at 150 Noble Lane in Bethany. Now known as The Mansion at Noble Lane, it was built by Mr. and Mrs. John Strongman in 1911 on his estate and dairy farm known as Bethany Homestead farms. His daughter, Hortense, married Byron D. Miller, president of the Woolworth Corporation.
A dynamic speaker, Greenwood told the story of finding the property and saving it in 11 months due to the help of Kenny Shino and fellow recipients Jeanie and Grant Genzlinger. She spoke of the deep rooted meaning the building has for people, People cry when they talk about what it means to them. She talked about having the vision to see the possibilities when tackling such a huge preservation project.
The third award was given to Ledges Hotel LLC/Justin Genzlinger, Grant and Jeanne Genzlinger and John Shuman for the Adaptive reuse of the Historic Building OConnor Glass factory which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. John Sarsfield OConnor worked for Christian Dorflinger
in New York and came to Wayne County with him in 1865. In 1890 he built a four story bluestone building at the foot of the Wallenpaupack Falls in Hawley and opened his own glass factory. Today it is known as The Ledges Hotel. Grant Genzlinger spoke of their familys passion for historic buildings and commitment to developing anchor buildings for the future to preserve our history.
The fourth award of the evening was given to Margaret (Mimi) Steffen for Historic Advocacy for writing the book The Rural Schools of Wayne County. The book is a compilation of information about Wayne Countys educational system and in particular the one room schools, during the 19th and first half of the 20th Century.
Mimi is a Life member of the WCHS, has served as a Trustee and worked as a volunteer. She has helped catalog photo archives, contributed a regular column to the newsletter, and assisted with fund-raising and with the societys Speakers Bureau. Several years ago she began a database of Wayne County Teachers that is a valuable resource in the Research Library.
The highlight of the evening came in the form of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Richard Dick Kreitner. Dick prepared a Self-Guided Walking Tour highlighting Honesdales historic sites and was responsible for saving the Old Stone Jail from demolition in the 1970s. He has been involved in numerous activities that are part of life in Wayne County and significantly contributed to the preservation of the countys history.
This Lifetime Achievement Award will henceforth be known as the Dick Kreitner Award in honor of his accomplishments. A plaque, donated by Lew and Linda Lee will hang in the Historical Society and bare the names of future recipients. In his acceptance speech Kreitner recounted many stories about passing history on to kids through the years. He humbly stated I dont deserve this¦I just had fun. Tell your children and grandchildren how fun history is.
The Wayne County Historical Society is located at 810 Main Street in Honesdale. Gift memberships and this years ornament of the Wayne County Fair make great holiday gifts. Please call 570-253-3240, Like us on Face book or visit the website at www.Waynehistorypa.org to find membership information.