December 26 2012

Press Release: 2012 Historic Preservation Awards

Standing: WCHS Executive Director Sally Talaga, Award Recipient Monique Greenwood, Award Recipient Pennell Whitney, Award Recipient Mimi Steffen, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Dick Kreitner, & Head of the Historic Preservation Committee, Juan Espino

Seated: Award Recipient Justin Genzlinger, Award Recipient Grant Genzlinger, Award Recipient Jeanne Genzlinger & WCHS Board President, Elaine Herzog

Standing: Award Recipient Justin Genzlinger, Award Recipient Jeanne Genzlinger,WCHS Board President Elaine Herzog, WCHS Executive Director Sally Talaga & Head of the Historic Preservation Committee Juan Espino

Seated: Award Recipient Grant Genzlinger, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Dick Kreitner, Award Recipient Mimi Steffen, Award Recipient Pennell Whitney & Award Recipient Monique Greenwood

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 Oࢀ™Hara, 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 ࢀœfind a way for people to be together with classes and activities.ࢀ

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, ࢀœPeople cry when they talk about what it means to them.ࢀ 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 ࢀœOࢀ™Connor Glass factoryࢀ which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. John Sarsfield Oࢀ™Connor 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 familyࢀ™s 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 Countyࢀ™s 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 societyࢀ™s Speakersࢀ™ 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 ࢀœDickࢀ Kreitner. Dick prepared a Self-Guided Walking Tour highlighting Honesdaleࢀ™s historic sites and was responsible for saving the Old Stone Jail from demolition in the 1970ࢀ™s. He has been involved in numerous activities that are part of life in Wayne County and significantly contributed to the preservation of the countyࢀ™s 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 ࢀœI donࢀ™t deserve thisࢀ¦I just had fun.ࢀ ࢀœTell your children and grandchildren how fun history is.ࢀ

The Wayne County Historical Society is located at 810 Main Street in Honesdale. Gift memberships and this yearࢀ™s ornament of the Wayne County Fair make great holiday gifts. Please call 570-253-3240, ࢀœLikeࢀ us on Face book or visit the website at to find membership information.