POTTSVILLE — The executive director of the Schuylkill County Historical Society hopes the public will learn about the work of local historical societies through themed Christmas trees, while casting their vote for their favorite one.
The five trees are on display at the county historical society’s museum and gift shop at 305 N. Centre St. for the second year until Monday, Jan. 7. They were decorated by the Minersville Area Historical Society, Greater Shenandoah Historical Society, Saint Clair Area Historical Society, Schuylkill Haven Historical Society and the Stanhope School Restoration Project, a project of the Pine Grove Historical Society to restore a one-room 1876 schoolhouse.
They went up Nov. 7, with each society asked to tell the story of its respective town, with each tree having a theme. The tree designed by the Minersville Area and Greater Shenandoah historical societies have flags of countries from which residents’ ancestors came. Pine Grove’s contribution features the The Stanhope one-room schoolhouse restoration project. It has handmade ornaments representing the students and teachers who went to the school in Pine Grove Township. Meanwhile, historical photographs of Schuylkill Haven adorn the borough historical society’s tree. Members of the Saint Clair Area Historical Society chose the theme of “Saints and Sinners” for their tree, with photos of bars and churches in the borough hanging on it.
A few items, the canary in a small cage and drill bits atop the Minersville Area Historical Society tree, and the model train around the Saint Clair Area Historical Society tree, were so popular last year they were brought back this year, Executive Director Diana Prosymchak said.
The public can pay $1 to vote on a tree, with the money going to the local historical society whose tree they voted for. The society that gets the most votes will get a pizza party courtesy of the county historical society.
Votes can be cast in person at the society during regular business hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays. Votes can also be cast online at the county historical society’s Facebook page. Prosymchak said videos of each tree will be posted to the Facebook page.
“We have quite a few votes already,” she said Monday. “One of the trees already is up to 40-some dollars.”
In addition, there is a tree at the society’s entrance festooned with items that represent the county, including ones from D.G. Yuengling & Son Brewery, Guers Dairy and Mrs. T’s Pierogies. The tree is not part of the voting, but residents can donate ornaments for it.
Prosymchak said last year’s trees proved to be so popular with the public, the contest was brought back this year. They benefit the local historical societies, all of which have buildings the public can look at.
“I hope the public realizes even though we are the county historical society there are local historical societies throughout the county and they offer the local history of the towns,” she said. “They’re good places to venture to.
“Our county is very wealthy in history.”
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