Annual dinner to focus on the Junction Canal

A rare early image shows the Junction Canal turn-around basin in Chemung where coal was transferred from canal barges to Erie Railroad cars. The canal will be the subject of a presentation on March 10 at the annual dinner of the Sayre Historical Society. The public is welcome.

SAYRE — The Sayre Historical Society is hosting its annual dinner on Tuesday, March 10 at Sayre High School with a program on the Junction Canal.

The dinner/program is open to the public and reservations can be made by calling Mary Sargent at (570) 888-6081 or Tom Collins at (570) 888-6821. The deadline for reservations is March 1. The cost is $20.

The dinner will be prepared by the Nutrition Group at Sayre High School. The menu will feature chicken in gravy over biscuits, Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw and Cherry Crisp ice cream or Brownie Sundaes.

Doors open at 5:30 with dinner served at 6. The program will follow dinner.

The program will be presented by Sayre native Mary Ellen Kunst, historian for the Town of Chemung.

“The program will be a comprehensive look at the Junction Canal during the years 1858 to 1871,” said Kunst.

The Junction Canal was “an integral link” between the North Branch of the Pennsylvania Canal at Athens and the Chemung Canal in Elmira, she added.

“The presentation will explore the Junction Canal’s history and development,” Kunst said. “The canals were crucial to the transportation revolution, improving the infrastructure and bringing prosperity to this area.”

The Sayre Historical Society Museum will reopen for the 2020 season on Saturday, April 4 with a new exhibit “Downtown: A History of the Sayre Business Community.” The exhibit will center on the variety of businesses that have existed in Sayre over the years including Bolich Brothers Hardware, Paluzzi’s Toggery, I.A. Samuels & Son Jewelry Store, Hicks & Collins Ice Cream, and Newberry’s Department Store, among many others.

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit historic preservation organization staffed by volunteers and located in the Lehigh Valley Railroad Passenger Station. The member-supported group receives funds from the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency. Visit www.sayrehistoricalsociety.org or Facebook for more information.

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