Planning for historic preservation activities in the Broad Top area during the new year were announced today by Alan Smith, chairman of the Broad Top Area Heritage Partnership.

Heading the list is an announcement about the Partnership’s first meeting of the year scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, in the Saxton Borough Municipal Building. The session is an important one, Smith said.

“We have a lot of plans for the new year and encourage the public to take part by attending the meetings.”

Organized over two years ago, the partnership is composed of representatives from several Broad Top area historical groups, community leaders and other civic groups interested in preserving and promoting the history and heritage of the coal mining and steam railroading mecca. The organization encourages the public to rediscover their roots into the area’s rich transportation and industrial history.

“The upcoming meeting will focus on discussion, arrangements and details for the first Heritage Day presentation to take place Thursday Jan. 24, in the Tussey Mountain Elementary School at Saxton,” noted Smith. “From past experience, we’ve discovered that the young children really are interested in their local history, we’re looking forward to sharing that history with the students Jan. 24.”

Initial plans call for the set up of numerous photos, displays and a model steam railroad display at the elementary school. The daylong event will involve all the classes.

Regarding the Jan. 16 partnership meeting, Smith noted that the agenda will focus on discussions about the creation of a work plan for 2019. The plan, which will impact all areas of the Broad Top area, will center around ideas for the promotion of the area’s history and heritage including additional programming in the local schools.

In addition, the first meeting of the partnership will address concerns of local heritage preservation leaders about attracting more public interest in local history as well as the solicitation of ideas for future heritage preservation projects that relate to the mission of the partnership, Smith said.

The group will also address concerns about the future of the Keystone Foundry Museum at Hopewell while hearing about other organization’s plans for 2019. “The partnership is all about the entire Broad Top area, Smith said. “The key is to work cooperatively with others in the advocacy of historic preservation in general.”

As the organization reviews activities for the new year it will also look at its future direction.

“If you have ideas for the Heritage Day at the school and want to share them prior to the meeting, please attend the first meeting of the partnership or contact any member of the organization,” it was explained.

The Saxton Borough Municipal Building is located at Ninth and Spring streets. In addition to holding meetings in Saxton, the organization will take its sessions “on the road” during 2019, gathering at various locations.

In addition to Saxton area representatives, the partnership consists of delegates from the Keystone Foundry at Hopewell, Broad Top Area Coal Miners Historical Society, H&BT Historic Site at Dudley, Broad Top Township, H&BT Rail Trail and the Riddlesburg Coke Ovens Preservation Association.

Ron can be reached at dnews@huntingdondailynews.com.

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