The 12-member Broad Top Area Coal Miners Historical Society Inc. recently held its annual reorganizational session, during which board members and officers were elected for 2022. The session was held in the Wood Township Municipal Building.

Retained for another year were these board members and officers: Ron Morgan, Robertsdale, president; Kirby Lockard, Robertsdale, vice president; Patti Larson, Coles Valley, the society’s new secretary; Alan Hess, Dudley, treasurer; and Paul Wright, Newburg; Larry Williams, Saxton; Larry Angelo, Dudley; Mary Gates, Dudley; William Martin, Cooks; Gary Kuklo Sr., Riddlesburg; Adam Watson, Broad Top City; and Gerald Wright, Wells Tannery.

Also chosen for another year were Carolyn Carroll, Ft. Piper (Hopewell Township, Bedford County) and Dennis Fields, Dudley, co-research librarians; Margaret Duvall, Robertsdale, part-time tour guide; Community State Bank (Saxton), depository; and Huntingdon attorney Larry Newton, solicitor.

The society board of directors will hold monthly meetings at 1 p.m., the last Sunday of the month in the Reality Theatre, Robertsdale. Special meetings will be called as needed by the board president.

Special recognition was made of Mary Gates who has served as board secretary for many years. Gates will remain active in the Coal Miners Museum and on the board of directors but felt it was time to step down as secretary.

Chosen as the new secretary was Patti Larson who is active with the Watson Black American Legion Post and its Auxiliary. Larson, new to the Broad Top, said she is anxious to become involved in the preservation of the area’s unique history and heritage.

The board members discussed at length the progress being made in the transition from the former Robertsdale United Methodist Church back to the reality Theatre.

The society, which owns both structures, occupied the church building from 2007 to present. The edifice is once again being used for religious services by the Reality Church of God which previously leased the theatre.

The task of relocating the contents of the museum continues to be a challenge but should be finished in a few more weeks. Once the relocation is completed, the preparation of new and/or updated displays will begin in the theatre. A tentative date of Saturday, May 7, 2022, has been set for the opening of the museum.

Looking to the new year, the society will continue its support for several area heritage related activities including the multi-phase restoration of the East Broad Top Railroad, preservation activities of the Friends of the East Broad Top, development of the H&BT Rail Trail in Broad Top Township and the railroad’s former Shoups Run branch, Broad Top Area Heritage Partnership, Huntingdon County History & Heritage Roundtable and other projects, activities and historical groups in Huntingdon, Bedford and Fulton counties.

Although the society will be extremely busy with the museum relocation project, the board members will also address several other items related to the history of the Broad Top including the Italian/Sicilian Cemetery at Robertsdale and planning for the Columbus Day weekend Coal Miners Heritage Days and Robertsdale Community Days.

The society officials repeated its need for new and reinstated members as well as donations to help finance its relocation project. Contact (814) 907-1788 for details.

Ron can be reached at dnews@huntingdondailynews.com.

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