We are delighted to invite all members of the Association and the public to attend the 2022 Annual Dinner and Meeting of the Penns Valley Area Historical Museum Association March 24, 2022 at 6:30 PM at the NEWLY REMODELED Progress Grange Hall, 217 S Pennsylvania Ave, Centre Hall, PA 16828. Cost is $15 to be paid at the door.
Reservations must be made by March 20, 2022 to LeDon Young at 814-364-1495 (leave a message) or firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be resuming the Annual Election of Board Members and Reporting the State of the Association.
Our Guest Speaker will be Jeffrey Frazier who will be speaking about his latest book. – Scroll down to learn more about Mr. Frazier
Your PVAHMA membership dues enable us to carry out our mission of the preservation and dissemination of the history of the Valleys of Penn and Brush. Click here for the Membership Renewal/Application. Please complete and bring this form and payment to the annual dinner on March 24, 2022 or mail to: Penns Valley Area Historical Museum, PO Box 80, Aaronsburg, PA 16820-0080
WE ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT OUR 2022 EXHIBITS WILL BE:
KERLIN’S POULTY EMPIRE A major international, award-winning poultry empire once thrived in Centre Hall! Catalogs that were ahead of their time, marketing products that had everyone a-buzz, and more about the family behind the empire await you!
CHRISTMAS OF YESTERYEAR
FEATHERED HATS FROM PENNS VALLEY BIRDS
WE WANT TO THANK THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR DONATIONS TO OUR MUSEUM IN 2021
JAMES BOHN – JEFFREY FRAZIER – PEGGY TREASTER
AGNES HOMAN – ROBERT DANNAKER – SUSAN HANEY
KAREN YANAK – GEORGENE SEARFOSS – BETSY WILLIAMS
AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR SPEAKER, JEFFREY FRAZIER:
What motivated you to start write your first book? I always say it was homesickness! After graduating from PSU in 1967, I ended up working in New Jersey. The place was quite a shock for a country boy with a Tom Sawyer sort of boyhood. There I found books in the Princeton University Library by Henry Shoemaker, whose central Pa legends and tales captivated me, alleviated my homesickness, and gave me the idea of collecting similar tales on my own, which, in turn, led to my books.
Did the success of the first book encourage you to continue writing or had you found sufficient material in your research to move on the next book? I only wanted to make enough money on the first book to finance a second, and so on thereafter. I started collecting in 1970, but didn’t start writing until 1990. At that point I knew I had enough material for three or more books.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on to research your books? I have canvassed the entire state in my fifty years collecting: From the Coal regions of Carbon and Schuylkill Counties, to the Blue Mountains of Berks and Lehigh Counties, the South Mountains of Adams County, the “Black Forest” area of Potter and Tioga Counties, the Alleghenies of Clearfield Somerset and Blair Counties, and the other counties in the middle. I’ve also visited every spot I’ve written about so I could take photos and get a sense of the local color and atmosphere.
How do you go about researching stories for your books? That can be quite time consuming! I use every resource available: the Internet, historical documents in libraries and county historical societies, County history volumes, journals published by historical societies, etc., etc. etc. I’ve also interviewed over 200 people in my years of collecting in order to get their stories and tales.
What is the most interesting tale or story that a reader has conveyed to you? People often ask me that, and I always say that my favorite is the one I’m writing at the moment! However, I think the best way to answer your question is in terms of who might have been the person I enjoyed talking to the most. The answer to that is 102 year old Abraham Lincoln Maurer of Blair County who I interviewed in 1970. Born just 3 years after the end of the Civil War, his name is indicative of that! His stories of Indians, wolves, mountain lions, and ghosts are among the best ones I’ve ever gotten.
How long does it take you to complete a book? I calculated that at one point, and I figured it has taken about three years per book. People often have told me they want to write a book, but none have any idea how much work and meticulous attention to detail it takes!
Are there any other local authors whose works you enjoy? If so who, and what is the title of her/his book? As I indicated in my response to your first question, my most favorite by far is Henry Wharton Shoemaker. He was a prolific collector and compiler of Central Pennsylvania legends and tales, beginning in 1900. He published ten volumes of his tales, and among those my favorites are the volumes titled In the Seven Mountains and The Indian Steps.
What is the name of your latest book and is there a theme to the stories in it? This is what number of the books you have published? The book I’m writing now is titled Pennsylvania Mountain Landmarks, with a subtitle of “An armchair journey to some of the most unusual and inaccessible natural landmarks that can be found in our Pennsylvania mountains”. It is an accurate subtitle since I’ve had to hire guides to get me to some of these places, and I’ve had to do some rugged hiking to get to them! In addition to photos of every one, I’m also writing about the human interest episodes and legends \ folktales that cling to these same spots. There will be thirty total chapters in the book; each chapter on a different place.To date I have self-published 16 books. That includes second editions of the first editions of my volumes, which are the same as the first editions, but also include new material in the original tales, plus additional chapters and photos. This volume I’m working on now will be number 17, but in this case I’m going to go with a commercial publisher instead of self-publishing. I’m exploring that now.
Where can you purchase your books? They can be ordered from my website (www.pafiresidetales.com) or through Barnes & Noble (bookstores or online), or any bookstore for that matter. Or people can just phone or mail an order to me directly.
You will want to join us at our Annual meeting to hear Jeffrey in person!
Annual meeting is at Progress Grange Hall In Centre Hall – If it’s Grange, you know it’s Good!