The Wayne County Historical Society honored two of its leaders for long years of service, November 2nd at a banquet at Lukan's Farm Resort.
Clinton Leet, long-time trustee who among his contributions was the spark to acquire property for the D&H Canal Lock 31 Park, and Sally Talaga, who is retiring after 25 years as Executive Director, were recognized.
Leet received the Richard L. Kreitner Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was first presented by the Society last year to Kreitner, who since passed away.
A former vocational agriculture teacher at the school in Lakewood, Leet is a retired Honesdale businessman and has been active in advocating historic preservation. He was noted for being foresighted, positive and adventurous, as well as determined. He was also a founder of the Stourbridge Line rail excursions, where he volunteered as a conductor.
Leet is credited with first suggesting the idea of acquiring the Lock 31 house and nearby towpath for a potential living history museum in Palmyra Township- Wayne County. That was in the mid-1990's. After much perseverance and labor, the Society held a grand opening of the park on August 24, 2013, with Leet in attendance. The interior of the historic structure still needs to be renovated, as funds allow.
Talaga was involved in many Historical Society projects during the last quarter century, working with the changing make-up of the Society's Board of Trustees over the years. Margaret "Peg" Murphy, who served as President of the Board, told how she met Talaga and recommended her as the Society's first paid Executive Director.
Among the many projects during Talaga's tenure were three major additions to the main museum, the establishment of the D&H Lock 31 Canal Park, enlarging of the Farm Museum at the Wayne County Fair, and two museums operated by the Society in county-owned properties, the Stone Jail House and Bethel Schoolhouse. In that time the Society also published numerous books and calendars, computerized records and scanned in thousands of historic photographs.
County Commissioner Wendell Kay presented a Certificate of Recognition to Talaga on behalf of the County.
Hawley resident Tammy Hill Satter was introduced as the Society's new Interim Director. Talaga went on a year sabbatical in the beginning of 2013. Interim Director Franziska Zuercher was named, but has recently stepped down because of plans to move out of the region.
A moment of silence was observed for Gloria McCullough, long-time Research Librarian who died in August. Alice Scott has been named as the new Research Librarian.
Elaine Herzog is the current president and served as emcee. Wallenpaupack Area High School chorus members provided musical entertainment.
For more information about the Society, call 570-253-3240 or visit online at www.waynehistorypa.org.