Baltzer Meyer society in Hempfield to offer free access to books, records for day
Take a step back in time and research family histories, get a tour of a school house and learn about making rugs during the first ancestry day hosted by the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society.
“We are doing this as something that we want to try and do every year so the families get to come back or spend time learning more about their history and where they came from,” said Thomas Harrold, president of the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society.
Harrold will offer tours of the Harrold One Room Schoolhouse at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. The school, located on Baltzer Meyer Pike, was originally built for $1,250 in 1881 and was one of five Harrold schools in the area. It eventually closed in 1928 and was used by the Harrold Junior High School as a shop until 1957.
Hempfield Township used it as a storage building until Harrold took it over in 1995 as part of the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society. After about eight years of renovations, the schoolhouse had its first grand opening and spent 10 years being used by third grade Hempfield students.
The event will also feature twining and rag rug demonstrations from two society members and refreshments.
Harrold has been working to bolster the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society, and recently opened the schoolhouse to people who want to rent the space for business meetings, seminars, small entertainment, weddings and more.
“These are ideas that have been floating (around) that we’ve wanted to do for years and we now have the personnel in place to be able to do that without it becoming a hindrance to (the society),” Harrold said. “We’re still looking for volunteers, but we’re getting there a little bit at a time.”
Harrold hopes to create an ancestry month during April, which will offer area residents free access to the library. The society would charge only to make copies.
“People can see the stuff and put memories together and start to build on the bond of those things,” Harrold said.
Memberships to the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society range from $10 to $25 per year or a lifetime of access for $250 per person or $500 per couple.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .