The Apollo Area Historical Society will celebrate its “50th + 1” anniversary in September with a dinner and presentation on some of the society’s efforts over the years.
The pandemic canceled its plans a 50th-anniversary celebration last year.
The event Sept. 18 is open to the public. Tickets are $25.
The society is the keeper of the town’s historical flame. But it’s not your dad’s historical society with a small museum stuffed with artifacts from attics and deceased relatives.
The society in the past several years has been involved in presenting public events, offering a website loaded with historical photos and presenting innovative tours to rekindle the public’s interest in all things historical.
“We try to be active in the community and not sit around in the museum collecting dust,” said Sue Ott, society vice president.
“We use programs and social media to get to the people of today and remind them of what the town has lived through,” she said.
The society’s museum is in the WCTU building, which the society bought and restored to its 1909 luster.
Assembling historical artifacts is not how the society was founded.
The town’s oldest known home, the Drake Log Cabin, was built in 1816, sold to Sarah Drake in 1862 and changed hands over the years. Local residents established the society in 1970 to buy and restore the cabin, according to the society’s web page.
After fundraising and much work, the cabin opened for tours and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
In addition to the cabin, the society preserves the stories and provides directions to the former homes of famous journalist Nellie Bly and Gen. Samuel Jackson, a Civil War hero.
They also promote long-gone but influential residents such as Hugh and Emma Owens, who donated the township’s park, known as Owens Grove, to the borough. Owens was one of the founders of the Apollo Cemetery in 1908. The society notes graves of notable hometown residents such as John James Collins, who served in the Army and was killed in Vietnam in 1967.
The society continues to serve local history for watershed moments such as the 1918 flu pandemic and the 1936 St. Patrick’s Day Flood.
“The AAHS is a great asset to the town of Apollo,” Ott said. “And at our 50-year mark, we want the community to celebrate with us as we look forward to the next 50 years.”
But the society is going to need a little help.
The society is looking for new members, Ott said.
“We need young members to get involved so we can keep going,” she said. Ott, who is 61, said she is among the youngest members of the society.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .