Restoring History in Jermyn

JERMYN, Pa. -- The house on Madison Avenue in Jermyn certainly does not look like a museum or tourist destination, a library resource center, or even the home of a historical society.

"It is disastrous, and we are going to make it one beautiful, welcoming tourist attraction with a history you cannot believe," said Joanne Wilson of the Jermyn Historical Society.

Right now, the Jermyn Historical Society is crammed into a nearby parsonage with no more space for all the historical artifacts. So, a few months ago, the society bought the building in the 700 block of Madison Avenue.

Volunteers have been working on it every day.

This was originally a Welsh church from the 1800s, later a house, then apartments, then a house again.

"We'd like to have it as ready to go as possible for the public to come in for the sesquicentennial, which is this year, so I have vast goals for this place," said Bruce Smallacombe of the Jermyn Historical Society.

The historical members have applied for a $50,000 state grant. They are hoping they receive that money so they can use it to make this the landmark they want it to be.

"It is packed with all sorts of information that people could come in and read and look at, and it's amazing," said Kay Fedirko of the Jermyn Historical Society.

The historical society needs volunteers to help make this library/museum/tourist attraction a reality, but they said they know it will happen.

"We have high goals, and we are going to get those goals done," said Wilson.

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