Who We Are

Corry Area Historical Society, Inc.

The Corry Area Historical Society, Inc. was born out of a search --- a search which began in 1959 and culminated on June 1, 1965 when the first meeting was held to form the Society. The search was for a Climax engine - a coal-fired locomotive which was built in Corry up until 1930. The committee selected to conduct the search was comprised of Frank Grice, Armour Hillstrom, Philena Follett, Louis Sears, Kirk Sawyer, Norm Edinger, Walter Casler, and Sidney Elston. Once an engine was found, it was purchased for the scrap price of $2,500, and moved from Oneonta, N.Y. to a siding behind the former Corry-Jamestown building on Route 6. It remained on that siding for three years, pretty much away from public view until it was moved to a permanent spot on a specially constructed siding located at Mead Park. The next project would be to provide adequate cover for the old engine, which was built in 1928.

On June 1, 1965, a meeting was held for the purpose of forming a Historical Society and the name Corry Area Historical Society, Inc. was chosen. A committee consisting of Keppel Tiffany, Arden Baldwin, Victor Ohrn, Mrs. Harold Gilbert, Mrs Louis Morrow, Frank Grice, and Florence Grice was selected to set up the by-laws and the articles of corporation. On August 10, 1965, the society met at Nichols Lodge in Mead Park and elected the first officers. President: Frank Grice; Vice-President: Arden Baldwin; Secretary: Vera Tiffany; and Treasurer, Attorney Walter S. Peake. In 1967, the Climax engine was enclosed in a building designed by Norm Edinger and built with volunteer labor. Mrs. Maude Barnes cut the ribbon to the building which would become the first part of the Historical Society Museum on July 2, 1967. In the '70s an additional building, which formed the upright portion of a "L," the engine building providing the base to the "L," was completed. During the 1984-1985 school year, the Vo-tech class, taught by Wallace (Dutch) Sickler, built the present meeting rooms and archival area. In 1987, a pole barn, separate from the museum and built to house the many engines and large equipment we had acquired, was built and in 1991 a building which connected the pole barn to the central museum was constructed. In 1994, landscaping by Allin Company was completed.

The Corry Area Historical Society, Inc. is in the process of reorganizing, updating and enhancing the museum building, contents and online presence. Be sure to revisit the museum and website often!

The majority of the work was made possible by grants from the Greater Erie Community Foundation and untold hours of donated time, labor and monies from willing workers in our community. Trades people, professionals and "just plain folks" all contributed in a big way to help make the museum what it is. Today, the museum houses a wealth of history from Corry and the surrounding area.

Museum

Our museum houses over 15,000 artifacts in 12,000 sq. ft. of space. We have recently enhanced our displays, installed a new furnace, painted the meeting room and office area, repaired and painted the outside of the building, added security and fire protection, and completed many more improvements. We look forward to sharing with you our local history in an area that covers 250 sq. miles, the same geographic area as the Corry Area School District. The Board of Directors, members, and volunteers from the greater community have embarked on a journey of updating, preserving, and protecting the mission of the organization. This has encompassed necessary work on the building itself, updating displays, and creating policies and procedures for guidance and a framework to work within.

In addition, our Archive Room is chock full of interesting photographs, maps, genealogical information, and notebooks filled with newspaper articles organized by last name, organization, business, or event.

Close to 3000 people visit our museum each year. We continue to exist and grow with the support of volunteers and guests, donations, grants, fund-raisers, and the generosity of the local communities and beyond. There is no admission fee to enter the museum. We always appreciate a donation, although none is expected. We rely on the generosity of the community and guests.

We received a wonderful award from Erie Arts & Culture. "Applause Award: Corry Area Historical Society is a group of dedicated volunteers who revitalized a local historical society. Today, the Society is a key asset to the economic impact of Greater Corry, an educational partner to the School District of Corry, and a treasure trove of catalogued photographs, journals, newspapers, documents and objects that tell the story of Corry and its relevance to current and future generations. The Applause Award recognizes a dedicated individual or group whose outstanding volunteerism and/or financial contributions have advanced arts and culture." www.erieartsandculture.org

Donation of time, talent, and money is always appreciated and used wisely! Please contact the Corry Area Historical Society, Inc. for more information on becoming involved with the museum and Society.