William L. Roberts
A major addition to the Potter County Historical Society’s museum on North Main Street in Coudersport will be dedicated at 2 pm Sunday, April 30. The new Farm Equipment Shed is the culmination of a multi-year effort to establish a permanent collection that traces the history of local agriculture dating back to Native American practices. Many of the vintage pieces, including farm equipment and implements, could not be practically exhibited in the museum, so directors embarked on a plan to establish a shed on museum grounds. Even the shed itself has been constructed as a historical exhibit.
Society officials will dedicate the exhibit to the late William L. Roberts of Coudersport, a dedicated and respected agriculturalist, archaeologist and artist/craftsman. He died last October at age 102. Bill was associated with Barnett Brothers Headwater Potatoes of Ulysses for more than 60 years. In 1988, at age 73, he received a master’s degree in anthropology from Penn State University. Part of his studies was an archaeological investigation into the agricultural practices of Native Americans in the high altitude, cold climate areas of Potter County. He was active with the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology and the Potter County Historical Society. Bill not only built his own house, he also enjoyed making copper weather vanes, iron railings and multiple woodshop items, many of which were donated to non-profit organizations.
Potter County Commissioner Susan Kefover has been appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Rural Affairs. The 30-member panel’s mission is to pursue strategies and policies that assure all rural communities and their residents have equal access to opportunities, resources and the capacity to determine their future and sustain a rewarding quality of life.
Among its priorities are: building partnerships and networks of diverse individuals and organizations to improve the coordination and effectiveness of federal, state and other programs affecting rural areas; fostering expanded economic and social opportunities for rural residents and recommending specific policies to the governor and other decision-makers; promoting community-based problem solving strategies; serving as a resource on rural issues, programs and available sources of technical and financial assistance; evaluating the effectiveness of services and programs to rural citizens.
Commissioner Kefover has been involved in rural community development activities for many years at both the countywide and municipal levels. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Downtown Center and as a member of the Community and Economic Development Committee for the County Commissioners Assn. of Pa.
Potter County Historical Society has released a new guide that offers six options for those who wish to explore the county’s roots. It’s designed as a tool to deepen local residents’ appreciation of their heritage and assist tourists who are looking for interesting adventures, according to society president David Castano. Copies of the 80-page booklet are available at the PCHS museum on North Main Street in Coudersport.
Six routes are laid out in the guide based on regions of Potter County. The booklet contains summaries of local industries, individuals and communities. Road maps with directions have been added to each section. Dozens of archival photos provide an important visual element to the engaging text. On the Northwestern Tour, drivers can see the site of a palisaded Native American village dating back to the late 15th century. The Southeastern Tour recalls the rise and fall of the village of Cross Fork, which was teeming with a population of 2,500 or more residents plus twice that many itinerants during the lumber book of the early 20th century.
PCHS dedicated the booklet to the late Bob and Maxine Currin, each of whom was active with the society. They were known to take regular driving tours to explore Potter County history. David Castano wrote most of the text. Barry Hayman also contributed. Pictures came from the Historical Society archives and from local professional photographer Curt Weinhold. Tours were developed by Judith Mack Castano. Mikell Haskins, Dorothy Smith and Bill Morey assisted with research. The guide was also supported by Gary and Diana Buchsen. Zachary Williams designed the booklet and composed the pages.
Next meeting of the Potter County Local Emergency Planning Committee will be held at 11 am Wednesday, May 17, at the county’s emergency operations center at Mapleview. LEPC is a public safety organization that was formed to coordinate activities and assure readiness for an efficient and effective response to local emergencies. Members include local emergency responders, the Potter County Commissioners and Emergency Management staff, and others engaged in public safety. Those interested in local emergency services and preparedness are welcome. To register, call 814-274-8900.
Hundreds of people are directly affected by programs offered by Potter County Human Services (PCHS), but few take the opportunity to provide input on how those services are delivered. An Advisory Board that’s in place to accommodate public comments and suggestions will hold its next meeting on Thursday, May 18, at 6 pm in the PCHS building at Roulette. PCHS operates programs for victims of alcoholism and other drug abuse, older citizens, the mentally ill, children who are at risk, and the intellectually disabled. Advisory board members are appointed by the Potter County Board of Commissioners. Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to the board should contact the Commissioners Office at 274-8290, extension 207.
An ambitious mission to clean and restore grave markers for hundreds of military veterans buried in Potter County is scheduled for liftoff on Saturday, May 13. Potter County’s Veterans Service Committee (Bill Simpson, Paul Heimel and Dawn Wooster), which is spearheading the project, has partnered with Eulalia Cemetery for a pilot project. After a brief kickoff ceremony at 9 am, volunteers will fan out across the cemetery to clean the gravestones of designated military veterans. More details will be announced. Those interested in joining the work bee on May 13 should contact Eulalia Cemetery board president Steve Erway (email@example.com).
This is just the start of a countywide project that will continue for many years. Several cemetery managers, community leaders and other volunteers have already signed up. Regular updates on the Potter County Veterans Gravestone Restoration Project are being disseminated by email. Anyone interested in being added to the mailing list should contact Dawn Wooster at firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-274-8290, extension 207.