NORWAY – The Norway Historical Society will kick off its campaign, “Something for Everyone,” with an open house at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, at the society’s white cape, the old Mark Pool Smith house, corner of Main and Whitman streets.

Members promise an evening of fun with a treasure hunt that will help guests learn about the society’s collections. Refreshments and prizes are part of the entertainment.

“It’s an impressive genealogy collection, is the jewel of the society with 650 notebooks, only 50 of which are commercial,” said curator Charles Longley.

The rest of the notebooks consist of collections of scrapbooks, journals, diaries, death and burial records, business ledgers, lists of jobs, census figures, newspaper clippings and personal histories of families that were compiled by Father Don McAllister, a Norway historian.

“I am amazed at the vast array of artifacts,” said Anne Seikman. Among all those objects is a huge gem collection.

“Equally impressive is a large collection of historical photographs of individuals and of streets and buildings in the town throughout the years,” said Larry Glatz. Part of the photo collection includes most of the Advertiser Democrat pictures from 1976 through 2000. All are available for public viewing.

Publications are shelved as well. The writings of C.A. Stephens, Norway’s famous author, are there, as well as an almost complete run of the Youth’s Companion magazine in which many of his stories first appeared. In addition, copies of the Advertiser Democrat, beginning with 1876, are available.

This year marks not only the 30th anniversary of the incorporation of the society, but also the crossroads at which it finds itself. Presently, it has no officers. The volunteers who previously maintained the historic record have passed the torch.

The committee hopes that once residents attend the open house, they will become members and use its materials.

For more information, contact the Norway Public Library.


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