PHMC Volunteers of the Year for 2019 Part 3

The Pennsbury Society
Peggy Lehnen
Peggy Lehnen has been a volunteer at Pennsbury since September of 2015. After completing her initial training, Peggy went full steam ahead and dove into the animal interpretation, working primarily with the sheep. She has also attended several training workshops that focused on the use of primary sources as a tool to help interpret the site. During her time here Peggy has taken the wheel of the site’s spinning and textile program. In her hands-on programs, she takes students on a fascinating journey from washed piece of wool to small piece of spun yarn! In addition to her work during the school season Peggy has also taken the leadership role in orchestrating the creation and maintenance of historic clothing that is used throughout the year for school groups and special events. She can also be seen helping set up for major fundraisers and is actively involved in Pennsbury’s mission.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates
Dan Davis
Dan Davis has volunteered at the museum for over 25 years. He serves as the lead sawyer for the museum’s steam- powered circular sawmill, which is demonstrated during special events three times a year. Dan brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill to his volunteer position, based on his 29 years at McDowell Lumber Company, where he worked as mill supervisor, log truck mechanic, and welder. Dan’s first volunteer duty was to assist with running the mill’s steam boiler and monitoring the drive belts. He was soon promoted to head sawyer, controlling the head saw blade and saw carriage for the mill. Dan decides how to saw each log to derive the maximum lumber yield. He also sharpens the teeth of the various saws in the mill and those on the blade used for the museum’s shingle mill. Dan does a great job explaining the operation to visitors and enjoys teaching other volunteers the safe and proper way to run a mill.

Friends of the Pennsylvania Military Museum
Michael Poorman
Mike Poorman served as a Marine from 1976 to 1980 at Camp LeJeune and in the Marine Reserves from 1980 to 1985 in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. He then worked for 34 years as a Corrections Officer for Centre County. He has volunteered at the Pennsylvania Military Museum for the past four years, taking on increased duties each year. We can always count on Mike, and he even volunteers beyond his scheduled days to help out. He serves as a docent to tour visitors through the exhibits, assists with event preparation and teardown for multiple events throughout the year, and staffs the gallery during large events. His assistance with support and logistics is highly valued. Regardless of task or mission, Mike lends a hand and pitches in without prompting. More visitors have probably interacted with Mike in the past few years than with any other member of the volunteer service corps – a testament to his time on site and his dedication to seeing the mission of the museum be accomplished.

Friends of the Railroad Museum
George Swartz
George Swartz joined the volunteer program at the museum in 2016 and his contributions have spanned multiple departments. He can often be found in the 2nd floor gallery working on the Middle Division layout. George helped to develop a hinged portion of the track, which allows volunteers to enter the layout standing, rather than crawling through access panels. In Rolling Stock Hall, George is an enthusiastic tour guide and interpreter of railroad equipment. His passion is contagious, and the museum receives many compliments related to his knowledge of railroading and his kindness towards visitors. From “Reading on the Rails” to “Rails & Ales” to the “Garden Railway Tour,” George is always willing to help with special events and programs. He is an avid collector of railroad memorabilia, such as lanterns, tools, and insulators, as well as American Flyer trains, a passion that began when he was just 4 years old.

Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County
Chris Zanoni
Chris Zanoni has been with the site for 27 years. An active board member, he holds the office of secretary and chairs the Education Committee. In the last year, he initiated “First Friday Food Trucks,” which attracted 100-250 people each month to enjoy an evening of musical entertainment, dinner from one of the food trucks, and time to visit with friends. Chris selected and secured funding for a speaker series from the Heinz History Center that has become quite popular. He also developed an innovative escape room program based on a local historical figure, Harmon Husband (alias “Toscape Death”). “Toscape’s Escape” has proven to be quite a challenge for those who have attempted the task. Overall attendance at these activities increased by 11% over the previous year. Chris engages his high school students to participate and volunteer in activities at the site, such as the annual Ethnic Traditions event where his students dress in formal attire and serve dinner to the 100 persons who attend.

The Friends of the State Museum
Patricia Sabold
Patsy Sabold has been volunteering with museum since January 2012, traveling to Harrisburg from the Reading area to assist with programs. She started as a “Stop and Learn” docent teaching visitors about Victorian life in the first-floor changing exhibit; these days, she runs the program’s Pennsylvania German cart. The education staff can always count on Patsy to sign up every year for family events such as Night of The Great Pumpkin, Noon Year’s, Charter Day, and Homeschool Day. In the summer of 2012, Patsy became a docent for Art of The State, providing art tours and educating visitors about the exhibiting artists and their talents; she now also mentors new docents for this annual juried art exhibit. Patsy has served as a docent for numerous other art exhibits at the museum, including the Pennsylvania Watercolor exhibits (2013 and 2015), the Pennsylvania South Central Scholastic Arts exhibit (since 2014), and the current exhibit of Violet Oakley’s sketches for the Pennsylvania Senate Chamber murals. Patsy always greets visitors with enthusiasm and shares her passion for Pennsylvania’s art and history.

Myretta Anderson
Myretta Anderson began volunteering at the Pennsylvania State Archives in 2012 and typically volunteers one day a week at the State Archives when she isn’t spending winters in Florida. She is an indefatigable worker who is always willing to work on projects, regardless of the task at hand. In 2016-17 she assisted archivist Megan Rentschler with the RG 23.990 Polk State Hospital glass plate negative project, which entailed rehousing 6,461 negatives into acid-free sleeves. In 2019, Myretta helped to flatten and folder the National Guard enlistment records, series #{19.99}. She re-foldered all of the officers’ files for the period between the two World Wars, and she was working on the post-World War I enlisted men’s files when she left for Florida in October. In past years, she has helped to arrange and folder the inmate records of the Pennsylvania Reform School at Morganza, series #{23.846}. Her work is always of the highest caliber and her positive spirit is welcomed warmly by staff and volunteers alike.