Book 1 Volume 50
"Wishin' and hopin,' thinkin' and prayin', plannin' and dreamin'" are the few opening words of a 1965 Dusty Springfield hit song.
"Wishin' and hopin,'thinkin' and prayin,' plannin' and dreamin'" are the same words that The Lehigh Gap Historical and Museum Society members may have used in referring to a heritage center in Palmerton.
Ever since the society was organized in 1990 its dream for the future was to some day open a Heritage Center. Through this the Palmerton and surrounding areas could learn and understand more about the town's historical past.
This endeavor will soon come to pass with the help of Peter Kern, president of the Palmerton Chamber of Commerance and from Horsehead Community Development Fund and the Julius and Katheryn Hommer Foundation.
The building, that was once "Tommy's," the town's popular coffee shop at 410 Delaware Ave, will be leased and will become known as, The Palmerton Area Heritage Center, as of the first of the year.
"Betsy Burnhouser, (long time historical advocate and secretary of the historical society) and I have been talking about this project for the last two years," said Kern. "We have been looking for the appropriate place. We [JUMP]found this in what was Tommy's.This is a great location, with store front access, convenient location between the library and Berts and the building itself has plenty of history surrounding it".
The center has hopes of drawing more tourisium to Palmerton. That may in turn bring economic stimulation, but most of all the center will be for educational purposes and enjoyment of reliving "those good old Days"
Although Kern has promised to secure the initial funding, it will be the responsibility of the Historical Society to maintain the center. The Historical Society will be working hard to open the center but once it is opened they are hoping for the support of the different churches, clubs and organizations in the area to help out with volunteer staffing.
"This is not just our Heritage Center. This will benefit the whole community of Palmerton.We want this to be a community project,"said Burnhouser.
So far the clubs and organizations have been very receptive to the opening of a Heritage Center in Palmerton. Projected days to be open are Wednesday Saturday, hours will be discussed later. The Center could also open for special events or planned programs, such as school tours, etc.
"The Heritage Center has been in our vision since 1997. The repository in Borough Hall was just the first step we took in the right direction," explained Jane Borbe, president of the Historical Society.
The repository and archives will still remain in Borough Hall. Artifacts and displays from the repository and exhibits from area churches clubs or organizations will be set up on a monthly rotation basis. A small area will be sit up for the sale of the Historical Society's merchandise.
Work on the Heritage Center is slated to start in earnest in January. The historical society is hopeful that a grand opening will take place in early spring