Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Butler County Historical Society

  • Butler, PA
  • www.butlerhistory.com

Mission Statement

The mission of the Butler County Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and interpret the documents, artifacts, and historical sites of Butler County's rich heritage for the educational benefit of the public.

Main Programs

  1. Senator Walter Lowrie House Museum and the Little Red School House Museum
  2. Cooper Cabin Pioneer Homestead
  3. Echoes From Our Past-Historic Cemetery Walk
Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

ruling year

1979

Principal Officer since 2010

Self-reported

Mrs. Patricia M Collins

Keywords

Self-reported

BCHS, Bantam Jeep, Preservation, Butler

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EIN

25-1329527

 Number

7085340350

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Last year the society was able to make major capital improvements by completing the exterior painting, replacing the front porch, and sidewalk in front of the Senator Walter Lowrie House. A new carriage house building was constructed behind the house to preserve our paper collections and artifacts in more appropriate conditions. Our members and friends stepped up and helped support these improvements so that we remain debt free. Over two hundred boxes of paper archives were accessioned, properly containerized, and moved onto new shelving in the carriage house. Over one thousand photographs and negatives have been indexed and properly stored. By the end of last year our new website online included membership and volunteer information, as well as our complete catalog of publications and gift items. Sales were made easier and increased with the use of the PayPal payment system for our customers. This year we partnered with the Butler Little Theater and the North Side Cemetery to create Echoes from Our Past-Historic Cemetery Walk. This great event was well received and will be an annual program to educate and share our local history. We also purchased a building that gives us 10,000 square feet of storage area while offering income potential through office spaces that we will make available for rent. The society is moving forward with a few renovations to make the carriage house suitable museum space. We are also looking forward to partnering with Slippery Rock University to create a curatescape for Butler County. An example of what we are working on can be seen at ClevelandHistorical.com. The Becky Smith Memorial is a partnership between Butler Downtown and the Butler County Historical Society to honor this Main Street Manager whose young life was tragically taken unexpectedly. The memorial will pay tribute to a young woman who sparked improvements in our city and will have an impact on the Little Red School House where the memorial will be located.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Senator Walter Lowrie House Museum and the Little Red School House Museum

This Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1828 by Butler County's only United States Senator, Walter Lowrie as his summer home. In 1839 Charles Craven Sullivan became the second owner of the house and it remained with his descendants until 1986 when the house was bequeathed to the Butler County Historical Society by Isabelle S. Adams. The hallway is graced with original Trompe L'Oeil thought to be the only original of its type in the United States. A beautiful square Steinway piano graces the grand parlor. Tours are provided by appointment. The offices of the society are located in this building. A new Carriage House has been built on this property, which will be used as a museum for our automotive, industrial, and other collections once completed.
LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE
This delightful brick school house was built in 1838 and was the first public school in Butler. It is used to educate students and families about the changes in education through the years.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Other Named Groups

Budget

Program 2

Cooper Cabin Pioneer Homestead

Cooper Cabin consists of a 5 acre property where the Cooper family's log cabin was erected in 1815. There also is a spinning house, spring house, outhouse, tool shed, and tractor shed on the property. At this rural setting our visitors step back in time as they tour these buildings and experience the life of our early pioneers. Nancy Cooper, born in 1861 lived in this cabin until she was over 100 years old! There is no running water in the cabin but her family did run electricity into the cabin in the 1950s so she could have a light and hotplate. Until that point she had to cook in the fireplace. Family members and neighbors took care of chopping her wood or bringing in coal so she would be able to stay warm in the cold winter months. Programs are presented at the cabin that depict the chores the early settlers had to perform each day to survive. Spinning, pioneer cooking, Civil War re-enactments, and blacksmithing are just a few of the many topics our visitors enjoy.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Program 3

Echoes From Our Past-Historic Cemetery Walk

Partnering with the Butler Little Theater and with the cooperation of the North Side Cemetery Association, we offer historical tours of the cemetery. This includes actors portraying, in ""present"" time, an account of an historical event or life events of people interred in the cemetery. Program offered the last weekend of September, reservations required.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

2,000

Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

Funding Needs

Our society has several pressing needs. One need is for volunteers to help with the upkeep of our properties and develop programming at those sites. We also need help developing and implementing a long-range plan to increase our stable-funding sources. The society needs to be able to properly compensate our employees, do a better job of maintaining our properties, and increase funding for the preservation of our collections. The Carriage House is our next capital project. We must make some renovations to be able to use it for a museum. We need to raise $40,000 to complete the building and create display space. An educational program for school children is one of our most important issues. Help with creating lessons for use in our schools is an important goal for us.

photos


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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Butler County Histo'ncal Society
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Butler County Historical Society

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mrs. Patricia M Collins

BIO

Pat has lived in Butler all her life and has thirty years experience researching Butler County's history and families. Prior to assuming her current position, she was employed by UPS for twenty-eight years and also served as a Trustee of IBT Local 538. She is a co-founder of the Butler County Genealogical Society and past president of that organization. She also maintains several historical and genealogically related websites, including the Butler County, PA GenWeb site. She served on the Board of Directors of the Butler County Historical Society for four years and as Board President for two of those years. She worked closely with the past Executive Director on addressing the problems and goals for the future of the Society.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

" The Butler County Historical Society is diligently working to preserve all of Butler County's history, which includes artifacts, historical accounts of events and people, and expanding our large photographic collection of people, events, and buildings from Butler County's past and present. It is estimated our collection contains over 35,000 images. It also has been extremely gratifying to see the increase in young adult volunteers who come in every week to help us grow. New educational programs and things to attract visitors to Butler are a major part of our activities. Our online presence continues to grow with almost 40,000 visits to our website last year. Partnering with Slippery Rock University to create a curatescape for Butler County is one of the most exciting online projects we will accomplish in 2014. Butler County holds some unique places in United States history. ""Uncle"" Billy Smith from Butler County, who enabled Drake to drill the first oil well, the Standard Steel Car Company, ARMCO, professional athletes and Olympians, and the invention of the Bantam ""jeep""—the most important vehicle ever made in this country—all have their roots in Butler County. It's a privilege to be able to spotlight items like the Bantam ""jeeps"" in our collection and to participate in the preservation and presentation of all our history. Exciting events such as the Echoes from our Past-Historic Cemetery Walk, the reenactment of the Bantam ""jeep"" to Camp Holabird, MD on its 75th anniversary, and the Walldog International Meet in 2016 are helping our society to engage the public. These are great chances to educate the public about our history and encourage them to become involved. An active board of directors, working for the benefit of the society, is one of our greatest assets. They are working responsibly to help the organization move into the future with a sound financial base while maintaining the integrity of our buildings and collections. Each board member contributes, not only financially, but with volunteer time or expertise in various projects and programs. They not only guide but challenge the staff to keep the society growing and active. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. David R Schnur

President

Term: May 2010 - May 2012

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?