Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Baltzer Meyer Historical Society

  • Greensburg, PA
  • http://baltzermeyer.pa-roots.com

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society is the study, preservation and sharing of the records of the early settlements of Westmoreland County along with photographs, artifacts and information pertaining to the descendants of the people who lived in those early settlements. Special collections maintained by the society include materials focused on the early Germanic, Swiss, French Huguenot, Swedish, and other settlers and their descendants and the history of Hempfield Township and surrounding townships.

Main Programs

  1. Paul Miller Ruff Library
  2. Geology of the 5 Star Trail, Greensburg
  3. Back to the Cemetery
  4. John L. Haigh,Sr. Chief Steward,0Air Force One

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Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

ruling year

1996

Principal Officer

Self-reported

None None

Keywords

Self-reported

hempfield german genealogy bmhs harrold school westmoreland

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EIN

25-1770054

 Number

1351734250

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Accomplishments: --School Days at Harold No. 8. Since 2007, the The Hempfield Area School District third graders have learned about rural life in 1880s Southwestern Pennsylvania by spending a day in costumes appropriate to the era at the Society's schoolhouse. The year 2013 was our seventh year doing this project. The Society is planning two or three Open Houses on Saturdays through the summer to invite people to visit and tour our one-room schoolhouse and Library. --All-volunteer genealogical library maintained. The library is open at least once a week in the winter months, and two to sometimes three times a week for the remainder of the year for visitors from both near and far. Nearly 3000 volunteer hours were given in 2013. --New items. This year the department forged partnerships with the Westmoreland Heritage for promotional purposes. Two German Dinners were held at the Center, one in April and one in May, 2013, attracting 284 people who enjoyed their meal. A project of photographing tombstones was a major undertaking. Ninety-nine (99) cemeteries from areas of Westmoreland, Washington, Fayette, and Allegheny Counties compile a log of 201,000 tombstone photos that are available to be copied and purchased at the Center. Sixteen (16) job descriptions have been written to help train new volunteers or current long-time volunteers when starting a new position. Charts and diagrams accompany each job description. This is an on-going project. Facebook has been updated and is acquiring a large number of followers. Goals --Increase the number of Society members and volunteers --Renovate the Ruff Library - This is currently a work in progress. Renovate the second floor into a museum containing over 40 files of information to be used in researching. This is a work in progess that is almost completed. Researchers will have easy access to view documents, books, maps, and photos. To date almost 1600 items have been documented in an Excel program to make it easier to locate. --Expand use of the schoolhouse by offering programs and encouraging use of the facility by other community-based organizations. --Continue to collect artifacts and information while digitizing current holdings.

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

Paul Miller Ruff Library

The Paul Miller Ruff Library at the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society houses a number of important resources. For genealogists, there are church records, newspaper abstracts, obituary files, reference books, family files and school yearbooks. For historians, there are atlases, county histories, town histories, event programs, business directories, scrapbooks and binders dedicated to single topics. There are also special image collections that have been digitized and are available for viewing such as the Leroy Smeltzer Collection (thousands of images of Greensburg and the surrounding area digitized from original negatives). Members of the Society use the library for free, while non-members pay a nominal fee of $3 for the day. Both members and non-members pay $.25 for copies. Experienced volunteer research fill requests received via mail and e-mail for a $10 hourly fee. We continue to provide, no charge, office space to the Westmoreland Archaeological Society.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$2,500.00

Program 2

Geology of the 5 Star Trail, Greensburg

The speaker talked about the rock formations, fossils, and other details about the 5 Star Trail in Greensburg. This Trail is for people to walk or bike from downtown Greensburg to near New Stanton PA.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 3

Back to the Cemetery

The speaker talked about the various types of stone/granite/marble used in making tombstones and how to identify them.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 4

John L. Haigh,Sr. Chief Steward,0Air Force One

Mr. Haigh spoke of his experiences of being Chief Steward on Air Force One through the presidencies of Presidents Carter, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

Funding Needs

--Renovation and expansion of library. Our library is a treasure-trove of information. We need better lighting, better shelving, and better archival storage. --Internet access. Currently the Society is using freeware combined with dial-up Internet access to answer e-mails. An always-on, high-speed Internet connection would encourage more volunteer staff members to man the office and dramatically increase the dissemination of information held in the library. Furthermore, a wireless router would allow visiting researchers to connect to the Internet in the library and complement their research (cost estimate $30/month Internet access; $500 for networking and related equipment). -- Collecting history. The Society has focused for years on collecting the records needed for genealogical research. However the study of Fort Allen, the Marchand Hospital, the original log school house, and the Henry Massacre topics which lack currently documented evidence. --More volunteers. More volunteers are needed to carry out the projects detailed above. Partnering with other historical societies to complete certain projects is also of great interest to BMHS. --Paved parking lot for Society headquarters. In our unpaved, rutted, gravel lot just one or two inches of snow creates havoc and shuts down the Center. Repaving the lot will attract new members and give our headquarters the capacity to offer larger programs (cost estimate $10,000 to $15,000).

Accreditations

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Financials

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  • Forms 990 for 2012, 2011 and 2010
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Operations

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

Baltzer Meyer Historical Society

Leadership

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  • Address, phone and website
  • Forms 990 for 2012, 2011 and 2010
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

None None

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Bruce Shirey

Community Volunteer

Term: Jan 2011 - Dec 2011

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

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?