Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Derry Area Historical Society

  • New Derry, PA
  • www.derryhistory.org

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Derry Area Historical Society is to encourage the appreciation and preservation of local history, genealogy and historic architecture while building strong partnerships with other organizations and groups that will strengthen our community. The "Area" is defined as the township of Derry and New Alexandria and Derry Boroughs, in Westmoreland County, PA.

Main Programs

  1. The Historic Fulton House Inn and Grounds
  2. Family and Community History Research Center
  3. New Derry 200th Anniversary Committee
Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

The Derry Area comprises the township of Derry and two boroughs within the township, New Alexandria and Derry, located in the northeastern corner of Westmoreland County, bounded by the Chestnut Ridge to the east, Conemaugh River to the north and the Loyalhanna Creek to the west and south. The area overlaps these boundaries and collaborates with organizations in the surrounding townships and with county agencies.

ruling year

1996

President since 2015

Self-reported

William L. Snyder II

Treasurer and Genealogist since 2015

Self-reported

John J Matviya

Keywords

Self-reported

Fulton House, Simpsons Voting House, Derry Area Research

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EIN

25-1790484

 Number

1123856206

Physical Address

357 Pittsburgh Street

New Derry, PA 15671

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

We're proud of these accomplishments during the past year: The historic Simpson's Voting House along Route 22 in Derry Township re-opened for voting in the May 2013 primary election, for the first time in 10 years, as a result of our work to save this 120 year old structure. Through mostly volunteer labor and donations, the society worked with Westmoreland County to relocate and rehabilitate this one-room building to return it to its historic use. "Simpson's" was designated a "Keystone of Democracy" by the Commonwealth in May, prior to the primary. The historical society will be making educational tours of the house and its place in the election process during the year except for the two election days each year when it belongs to the 500 voters of the district. Our annual "Lammas Day Festival" in August drew over 100 people to the Fulton House in New Derry to celebrate the "first harvest." Delicious local corn was cooked over an open fire. House tours, blacksmith demonstrations and a blessing from the local church priest entertained the crowd after they had feasted.The extended evening hours of late June encouraged us to invite the community to the Fulton House grounds to a social event that included ice cream sundaes with a variety of toppings and brought to us many first-time visitors who not only got their fill of sweets, but had the opportunity to tour the Fulton House, barn and blacksmith shop. The success of this event in attracting so many from our community has led to the establishment of this evening as one of our annual events since 2010.All-volunteer research library maintained. Our family research library continues its close working relationship with the New Alexandria Public Library, maintaining its research room in the library and maintaining the same hours as the library. Visitors and researchers from both western Pennsylvania and throughout the country came to our library for family research. In addition, volunteer genealogists answered queries and conducted research via email and regular mail, often as a free service to our patrons.

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

The Historic Fulton House Inn and Grounds

On November 29, 1815, Joseph Guthrie, son of William Guthrie, received from the estate of his father, a parcel of land containing 113 acres plus allowances. Joseph had the land surveyed and, on July 6, 1815, a plan of lots was laid out to form the Town of Derry in Derry Township, Westmoreland County. Derry town is now known as New Derry and what we now know as Derry, was originally called Derry Station. The old town was laid out along two streets, Pittsburg Street running East to West, and Liberty Street running North to South. Lot #27 Pittsburgh Street, on the west side of town, was purchased by Robert Fulton for the sum of $25.00 lawful currency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on February 22, 1817. A house and other appurtenances were erected on the property. By April 3, 1821, when Robert Fulton sold it to James Fulton, Jr., an Innkeeper, the value of the property had increased to $600.00. A wagon shop was housed in the rear stone portion of the building while the ""drovers"" were fed and rested for the night inside the log house. James Fulton operated the house as an Inn for about 20 years after which it passed through many families used primarily as a private home. Covered with wood siding and InsulBrick the historic nature of this building was forgotten for many years. In the 1980s a chimney fire nearly destroyed the structure. The house stood vacant for many years until May 1997, when The Derry Area Historical Society took possession and began the restoration and rehabilitation. The beautiful building you see today is the result of over 5000 volunteer hours.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 2

Family and Community History Research Center

In March, 2009, the Derry Area Historical Society relocated its genealogical resources to the New Alexandria Public Library and opened for business as the DAHS Family and Community History Center. . Since then we have been helping at least one new researcher each week, along with those who contact us via email and ""regular"" mail, trying to discover that elusive ancestor who happened to live in the Derry area so long ago. A pre-revolutionary settlement, the Derry area was home to many families migrating from the eastern states to the ""wild west"". The convenient hours and publicity that our new center has generated has also resulted in new memberships and donations, including family histories and archival materials, to the society. Among the recent additions are the Rush Family Papers and photos - now being catalogued - boxes of memorabilia from the original owners of Rushwood Park. A 1934 collection of ""historical sketches"" of the New Alexandria and Derry area, compiled by Edward J. Braden, is being transcribed and edited for publication. On-line queries continue to come into our center and are researched by one of our experienced genealogists, adding to an ever growing community ""tree"" of people who lived in the Derry area. This is all in addition to our nearly complete collection of Derry Area school yearbooks and surname files of hundreds of people who lived in the Derry area.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 3

New Derry 200th Anniversary Committee

In 2015, the village of New Derry, in which the Fulton House is located, celebrated its 200th anniversary. An ad-hoc committee involving several members of the community was formed to plan, raise funds and direct the summer weekend long celebration,

Category

Community, Business & Industry

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

$6,000

Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

The Derry Area comprises the township of Derry and two boroughs within the township, New Alexandria and Derry, located in the northeastern corner of Westmoreland County, bounded by the Chestnut Ridge to the east, Conemaugh River to the north and the Loyalhanna Creek to the west and south. The area overlaps these boundaries and collaborates with organizations in the surrounding townships and with county agencies.

Funding Needs

(1) The roof repair bids were much higher than anticipated. With a mini-grant from the Lincoln Highway Corridor, we signed a contract with a very reputable roofing contractor who completed the project in March, 2016, under-budget. The bulk of the cost to replace the roof was paid out of our savings accounts, nearly draining the assets. Our needs are now to raise funds to replenish our savings accounts which are used to run the programs we provide throughout the summer months. The number and types of events we will provide this year are dependent on this fund raising. (2) Out next need is to insulate and winterize the log barn which serves as a farm museum, archives storage space and model railroad platform. The stairs to the second floor need to be replaced as they are too steep to allow public access at this time. Gaps in the wood walls have allowed animals to access the building. Fixing these problems will double the exhibit space of our museum.

Accreditations

photos


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Operations

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

Derry Area 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 2012, 2011 and 2010
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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President

William L. Snyder II

Treasurer and Genealogist

John J Matviya

BIO

Mr. Snyder is currently the President of the society, having served in that capacity for two terms in past years. A history teacher at Latrobe Area High School, Snyder brings a hands on approach involving his students in our projects and under his direction.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. William L Synder

Greater Latrobe Area School District

Term: Nov 2015 - Nov 2016

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?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

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


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

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


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BOARD COMPOSITION

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


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

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