REYNOLDSVILLE — The Reynoldsville Historical Society is getting closer to being able to open its doors to the public, but they still need more help.
The project has been in the works since 2014 in the building located at 502 Main Street in downtown Reynoldsville. The building itself was built in 1929 as the Delaney Brothers service station. The building was built out of any material they could salvage at the time, which has been a problem for the renovations.
“That’s been the main issue is bringing this building up to code,” Gene Deible said.
While ripping out some of the walls, they thought they found evidence the building had been through a fire. As they kept going they realized they were just burnt boards that had been mixed in with the other building supplies. Deible believes they had salvaged the boards from another fire to build the building.
All the structural problems have been fixed, and the floor plan has been opened up instead of being a bunch of tiny rooms. They are hoping this means they are past all the surprises that were taking up all their funds.
Their second fund drive just started, and Deible hopes to get enough for them to finish the building this time. Most of what is left to do is finishing work. The electrician is mostly done, but is working on a security and fire alarm system for the building. The display cases need to be placed, and walls finished.
“This second fund drive will help push it into reality,” Deible said. He later added, “We encourage memorial donations, and we plan to have a dedication for all that we receive.”
Deible shared they are planning to have a wall in the gift shop dedicated to all the memorial donations they receive. He also explained that they are a 501C organization, so all donations made are tax deductible also. They have not received any funding from the county or state for this project.
“This museum is being built by people who love Reynoldsville,” Deible said.
The entrance and gift shop will be the first part open to the public. They are hoping to have this part opened by the end of August to give the public an idea of the progress they’ve made. This will all depend on the funds they receive, as they have an agreement to not incur any debt. They only work as the funds become available to them.
The grand gallery in the back will be the last room to be finished. The high ceilings will be kept so there is a room to display anything large they might get.
“It’s much larger than what people realize from the front,” Deible said.
The building has several rooms and an upstairs that will all be put to use once the renovations are finished. The display cases will be recessed into the center of the main room to keep the floor open for entertaining and lectures.
Deible hopes once the building is open to the public it will become a place where the community can come to enjoy themselves, and learn their history. He wants students to be able to come and have fun learning while they are there.
All the contributions from the community have helped to move this project along. The historical society is hoping to get one final push to finish the building for the community. The mailing address is Reynoldsville Historical Society, PO Box 72, Reynoldsville PA 15851.