The annual Thomas Kennedy Local History Festival will be held at the Dorflinger Factory Museum in White Mills, PA on Saturday, April 27, 2019. The Festival honors and is named in memory of Thomas Kennedy, a noted local educator and avid student of local history, and founder of the Local History Roundtable. The Festival is open to the public without charge.

The Festival will be held in the Blue Room in the restored Cutting Shop at the Dorflinger Factory Museum from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

There will also be a free public lecture at 9:00 AM in the Green Room in the Museum by Sally Talaga, former Director of the Wayne County Historical Society, and Jim Asselstine, Director of the Dorflinger Factory Museum entitled “Preserving the Industrial Village of White Mills: Past, Present, and Future.” The Dorflinger Factory Museum will also be open to the public without charge on Saturday, April 27 as part of the Local History Festival celebration.

The Dorflinger Factory Museum is located at the blinking light at the corner of Route 6 and Elizabeth Street

The Festival is a gathering of local history organizations in northeast Pennsylvania. This year, eleven different organizations will participate in the Festival. Each organization will have a table displaying information and materials related to the local history sites they operate.

Volunteers from the organizations will be available to share information on these sites and to answer questions. Copies of the Local History Past-Port published annually by the Thomas Kennedy Local History Roundtable will also be available without charge for members of the public.

The current edition of the Past-Port contains detailed information on 21 different historic sites in northeast Pennsylvania. The Festival is a wonderful way for visitors to the area and members of the local community to learn about the many historic sites in the region.

The 9:00 AM lecture will begin with a discussion by Sally Talaga of the remarkable restoration of the 1866-1867 Glassworker’s House #7 that she and her husband Ron have recently completed.

This successful restoration project serves as an example and an inspiration for future efforts to preserve and protect the history of White Mills. Following Sally’s presentation, Jim Asselstine will discuss the past efforts to preserve and restore many of the significant historic properties in White Mills, including the establishment of the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dorflinger Glass Museum, saving the 1911 White Mills Fire House, restoring the 1866-1867 Glassworker’s House #5 and the D&H Lock House, restoring the 1883 Dorflinger Cutting Shop and the circa 1888 Factory Office building, and building the White Mills Heritage Trail.

Jim will also discuss the “Plan for Historic White Mills & the Dorflinger Glass Works”, and the role this study is playing in preserving and restoring this important Nineteenth Century industrial village. Finally, Jim will discuss other successes, challenges, and opportunities in the White Mills preservation effort.