The first Sunday after Labor Day is nationally recognized as Grandparents Day. Since 1978, the United States has honored grandparents in recognition of the vast contributions made by seniors through history. So what better way to salute those historic figures and their contributions than to celebrate in a history museum? On Sunday, September 7, the Sigal Museum at 342 Northampton Street in downtown Easton will offer free admission for grandparents and senior citizens. The museum will be open from noon to 4pm.
The annual United States Grandparents Day proclamation cites the day’s purpose: “…to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer”. The Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society’s (NCHGS) Sigal Museum highlights many of these contributions. In the Lenape Exhibit, stories are told of the Original People, whose hereditary leadership passed through the maternal line, and women elders could remove leaders of whom they disapproved. The wisdom of grandmothers remains highly respected and sought; one of the docents (museum guides) at the Sigal Museum is in fact a Lenape Nation of PA elder who tells the stories of the Lenape culture, and is an integral member of the education committee’s field trip programs. Another distinguished elder at the Sigal Museum is Jane Moyer, librarian of the Society’s vast local history and genealogy research facility. Mrs. Moyer, now 102 years old, continues to assist researchers and family history students, and is considered an authority of local history, often interviewed by press, scholars, and authors. Museum tours also include the temporary exhibit of photographer Rick Smith’s Heart & Soil, an exploration of the families of Northampton County who have and continue to farm the land here, with generations living and working together.
The contributions by senior citizens to a community’s culture and economy are significant and often underestimated. Barbara Kowitz, executive director of NCHGS cited a 2013 study by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) which concluded that “more than 20 million senior volunteers gave nearly 3 billion hours of service, at a value of $67 billion.” In the historical society alone, Kowitz reported that more than 10,000 volunteer hours are provided annually, with at least 80% of that time donated by senior citizens.
About Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society & the Sigal Museum
The Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society was established in 1906 and continues to serve Northampton County PA and researchers throughout the world, by preserving, showcasing, exhibiting, and interpreting its more than 60,000 collection items of textiles, arts, and other artifacts telling the stories of life in Northampton County, PA. The Society maintains four locations in Easton, PA – the Mixsell House Museum at 4th and Ferry Streets, the Jacob Nicholas House Museum at 5th & Ferry Streets, the 1753 Bachmann Publick House at 2nd & Northampton Streets, and the Sigal Museum at 342 Northampton Street. To learn more, visit sigalmuseum.org