Sayre Historical Society

Tours by appointment. The museum will be open Saturdays (10 to 4) and Wednesdays (from 5 to 7 p.m.) through December. Admission is free.

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The Sayre Historical Society is open Saturday's from 10 to 4 and Wednesday's from 5 to 7.

Sayre Museum Hosting Genealogy Workshop

A Genealogy Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, July 25th featuring John Goodenough from Binghamton. Who will offer tips on researching your Civil War ancestors.
Pre-registration is required for this FREE event.

You can per-register: In person at the museum, by email at, or by phone by calling the museum at 570-882-8221

CAPTION: Colonel Benjamin F. Tracy, pictured above, was a native of Owego. Born in 1830 at Apalachin, NY, he became a lawyer by the 1850s, and during the Civil War commanded the 109th NY Infantry. By 1864 he was in command of the Confederate prison camp at Elmira, NY.  Near the end of the war Tracy was promoted to Brigadier General, and in the late 1800s served as a Secretary of the Navy.  At least two American Navy warships were named after him.

SAYRE – A free workshop on “Finding Your Civil War Ancestors” will be presented by the Sayre Historical Society on Saturday, July 25 from 1 to 3 p.m. Pre-registration is required.

John Goodenough, secretary of the Binghamton Civil War Historical Society and Roundtable, will be the featured speaker. The presentation will consist of a slide program with reference to handout material that will be provided to attendees to use for later research. Checklists will also be provided for researchers to use as they write up data during their family Civil War soldier research projects.

The Sayre museum is located in the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad station at 103 S. Lehigh Avenue in downtown Sayre. The museum is open Saturdays from 10 to 4 and Wednesdays from 5 to 7. Interested persons can pre-register for the workshop in person at the museum, by e-mail at or by calling the museum at (570) 882-8221.

Goodenough has an extensive background in researching Civil War ancestry.

“Part of my volunteer work in the Civil War Historical Society has been to research biographical information on regional Civil War soldiers,” said Goodenough. “I have done hundreds from my own and surrounding towns in Broome County since beginning the project back in 2006.  Since then I found over 250 men from my own family lines who served during the war.”

Vignettes from some of the veterans’ stories are provided through illustrative panel boards that will be displayed at the workshop.

Goodenough is a native of Binghamton and a retired professional engineer. He has over 40 years of service on airport, highway, bridge, building and special site projects. His education was through Chenango Valley Schools, Broome Community College, and Civil Engineering extension courses. He is president of the Susquehanna Valley Railway Historical Society.

The presentation will cover a wide range of resources available to the genealogist.

“Over the years I have utilized many sources for compiling soldier and sailor capsule biographies,” said Goodenough. “Much of it has been through correspondence or conversations with soldier family descendants, local historians, and other researchers.  In addition to obtaining headstone data while visiting soldier gravesites in many regional cemeteries, I’ve used ‘standard’ local, state and federal archival and library sources, and in late years have made more extensive use of the Internet.”

The system he found with the most links to specific sources has been, he noted.

“If a person has access to that reference line, they can link up with many other dedicated sites,” said Goodenough.

The program will describe several ways to get started, and progress through use of more popular reference sources.

“In researching Civil War soldiers, it’s important that the genealogist has a good understanding of typical military terms and their meaning,” said Goodenough. “Pulling such detailed information into a narrative form can provide an interesting history on one’s ancestor who served in the 1861-1865 War of the Rebellion, and also enhance the ‘leaves and branches’ of their family trees.”

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit historic preservation organization staffed by volunteers, membership-supported and a recipient of United Way funding.

“Molly” featured in Summer Quarterly

SAYRE - Longtime Sayre resident Molly Cacchione is the subject of a feature story in the Sayre Historical Society’s Summer Quarterly. She was born on June 10, 1912 and passed away on December 21, 2014 at the age of 102 after a long life of service.

CAPTION: In this 1948 photograph, Sayre’s Molly Cacchione wears clothing made for her in Armento, Italy, birth place of her mother. Molly is featured in the Sayre Historical Society’s Summer Quarterly publication.

Other items in the summer Quarterly include a photograph of the Class of 1965, an account of the life of Spanish-American War veteran Richard Sherman of Sayre, the conversion to electricity of the Lehigh Valley Railroad’s power house in Sayre, and an unusual find by Kathryn (Alteri) Atkins. She donated to the Sayre museum an LVRR shop employee’s round trip ticket that turned up in a California antique store.

The Quarterly, published four times a year, is mailed to historical society members as part of their membership benefits. Individual copies are available at Carl’s News Stand in Sayre and the historical society museum located in the former Lehigh Valley Railroad Passenger Station in downtown Sayre.

The illustrated feature story, written by Sayre historian James Nobles, covers Cacchione’s life as a daughter of immigrants Bernardo and Anna Marie Cacchione. The biography focuses on her life on the East Side, working at the Belle Knitting mill (later the Blue Swan), faithful church membership in the Epiphany Parish, volunteering at the Robert Packer Hospital and involvement with the Sayre Centennial Committee.

“Molly was one of ten children, all raised in the Church of the Epiphany,” said Nobles. “All were educated in the Sayre public schools, first at the East Side School, just a block away from the Cacchione home, and then at Sayre High School which at that time was east of the ponds on West Lockhart Street. Molly and all her siblings learned their work ethic working in their father’s bakery, in addition to assigned chores within the home under the guidance of Mother Anna Maria. From her very earliest years, conscientious work was part of her life. Another trait taught by their mother was to look for the good in everyone. Molly spent a lifetime doing that.”

Photographs include a nine-year-old Molly when she was a fourth grader at the East Side School, a newspaper photograph from 1965 of a union committee induction ceremony at O’Brien’s Inn, Molly at the Church of the Epiphany, and more.

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit historic preservation organization, membership-supported and staffed by volunteers, and a recipient of United Way funding.

The Sayre Historical Society is open Saturdays from 10 to 4 and Wednesdays from 5 to 7. A Genealogy Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, July 25 featuring John Goodenough of Binghamton who will offer tips on researching Civil War ancestors. Pre-registration is required for this free event.

See Our 2015 Events!

Books Available for sale by mail

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A new book documenting the 1905 train excursion that carried President Theodore Roosevelt through Sayre made its debut at the Sayre Historical Society’s Caboose Day on Saturday, June 28
Press Release

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What's Happening

Caboose is now on display at the SHS Museum!

SUCCESS STORY--Society and Museum partner for energy effiency and weatherization upgrades
Click here for information

"…a busy little city nestling ‘midst the Blue Ridge Hills…"Sayre Alma Mater
SAYRE, located along the north central Pennsylvania-New York border traces its name to Robert Heysham Sayre and its location and early development to visionary Howard Elmer.

We will continue to keep you up to date on what’s happening here and on our Facebook sites. Also you can reach us by email at or on our museum phone at 570.882.8221 and leave a message.
Thank you for your continued support.

A Piece of Our History ...see book & purchase details
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