A strong desire to preserve our area history by several people was the driving force behind the creation of the Ashland Area Historic Preservation Society. Back in January 1999, Kathy Bonner, Bruce Mervine, and Jim Klock conceived the idea to start such a society.
On February 24, 1999, an organizational meeting was held at the Ashland Elks, with 16 interested individuals attending. Precedent was set, officers were selected and the gears were in motion. Kery Anne Grosser was named president; Joan Slotterback , Vice-President; Bruce Mervine, Secretary; Jim Klock, Treasurer. It wasn't long before many closeted historians and collectors, who hoped someday to have a facility to exhibit their treasures came forward. Someday was becoming now.
In April 1999, 5 Directors were added to the Executive Board; Glenanne Farley, Joan Harris, Kathy Bonner, Donald Gensel, and Joseph Weber.
In May 1999 ,Joan Slotterback found it necessary to resign her position. Kathy Bonner filled the Vice President position and Lois Shuttlesworth filled the Directorship position.
Attorney Harry Strouse offered a property at 316-318 Centre Street to the society for their headquarters, but only when it was in a position to accept it by meeting certain pre-requisites. Corporation was attained on August 20, 1999, and the exemption forms have been filed.
By-laws were adapted in June 1999, by a committee chaired by Nick Lane. Other committee heads were named: Mary Agnes Butler, Public Relations; Mary Hoffman, Fund Raising; Glenanne Farley, Acquisitions; Jim Klock, Membership; Kathy Bonner, Genealogy; Doreen Cress, Hospitality Hostess.
Relationships were made with other area societies; Shenandoah, Frackville, Catawissa and Roaring Creek Valley, Mahanoy City, and Mahanoy Valley.
The AAHPS formed with a belief that preserving our heritage and historic buildings is worthwhile and in fact vital. Fifteen years later we still play a vital role in the community, working to keep our buildings and our past alive. We have since acquired the property right next door to our headquarters at 320 Centre St. thanks to the generosity of the Strouse family. The Ashland Borough has graciously entrusted the former Station House /Borough building to us with the hopes that we can preserve it. We will continue to work hard to do what we can to keep our history alive for future generations.