Current Events and Happenings
The Mt Zion Historical Society has been making great strides it fulfilling its mission as the premier historical organization
for the Bennett's Valley area. It has been most proud of its Mt Zion Historical Park and Veteran's Memorial Park and walkway.
A summary of our current activities can be seen on this page, and also ways in which you can help and contribute.
VETERAN GRANITE WALKWAY PAVERS
To date the Mt. Zion Historical Society has installed, or have ready to be installed,
or have on order over 200 Veteran’s Pavers for the Veteran’s Walkway at the Mt. Zion Historical Park. The Society and
Valley American Legion are furnishing free pavers for all veterans up to and including World War I. In addition, the
they are also providing free pavers for all veterans of Jay and Benezette Townships who have been KIA, MIA, or POW.
You can check the names of local veteran’s in the Recognizing
our Veteran’s section of this web-site.
You can help by visiting the Recognizing
our Veteran’s section and help to update the page by furnishing information
on the veterans - additions, missing names, corrections, and or supplemental information ( for the empty spaces).
REMEMBERING OUR VETERAN’S
On the Honoring our Veterans page of the Mt. Zion Historical
Society’s web-site is our special project "Lest We Forget".
Here are stories honoring and remembering our veterans. Many thanks to Evo Facchine who granted permission to
use a number of his stories, and thanks to those that have added their own stories of their loved veterans. This project
has exceeded our dreams and we hope you find these both interesting and inspirational.
If you would like to add a story to this collection contact
Jim Burke of the Mt Zion Historical Society.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY SCHOLARSHIP
The Mt. Zion Historical is offering two scholarships totaling $1,000. The St. Mary Area School District has
agreed to work with the society on this project. The Scholarship
is open to all local students. The qualification to compete for the Scholarship is to write an essay on any
subject relating to the History of Bennett’s Valley. You can get additional information on the scholarship by contacting
Rita Fence Ovell at Abby Road, Weedville, Pa. 15868, Phone # 814-787-7282, e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The funds for the scholarship have been made available by the sponsorship of four local donors.
The Mt. Zion Historical Society is currently working to develop an E-Mail Newsletter. This
newsletter is intended not only to help with keeping you informed on current and coming events, but a large circulation
is a enormous help in obtaining available grants Help us out - sign up for the free newsletter and keep up dated on what
is going on with the Mt. Zion Historical Society and park. You may do so my contacting
Jim Burke of the Mt Zion Historical Society.
THE NEW MT ZION HISTORICAL SOCIETY'S WEB-SITE
By being here, you realize that our Society has met a major goal in 2008. The development of a our own web site
devoted to supporting the mission and vision of the Society by making informtion of Bennett's Valley and the society
available through our own website and name: www.zion.newagemadden.com and emails to email@example.com.
Our web coordinator also has another web site that would be of interest to you also- the Elk
County genealogy site for PAGenWeb - The Pennsylvania Genealogy Web. This has fast become the most comprehensive
genealogy website for Elk county. He also recently became the coordinator for the
Cameron County genealogy site .
If you have any comments or information for our web coordinator you can
email Bob Nay on our MZHS email address.
Other Work in Progress
Currently, the following items are being worked on or are under consideration
as part of the continuing enhancements to the Mt Zion Historical Park
- Flag pole - Eagle Scout Project.
- Historical plaques with an additional walkway. Plaques under consideration includes:
- Kincaid- the Hero missionary and ambassador of good will for the President
- Noah Kincaid - Pioneer doctor on the Bennett's Branch
- Gray Hill School - (Medix site of first school in Elk County)
- Dennison Plaque - First settler of Spring Run.
- Philip Bliss - famous hymn writer.
- Webb- founder of Force
- Weed- plaque founder of Weedville
- Jay Township plaque.
- Milesburg Turnpike plaque
- Thomas Mix
- Holland Land Co.
- Seneca Indians
- Veterans honor wall.
- Church bell - The park has been donated a 1750# church bell.
- Outdoor pavilion and a small maintenance building.
- Military field piece in collaboration with the American Legion .
In addition to the park initiatives, the Mt. Zion Historical Society is currently working
on the following projects.
- A publication on the early pioneer settlers of the area.
- A publication on the Mt. Zion Church
- A publication of a Civil War diary.
- The restoration and repair of several historical grave sites.
- Updating of all cemetery listings in the Bennett's Valley
- A Special Newsletter
How You Can Participate
As you can see we have come a long way in the past decade since our founding in 1997.
We have ambitious plans to continually improve our initiatives to meet our mission and vision.
Your support and participation would be very much appreciated. You can help in
may ways: by becoming a member; by providing donations; by participating in our
special projects; or through your purchases of brick pavers or park benches for
our veterans. See our Membership section.
The Mt. Zion Historical Society meets on the third Tuesday of each month, except for
December. Meetings are open to the public, and anyone desiring to attend are more
than welcome. The meetings are held at either a room provided for the society in
the basement of the W Church in Weedville, or at the Park depending upon the weather.
For information call Susan Mc Clintick, Phone 814-787-7823.
Mt. Zion Historical Park holds Memorial Day Ceremony
Written by Publisher
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Photo by Becky Polaski State Representative Matt Gabler, right, is shown greeting family members of Private
Harry E. Harrison, who was killed in action in France in 1944. Harrison was supposed to have posthumously been
awarded a Bronze Star Medal and it was finally presented to his family by Gabler on Saturday.
By Becky Polaski
The Mt. Zion Historical Society held its annual Memorial Day celebration on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Mt. Zion
The guest speaker at this year’s event was State Representative Matt Gabler. As he addressed the crowd, Gabler
reflected on the history of Jay and Benezette Townships and noted that it is something for the Township residents
to be proud of.
“I think it is important for all of us to remember what a vibrant history we have,” Gabler said.
Gabler, along with Elk County Veterans Affairs Director Leslie Neal-Glatt, also made a special presentation to
the family of Private Harry E. Harrison.
“There are some times across history where our government doesn’t quite get things right. Today we have the
opportunity to correct one of those such instances,” Gabler said.
He explained that Harrison was killed in action in France on June 24, 1944. When Harrison’s family was notified
of his death in November 1944, they were informed that Harrison would be posthumously receiving a Bronze Star Medal
for gallantry and bravery in action.
“Up until today, that has only been on paper. For whatever reason the family has never received that Bronze
Star,” Gabler explained.
He and Neal-Glatt then presented the family with the Bronze Star Medal in honor of Private Harrison.
Following this presentation, Neal-Glatt gave the dedication of the special award plaques and walkway pavers that
had been installed at the Historical Park over the past year in honor of area veterans.
Others addressing the sizable crowd that gathered for the ceremony included Mt. Zion Historical Society President
James Burke. As he addressed those in attendance, Burke reflected on the activities that have taken place in the
past year and also noted that since last year’s ceremony there have been 158 memorial pavers installed in the
walkway at the Historical Park. He also explained that the Mt. Zion Historical Society now has a web site and
can be found online at http://zion.newagemadden.com.
Ron Guilyard addressed the crowd regarding Benezette native John Showers. Guilyard explained that Showers was
killed in action in Vietnam in October 1967 while trying to save the life of a fellow soldier.
“Men like John must never be forgotten,” Guilyard said. “On October 3, 2009 the newest bridge in Benezette will
be dedicated to John and named the J. Showers Bridge.”
Evo Facchine also spoke during the ceremony. Facchine wrote articles on ten Jay Township residents who lost their
lives during World War II. These articles can be found on the Mt. Zion Historical Society web site. Facchine
discussed how he came to write the articles and noted all of the help that he had received from the individuals’
Mary Parziale Bentz was the final individual to address the crowd during the ceremony. She is the niece of Carmine
Parziale of Weedville, who was one of 70 men killed aboard the USS Grunion in 1942. Bentz explained that the
Grunion’s crew members were listed as missing in action for over 65 years until the submarine was finally located
in 2006. Bentz was extremely influential in the search for the family members of the 70 men who were killed onboard
the USS Grunion. She shared her story about contacting those individuals and also finding the final resting place
of the submarine. A memorial plaque honoring her uncle was also dedicated during this year’s ceremony.
Prior to the ceremony, a fly over was performed by Caruso’s Flying Service using a reconditioned Army plane, which
Master of Ceremonies Charles Carpin explained was a B 17 1941 Boeing Stearman.
Assisting with the continued development of the Historical Park is Josh Smith of Weedville, who is working under
the supervision of David Kinkle as a requirement for his Eagle Badge of Rank. Smith organized a work party at the
park at the beginning of May and a second work party is scheduled in order to put the finishing touches on the
Veteran’s Honor Walkway. Smith is a member of Troop 94, the Order of the Arrow, and is Senior Patrol Leader of
his scout troop.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 May 2009 )
Copyright © 2008-2009
Mt Zion Historical
All materials located on this website are the sole
property of the Mt. Zion Historical Society and its contributors.