ELKLAND — The borough’s history is the subject of a project being developed by the Elkland Library.
LeAnne Hoaglin, library director for Elkland, asked Tom Caldwell to share his plans for the model replica of the Elkland Tannery that he is creating.
The history project, “Once Upon a Time,” came about during Hoaglin’s time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She thought it would be a good opportunity for people to learn about the past and share stories with younger community residents.
Hoaglin applied for a grant that allowed various community projects.
“I thought what about a history project,” said Hoaglin. “The focus was to bring interest to our younger members of the community as well as embrace the older members to capture our community.”
When the library re-opened, Hoaglin incorporated creative writing into the summer reading program. One participant wrote about the history and a memory of the tannery that was held in his family. Hoaglin learned that the Elkland Tannery was once the largest leather tannery in the world.
When Tom Caldwell, of Elkland, came in the library seeking a photograph of the Tannery for a replica he planned to build, Hoaglin spoke with him about her history project and together the plan fell into place.
Caldwell was able to find pieces of the building exterior in multiple photographs and from them determine what the building looked like. Every piece of information he collects or photo he can see makes his replica more accurate and realistic.
Hoaglin and Caldwell are planning to display the replica at the library once it is completed. Caldwell learned new ways to work on the replica, including working in fine detail using plastic.
The library plans to the display the model in an upstairs Pennsylvania history room, along with the youth’s stories. Caldwell said he expects the model to be big and needs a section to put it on display.
“The project is dedicated to all the men and woman who worked in the tannery,” Caldwell said.
Hoaglin is seeking information about the history of Elkland. Caldwell is looking for more information about the tannery. To share information or photographs with Hoaglin or Caldwell, call the Elkland Library at 814-258-7576 or stop by and visit.
The young man’s writing project and the process of building the replica can be heard on the Oct. 19 episode of “What We Hear in the Northern Tier,” Tioga Publishing’s podcast, featuring both Hoaglin and Caldwell.