Two sites dedicated to Hazleton area history were awarded Luzerne County community development funding for repairs, according to agreements recently posted on the county website.
The Sophia Coxe Memorial Foundation and Education Center will receive $65,000, and the Greater Hazleton Historical Society and Museum was awarded $21,750.
County Manager C. David Pedri approved the funding as part of the 2017 community development action plan, according to the documents posted at www.luzernecounty.org.
The private, nonprofit Sophia Coxe organization has preserved and restored the local historic figure’s mansion on Route 940 near Freeland for educational tours and programs.
The wife of a coal mine owner, Coxe chose to live on an estimated 10 percent of her income after her husband’s death in 1895 so she could devote the rest of her money to help the families of miners and other charitable causes, historians associated with the organization have said.
The mansion on 13 acres in the Drifton section of Hazle Township had been a wedding gift to Coxe from her husband, Eckley, in 1869. After her death in 1926, the property was managed by estate trustees and later the MMI Preparatory School in Freeland before the nonprofit was formed by local history buffs Bryan Dunnigan and Karen Esak.
The $65,000 county grant covers exterior restorations, including historically correct steps, flooring and railing on the front entry porch and siding repairs and painting.
Operated by a private nonprofit, the Greater Hazleton Historical Society and Museum is housed in the former Pioneer No. 1 fire station at 55 N. Wyoming St. in downtown Hazleton and contains three stories of local artifacts and memorabilia.
The $21,750 covers replacement of façade windows and doors and concrete base repairs to provide additional insulation and improve accessibility for the disabled, the documents say.
In addition to the county funding, Hazleton’s community development office committed $7,500 for the Wyoming Street project. Another $3,600 in-kind contribution was pledged by McKissick Associates, the documents say.
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.