The Daily Item
SUNBURY — Jeffrey Frazier, author of Pennsylvania Fireside Tales books, will be the featured speaker at the Oct. 17 meeting of the Northumberland County Historical Society, at the Hunter House, 1150 N. Front St., Sunbury, which begins at 7 p.m. Pennsylvania Fireside Tales, a seven-volume series of folktales, legends, and folklore, may sound far-fetched to most of us, but that’s because the stories have been embellished and romanticized as they’ve been told and retold over the years. An investigative reporter of sorts, Frazier treated each tale like a little mystery, exploring whether or not it had any basis in fact, and tried to determine what its origins might be. His books are for those who like the tales of “long ago” and a good mystery. The search for the truth is not only fascinating and intriguing, but also filled with nostalgic glimpses into a time and place that we know today as “The Good Old Days”. He will dress in frontier costume and relate tales of Northumberland County’s olden days.
The author was born and raised in Centre Hall, Centre County, where he says he grew up in a “Tom Sawyer sort of way”. Some of his fondest memories of that boyhood include explorations of out-of-the-way spots in the mountains and accounts of the legends that seem to cling to them. After graduating from Penn State in 1967 and moving out of state, he realized how much he loved the Pennsylvania mountains and their stories. It was this “homesickness” that inspired him to collect and write the old-time tales. Since then he has collected anecdotes from all over the state, ranging from the Blue Mountains of Berks and Lehigh counties, the South Mountains of Adams County, the “Black Forest” area of Potter and Tioga counties, the Alleghenies of Clearfield and Blair counties, and the other counties in the middle. The program is open to the public and free of charge. A reception will follow Frazier’s presentation. For more information, call (570) 286-4083.