BUCKS COUNTY- February 17, 2023- Today, Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) joined Shirley Lee Corsey, the founder of Gather Place, and Yardley Borough Councilman David Appelbaum to present the organization with a check for $50,000 from the state.
Gather Place will use the state funds to help renovate the historic African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church located in Yardley Borough. The site was originally established as “The Colored Church” in 1817 and later founded as the AME Church in 1877. The AME Church is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and under Shirley’s management has been transformed into the Gather Place Museum which first opened its doors on September 10, 2022.
“The restoration of the Old A.M.E. Church is an important investment into the historical and community identity of Yardley Borough,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “I am glad we were able to secure these funds to keep such an important part of our local history from being lost.
“For too long, accounts of women and people of color in the history of our community and Commonwealth have been missing. The Gather Place Museum brings these important stories to life in an inclusive and educational way,” Sen. Santarsiero added.
The 146-year-old structure is the first African American Woman-owned and operated American History Museum to open in Bucks County. The museum features first-person history lessons and live reenactments in addition to its permanent exhibits.
“I’m a third-generation resident of Yardley Borough, so this is deeply personal to me.” Shirley Lee Corsey said. “With the help of my family and neighbors, we have transformed this historic place to a space for all of Bucks County to engage with history and the people that shaped it. This grant will go towards repairing our roof, but this is only the beginning for this important landmark.”
For more information about the Gather Place Museum, its mission, and community engagement opportunities, visit their website.