Historical Society is one step closer to achieving goal of a new archive center

The Haddonfield Historical Society is one step closer to achieving its goal of building a new archive center due to a creative and unexpected initiative.

The Haddonfield Historical Society is one step closer to achieving its goal of building a new archive center due to a creative and unexpected initiative.

The journey to build a new archive center began about two years ago when the Historical Society set out to raise $900,000 to restore the Mickle House to the original 18th century aesthetic.

In November, the society reached two-thirds of its goal and is now 75 percent complete in making the new archive center a reality. With the help of an anonymous donor and longtime Haddonfield resident and Historical Society volunteer Pat Lennon, the Historical Society can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Starting in May, all donations made in honor of past president Lennon will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a donor who worked with Lennon at the Historical Society. For the donor, it is not his name that is important so much as Lennon’s years of devoting herself to the Haddonfield community.

“The donor is very committed to the completion of the archives fundraising,” Co-Borough Historian Kathy Tassini said. “He knows how much Pat did in so many different ways for this community.”

At 96 years old, Lennon is an active supporter of the Historical Society and served as president for three separate terms in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Lennon was named Haddonfield Citizen of the Year in 1978, and has also been deeply involved with Symphony in C, Christ the King Catholic Church and the Durand Academy, among others, according to the Historical Society.

In response to hearing the news she would be instrumental in the fundraising process, she was humbled.

“I am honored but don’t deserve any recognition,” Lennon said. “I was just doing what needed to be done.”

The ones who worked closely with Lennon are in agreement she incorporates everything the Historical Society stands for and has done throughout the years. Her colleagues and friends described her as modest and dedicated

“Pat was always the kind who just quietly did things,” Tassini said. “She didn’t want the spotlight on her.”

Tassini said the success of the community was always her focus and still is.

Doug Rauschenberger, president of the Historical Society of Haddonfield, said Pat is a “soft spoken but strong” woman whose words carry weight.

“Whenever she spoke, it was with reason, with sense,” Rauschenberger said. “She is a remarkable strong, focused lady.”

Rauschenberger also said he thinks matching dollar-for-dollar in Lennon’s name will be a special and successful way to raise the rest of the funds.

To date, the Historical Society has raised a little more than $712,000 for the new archival center, which puts it closer to its goal of $900,000.

Donations can be mailed to the Historical Society at 343 Kings Hwy. E., and can also be made online at www.haddonfieldhistory.org. Donors who wish to have their donations matched must designate they are giving in Lennon’s honor.