MUNCY - A lost village will be remembered next weekend when the Muncy Historical Society hosts a presentation on the community in White Deer Valley that was snuffed out of existence by its own government.
Retired educator Stephen C. Huddy and Paul C. Metzger will present "Alvira and the Ordnance: An American Dream Denied" at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the historical society at 40 N. Main St.
According to the two historians, Alvira was a real-life "Norman Rockwell-version of rural American life" nestled in the White Deer Valley, seven miles south of Williamsport.
It had tidy wood-framed houses, spanking white picket fences, one-room school houses, five devoted churches and close-knit, supportive citizenry whose values were rock-solid and deeply patriotic.
Almost exclusively agricultural in nature, Alvira provided for its own needs and the extended needs of the valley surrounding the village.
It was the ideal place to raise a families with rich farmland, an all-American work ethic and a tradition of unfailing love of country that was handed down generation to generation.
The American dream ended abruptly in the early spring of 1942, when - within weeks of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor - the War Department seized and then destroyed the village of Alvira and its surrounding communities, mostly by eminent domain, in order to build the Pennsylvania Ordnance Works.
The facility, a massive TNT production plant, covered 8,500 acres of prime farmland and uprooted hundreds of homesteads in both Lycoming and Union counties. For all of its importance to the war effort, the plant and its TNT production lines operated only 11 months before closing.
The genealogy of Alvira's residents and what happened to their village and the Pennsylvania Ordnance Works are the focus of the planned multimedia presentation.
Huddy and Metzger will offer the results of their extensive research, interviews, mapping and exploration of the village and the ordnance works with images of both enterprises.
The program offers an look at a vital and relatively unknown piece of local history, and provides an insight into the massive power and influence of a government in times of war that can be viewed as a cautionary tale of the American dream denied.
A retired Williamsport Area School District administrator, Huddy spent many months researching and photographing the remains of village and ordnance remains locally and through the resources of the National Archives.
Metzger is president of the Muncy Historical Society, membership chairman of the Sons of the American Revolution, and an expert on the genealogies of White Deer Valley residents and their properties.
The society's regular meetings are free and open to the public. Museum tours begin at 1:30 p.m. on meeting days and light refreshments are served immediately following the program in the colonial kitchen.
More information is available at muncyhistoricalsociety.org or 546-5917.