The Frank H. Woods Telephone Pioneer Museum, 2047 M St., Lincoln, will host an Open House for Syracuse Day from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23.
“Yes, our museum is 20 years old in October, so we are honoring Syracuse on that Sunday, as it is a part of our history of LT&T,” said museum board member Roger Harris.
According to Harris, Syracuse converted to dial on August 1961.  
“It brought seven-digit dialing to the outside world, but left the local dialing to only four digits to dial in town (last 4 digits),” he said. “Mayor P.A. Epley made the first call out on a cut-over from the old cord board.”
Sophia Windel, chief operator in Syracuse since 1922 retired with the cut-over.  
She had more than 46 years of service as she had started as an operator in 1914, said Harris.
Some of the other operators at the cut-over were: Lois Bose, Gloria Wellman, Joyce Jannser, Helen Els, Delores Kuenning, and Joyce Hofker.
Harris said that Syracuse Telephone history goes back to May of 1899, when Henry Colt of St. Louis, was granted a franchise to operate a telephone exchange. LT&T later purchased it in 1912.
Installation of dial equipment was installed in the building which housed the manual board since 1928.
The original switchboard (cord board) is now housed at the museum. It was donated to the Museum by the Delores Baur Kunning family.
“This telephone museum is unique in that it follows the history of telephone service in southeast Nebraska,” said museum curator Wally Tubbs.
The telephone museum is in the Telegraph District redevelopment area, and I currently searching for a new location.  
“The Woods Telephone Museum is a real gem,” said Harris.  “We hope to find a site where we can expand our exhibits and grow into the future. It would be a shame to lose this community resource.”
Admission to museum is free, but donations to the 501©(3)organization are welcome and will help with the relocation efforts. Donations can be made at the museum, or by mailing them to Frank H. Woods Telephone Museum, PO Box 22752, Lincoln, NE 68542.  For more information, contact Wally Tubbs at or call 402-436-4640.
“This is your day, Syracuse, so come and have some cookies and treats with us and enjoy your history and some old pictures of fellow workers,” said Harris.