Wednesday, January 31, 2018

BCHS World War I Book to Receive Statewide Award

The Bradford County Historical Society (BCHS) is pleased to announce that it has been selected to receive a PA Museums Institutional Achievement Award. Formerly known as the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations, PA Museums (Pennsylvania’s statewide trade association), serving museum professionals and institutions, award program recognizes exemplary work going on in museums and history organizations in Pennsylvania.

BCHS was chosen for this award as a result of its project titled, "Defending Democracy: Bradford County in World War I, A Centennial Remembrance." During 2017, Historical Society Manager/Curator, Matthew Carl, created both an exhibit about Bradford County in World War I, and a book covering the story of the county’s involvement in the war from beginning to end.

During the PA Museums Annual Statewide Museum Conference in April, BCHS will be honored at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Centre County.

The book published by the Bradford County Historical Society was researched, edited and designed by Matthew Carl with the assistance of a number of volunteers and staff who helped with typing and proofreading. Featuring 516 pages, 18 chapters, 260 photographs, a list of soldiers who registered and were chosen for service from Bradford County, and a complete surname index, the book has been very popular.

Following a different plan from other military histories, "Defending Democracy" focuses on personal stories of the soldiers along with information about what was happening on the home front in Bradford County throughout the war. Send-off and welcome-home parades, Red Cross work, and other unusual details not often found in histories of this nature can be found in this book.

"That is what makes the book so interesting," explained Matthew Carl. "The details of everyday life allow the reader to get a sense of what it would have felt like to live during that time."

A total of 70 families submitted information and photographs to be included in the book and these contributions filled in several gaps in the story. Many original documents that were issued to soldiers, or images of soldiers and nurses, tie the story together.

Over 2,100 soldiers were selected from Bradford County for service in the Great War. Each township and borough provided men for service. Several provided nurses. This project has created a record of their sacrifices for generations to come.

The exhibit will continue to be available while the 100th anniversary of the war goes on through the coming season. The book is still available at or by stopping by the Bradford County Historical Society research center, Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm. Other sales locations around the county can be found on the BCHS website.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Do You Follow BCHS on Social Media?

If you are not following the Bradford County Historical Society through your social media accounts, now is a great time to connect with us.

  • On Facebook, you can find us at 
  • On Twitter, you can find follow us
Get all the latest news and information about upcoming events. See you there!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bradford County Historical Society to release “Defending Democracy: Bradford County in World War I, A Centennial Remembrance” at Annual Book Sale December 3.

The annual holiday book sale will be held at the Bradford County Historical Society in Towanda on Sunday December 3rd from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The sale will be held in the museum located at 109 Pine Street in the heart of Towanda’s Historic District.

The book sale will be held two days this year Sunday December 3 from 11-3 p.m. and Wednesday December 6 from 4-6 p.m. This event has become a tradition with local history buffs that are looking to add to their collections. It is the only time each year that the society offers books at a discount price. Books range from $7.50 to $70.00.

A great stocking stuffer are the Bradford County Playing Cards there are three versions of the playing cards that have images of famous Bradford County people and Places with a succinct history of the image on the card. The SS. Peter and Paul playing cards are available as well.

The long-anticipated World War I history which has been in the works all year will be available for the first time at the sale. The Bradford County Historical Society’s newest publication “Defending Democracy: Bradford County in World War I, A Centennial Remembrance” is the largest new publication released by the Society in over 20 years. Virtually unlike any book previously published by BCHS, Defending Democracy has a beautiful full cover glossy cover with amazing graphics. The book contains 516 pages; 18 chapters with added appendix; 280 previously unpublished black and white photographs; a full list of over 2,100 Bradford County World War I soldiers; a complete surname index; a section to record your own family’s participation in the war; and so much more. The book is filled with personal stories of Bradford County soldiers, news accounts, memories and data that together describe the experiences of Bradford County Soldiers from the time they were drafted to the time they were discharged. Stories of Bradford County’s Red Cross work during the war and participation by our nurses in the war are also recorded. This book will be treasured for generations to come.

Karen Tuton’s book “Jail Birds” a delightful story of her time as a child growing up living in the sheriff’s quarters of the jail is available this year. The society was out of this book last year and many requests came in for copies so more were ordered.

The reprint of “History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania-1770-1878,” will be available at the sale. The book was produced using cover material and paper like the original book, making this a collector’s edition for all local history fans and researchers alike. The production of this history in 1878 by Rev. David Craft was the first major project done by the Bradford County Historical Society after it was formed in 1870. Craft was appointed by the society to write the history; it is considered one of the best county histories ever published for that period. The Craft history (as well as all other reprints of the society) contains an added index which makes finding your ancestor or subject much easier as the originals did not include indexes.

The wonderful history of our ghost mountain “Barclay Mountain-A History” will be available at a discounted price. The 359-page book published in 2007 features 32 chapters that are full of historical documentation, interviews and transcriptions of oral history with 400 plus photos of people and places over two centuries.

Also, available will be “Images of Southwestern Bradford County”, the largest photo book ever published about the history of southwestern Bradford County was written and designed by Matthew T. Carl. Proceeds benefit the LeRoy Heritage Museum. The book is hardcover has 400 pages and is over an inch thick. Approximately 700 photos from the collections of LeRoy Heritage Museum, the former Canton Area Historical Society, Ruth Kinney-McIntire, and several private collections. Images are from the townships of Canton LeRoy, Granville, and old Barclay.

Other local Histories published by the Wyalusing Valley Museum and the Camptown Civic Club will be available for the sale. The Bicentennial photo history of Bradford County is for sale at this event. The Bradford County Historical Society put together a book that contains 653 photographs of towns and townships throughout the county many of the photos have never or rarely been published in the past and offer the reader a glimpse of how our county grew and progressed through time.

Another featured item at this year’s sale will be the 128-page, full color, hard cover, indexed atlas, “Map of Bradford Country, Pennsylvania – 1858,” reprinted by the Bradford County Historical Society. This book features a map of each township and borough that shows the location of houses and buildings and their ownership in 1858. The entire set of maps is indexed, making it easy to quickly locate your ancestor or property.

Reprints of local history such as the “Romance of Old Barclay” and the “1869 Beers Atlas of Bradford County” along with writings of other local historians will be available that day.

The late Staley N. Clarke wrote the “Romance of Old Barclay” in 1928. He tells the story of the mountain and the coal mines along with the stories of some of the people who came to Bradford County to work there. Every little town on the mountain is mentioned in the book. There is also a listing of Barclay Mountain residents employed in the mines.

Some of the other books that will be available include “Our Boys in Blue” Clement Heverly's history of Bradford County in the Civil War. “Pioneer and Patriot Families of Bradford County, 1778-1825”. The new “History of Bradford County.” 1995, which features 1,400 submitted family stories and the histories of town and townships, churches, schools and businesses, industry, military, cemetery and Century Farms. Please note this book can not be reprinted so when the supply available at the museum is depleted it will no longer be available. “Guthrie 100 Years of Health Care” a photo history of Guthrie along with the works of several local authors can also be acquired at the annual sale. 

Bradford County History Books make wonderful Christmas gifts please join society trustees who will be on hand to assist book shoppers during the sale. The Historical Society is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.