Thursday, December 23, 2010

BCHS Receives Contribution from Chesapeake Energy

Bradford County Historical Society recently received a contribution from Chesapeake Energy for $10,000 in support of the society’s energy project. Matthew Carl, Manager/Curator at the Bradford County Historical Society, is presented the honorary check from Jane Clements, Coordinator of Corporate Development at Chesapeake’s Towanda office. The funding will be matched with a contribution from the Allen F. Pierce Foundation to complete upgrades that were suggested in an energy audit that the historical society had done last year. The current focus of the project is the research library where improvements in heat retention and insulation will be made. Besides its own research material and collections, the Bradford County Historical Society is a repository for Bradford County’s oldest public records including deed books, mortgage books, tax records, court records and much more. The historical society’s research library will be closed from December 24 until March 31 to undertake several energy improvements. For more information about the Bradford County Historical Society, visit or visit the society’s Facebook page.

“The End of an Era” painting donated to BCHS

The Bradford County Historical Society recently received a painting entitled, “The End of an Era,” as a gift from Cheri Burchard, a native of Towanda and now a painter from Dawsonville, Georgia.

The painting shows a barn and silo set in a country landscape, a scene that reminds Cheri of her childhood in Towanda during the 1940’s and 50’s.

Cheri Fitzgerald Burchard’s journey as an artist began with her first art lesson at age nine with her mother, Dorothy Young Fitzgerald, in the basement of Harden’s Store in Towanda. The lessons were taught by an artist from Elmira. Cheri remembers, “We took the class to help us through the grief of losing my father, William Paul Fitzgerald, in a car accident on the bridge over the railroad tracks in Waverly.”

She continued painting and later trained at the National Cathedral School and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Subsequently, Cheri studied art at Sweet Briar College, sculpture at the American University, design at the International Institute of Interior Design, sculpture at La Escuella Belles Artes in Mexico City and has also studied at the Louvre in France.
Cheri has taught the history of art, rendering, mechanical drawing, art practicum, and the psychology of color at Bay Path College, Teikyo Post University, and the University of Connecticut, respectively.

Cheri makes brilliant use of confident colors and textures in her paintings, describing herself as a post-impressionistic colorist. She describes painting as a spiritual experience and she hopes that her paintings will bring joy, beauty and blessing to their owners.

These paintings have hung in galleries in New England, Virginia Beach, and Georgia to name a few. Her art is also displayed in the United States Senate building (Georgia office) in Washington, DC.

Despite Cheri’s success, many of her most cherished memories are of times spent in her hometown.

“My heart will always love and be thankful for my youth in Bradford County,” explained Cheri. “Some Sunday afternoons my family would take a ride out on dirt roads to see the animals, farms and beautiful scenery. This was a real treat because gas was rationed. When I was child dairy farming was our major industry.”

“The End of an Era” will be on display when the Bradford County Historical Society museum reopens next Spring for the 2011 season.

For more information on Cheri Burchard and her art, visit her website at More information about the Bradford County Historical Society can be found at The Bradford County Historical Society is a recipient agency of PHMC and the Bradford County United Way.

New Poll Question on BCHS Website

A new poll question has been posted on the Bradford County Historical Society's website. The question is, "Housing was built along the riverbank in French Azilum for who?" Go to to cast your vote and to see the answer to the previous poll question.