Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Broadway Favorites Acapella" to Kick Off Friday Night at the Museum Programming Season, May 18

The Bradford County Historical Society is set to begin another new season of Friday Night at the Museum programs. The first program of the 2012 season is entitled "Broadway Favorites Acapella" scheduled for Friday, May 18, 2012 at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Although the event is free to attend, participants are asked to register by calling 570-265-2240 or by email at

Join us for a wonderful arrangement of Broadway favorites performed acapella. Songs that will be included in the program are Summertime, composed by George Gershwin in 1935; People Will Say We're in Love, composed by Rodgers & Hammerstein in 1943; The Surrey With the Fringe on Top, composed by Rodgers & Hammerstein in 1943; Climb Every Mountain, composed by Rodgers & Hammerstein in 1959; and Oklahoma, composed by Rodgers & Hammerstein in 1943. Music will be interspersed with stories and commentary.

The program will be presented by Ruth Eileen Bush Bly of LeRoy. Ruth has enjoyed music throughout her life and this interest has led her to perform regularly both as a soloist and with choirs. During college, she participated as a member in the summer singing tour and choir for Practical Bible Training School (now Davis College) of Binghamton, NY.

Singing a variety of music, Ruth has performed in several venues and has been a part of musicals, choirs, special events, and concerts in Pennsylvania, New York, Florida and California. She is the wife of Pastor Ron Bly of LeRoy Independent Baptist Church where she frequently performs as soloist.

This program is part of the 2012 "Friday Night at the Museum" programming series that is held the third Friday of each month from May through October. Each event is held in the Great Room at the Bradford County Historical Society, located at 109 Pine Street, Towanda, PA. Free refreshments are provided at each program and the museum is open prior to the event.

Other Friday Night at the Museum programs scheduled for 2012 include: The Civil War, June 15; A Tour of American Music, July 20; The Towanda of 1972, August 17; Minnequa: A Spring, A Hotel, A County, September 21; Towanda’s Silk Industry, October 19.

The Bradford County Historical Society is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way. For more information about the society and its programming schedule, museum or research center, visit or check out the Bradford County Historical Society Facebook page at

Passport Through Time to Feature Museums of Bradford County, May 18-20

The museums of Bradford County invite you to participate in a special Bradford County Bicentennial year event entitled, "Passport Through Time," scheduled for May 18, 19 and 20, 2012.

Bradford County is unique in that it has 10 history museums. Passport Through Time will feature all of these museums. During the three day event, each museum in the county will offer free admission, giving county residents and visitors the opportunity to check out the wide variety of sites that are preserving local history in the county.

Visitors may start their tour at any of the museums and can continue visiting as many of the museums as they wish in any order. "Passports" will be available at each site in the form of a brochure that will list all of the museums with their locations. While visiting each museum, patrons can have a unique sticker from each site placed inside the passport brochure.

Participants may continue to collect stickers after the event until the June
22 deadline; however, not all locations will have regular hours after the three-day event is over. Therefore, in order to collect all 10 stickers, participants will need to visit all 10 museums in three days.

If all 10 stickers are collected, participants have the opportunity to fill out their contact information and submit the brochure to the Bradford County Historical Society. All entries will be placed in a drawing to take place during Bradford County Old People's Day, scheduled for June 23, 2012. An adult and a child winner will be chosen. Winners receive a collection of local history books and products donated by each museum in the county.

Bradford County features a wide variety of museums, each specializing in a different area of the county and/or a different topic.

In Troy, participants will find the Bradford County Heritage Association and Farm Museum where an extensive history of agriculture in our region can be explored. Aside from the museum, visitors will discover the historic village including the Gregory Inn, the Carriage House, Barber Shop, Children's Church, School House, and Sugar Shack. During this event, free admission will be granted to the museum building, however, admission will be charged for those who would like to continue on through the historic village.

In Sayre, participants can visit the Sayre Historical Society, located in the restored Lehigh Valley Railroad Depot. The museum exhibits are professionally arranged throughout the building and tell the history of Sayre with particular attention to railroad history. All railroad buffs will enjoy learning something new about our local railroad heritage.

A short drive from Sayre will take visitors to the Tioga Point Museum in Athens where they can learn about the world through the eyes of people who traveled the globe and brought home splendid examples of Native American, Japanese, Turkish, Chinese, European and Middle Eastern art and cultural objects. The museum also features local & non-local Native American exhibits; Revolutionary War & Civil War collections; portraits of the early settlers of Athens and surrounding areas; exhibits on local canal and railroad history and much more.

In East Canton, the Manley-Bohlayer Farm will welcome visitors to visit various historic buildings located at the southern end of their site, such as the Blacksmith Shop, the Hoagland School, the Cider Press, and more. The farm house will not be open to the public that day. Participants should enter the gate at the southern end of the grounds.

After a 10-minute drive west of the Manley-Bohlayer Farm, patrons will arrive in LeRoy, the home of LeRoy Heritage Museum. Here, visitors will discover the story of LeRoy and Granville Townships as well as that of Bradford County's most remote area, Barclay Mountain. The LeRoy Heritage Museum features objects from the abandoned lumber town of Laquin, exhibits about the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Game Refuge at Sunfish Pond. The collection includes a wide range of objects to please all ages and interests.

The Bradford County Historical Society is located in the former Bradford County Jail in Towanda. The building was built in 1871 and used until 1990 as the county jail. See jail cells with their original doors, inside of which are exhibits outlining the extensive history of the county as a whole.
The museum exhibits include objects from over 200 years of county history.
Experience the dungeon cell and see the exercise yard where executions were performed.

At French Azilum Historic Site, visitors can learn the fascinating history of the place where French exiles found refuge in the 1790's during the French Revolution. Settlers here hoped that this would be the home of Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, but she was executed before she could escape France. The site features the LaPorte House which was built in 1836 by John LaPorte, a son of Matthew Bartholomew LaPorte, one of the founding settlers of the colony.

The P.P. Bliss Gospel Songwriters Museum can be found in Rome. The museum is housed in the home Bliss bought in Rome where he lived before moving to Chicago to pursue his career as a gospel songwriter. Bliss is known in churches everywhere for hymns such as Rock of Ages and It Is Well with My Soul. The museum has on exhibition many items that belonged to the Bliss family, along with copies of almost all of his published music.

In Orwell is the site of the Home Textile Tool Museum. At this museum, not only can you see old spinning wheels, looms and tools of early America being used as they were 150 years ago; you can touch, and even try using them yourself. Today we live in a world where no one needs to make anything and all of us are dependent on everyone for everything. Learn what life was like when you had to make everything for yourself by hand.

Last but not least is the Wyalusing Valley Museum. In the Bixby house you will find a large collection of arrowheads, war memorabilia, and much more, all from the Wyalusing area. In the carriage house you can find two rock-away carriages and the Wyalusing Hook and Ladder fire truck with leather buckets. In the barn are displays of farm tools, signs, a Pennsylvania license plate collection and a replica of the old Welles Mill building.

More information including contest rules, links to each museum website and other information can be found online at or call 570-265-2240.