Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bradford County Bicentennial Event to Feature Theatre Presentation, Exhibit and Reception

The Bradford County Historical Society is pleased to announce the next event in its year-long commemoration of Bradford County’s bicentennial. This event is being held in commemoration of the first election in Bradford County.

The program entitled, “The Unusual History of the Courthouse Square,” will be presented by the Bradford County Historical Society on Saturday, October 13, 2012, at 1 p.m. at the Keystone Theatre, Towanda. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. The program was developed and will be presented by Matthew Carl, Bradford County Historical Society manager/curator.

The Bradford County Courthouse in Towanda, Pennsylvania, as well as the public square on which it sits, is a fascinating place. The story of the courthouse square begins 200 years ago, but the history is not always what you would expect. Government corruption, fire, prostitution and much more combine to give us the fascinating history of the square.

Highlighted with images of the courthouse square and buildings, photos of important people, and scans of early county documents, this program will take participants on an unforgettable journey through history.

Find out why the county seat was almost located in a town called “New Baltimore”. Learn about the courthouse fire of 1847.

Discover what life was like around the courthouse during the Victorian period, when over 60 “women in scarlet” targeted the courthouse during jury trials. Find out why some Bradford County wives refused to allow their husbands to attend jury duty.

Hear about the construction of the present courthouse. Learn why the county commissioners were placed on trial after construction was finished; why one commissioner sobbed aloud repeatedly while on the stand; and why the judge who presided over the case was later impeached.

Listen to early opinions of the courthouse and its design. See the courthouse as it appeared during important events in history.

At the conclusion of the theatre event, everyone will be invited to move to the Bradford County Historical Society where a special exhibit will be available in the Great Room. The exhibit will include many early and rare county documents as old as 200 years. Come and enjoy this opportunity to see historical documents created in the early days of Bradford County government.

This exhibit will be available between 3 and 5 p.m. and refreshments will be provided. There is no admission fee for the exhibit and attendance at the theatre is not required before attending the activities at the historical society. Donations are appreciated. In addition to the special exhibit, patrons may tour the museum and see the temporary exhibit created in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

The Bradford County Historical Society’s newest publication, “Bradford County Bicentennial – A Photographic History” will be for sale at the theatre during the half hour prior to the program and at the historical society exhibit and reception.

Tickets for the theatre event are $10 each and may be purchased at the Bradford County Historical Society Research Library, Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., or by calling 570-265-2240. Tickets may also be purchased online through the historical society website, Proceeds benefit the ongoing preservation of county history by the historical society.
The Bradford County Historical Society is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

Friday, September 7, 2012

BCHS to host "Minnequa: A Spring, A Hotel, A County," September 21

The Bradford County Historical Society will host a free program entitled " Minnequa: A Spring, A Hotel, A County " scheduled for Friday, September 21, 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 Donations are appreciated.

Peter Herdic was a visionary. He was a key player in making Williamsport the “lumber capitol of the world.” Shortly after the Civil War, his attention was drawn to Bradford County where he would build and open a fabulous hotel and resort in 1869. The wealthy, the politicians and the famous would flock to Minnequa Springs for relaxation.

Then would come Herdic’s greatest venture in Minnequa – the creation of Minnequa County. But opposition, fire and bankruptcy destroyed his dream. Find out how close Bradford County came to being torn apart to accomplish one man’s vision.

This PowerPoint presentation will be presented by Matthew Carl, Manager/Curator at the Bradford County Historical Society.

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: 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