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 Come and enjoy this opportunity to see historical documents created in the early days of Bradford County government.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, www.bradfordhistory.com. 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.