Thursday, May 30, 2013

BCHS to host "The Rifled Musket in the Civil War," June 21

The Bradford County Historical Society will host a free program entitled "The Rifled Musket in the Civil War" scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 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 the Private Silas Gore Camp for a program detailing the Civil War rifled musket. Learn how the soldiers cared for their weapons, how they were taught the School of the Soldier and how they learned to handle their weapons in concert with each other.

The program will include demonstrations that will appeal to all ages. Come and enjoy this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Civil War.

This program will be presented by members of Private Silas Gore Camp #141 of the Sons of Union Veterans. More information about this group can be found at

This program is part of the 2013 "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 2013 include: Something for Everyone: A Concert by Carrie Hooper, July 19; Tales from the Jail, August 16; Unusual News of Bradford County, September 20; Towanda On Fire, October 18.

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 society Facebook page at

Thursday, May 23, 2013

BCHS Announces New Tour Guide, New Exhibits and New Hours

The Bradford County Historical Society announces the opening of its 2013 museum season.

The Society’s summer tour guide is Heather Palmer of Canton. Heather is a History and Religious Studies major at Albright College. She is available to give tours of the museum during regular business hours. Heather will also work on various projects for the historical society during the summer.

Museum hours have changed and are now the same as the research library. They are Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and the first Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The facility is closed during major holidays. Please call to confirm Saturday hours. While the research library is open all year, the museum is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Group tours are available and may be scheduled by calling 570-265-2240. Admission to the museum is a donation.

The Bradford County Historical Society recently held an Exhibit Opening and Reception for members to highlight the various changes made in the museum this year.

The featured exhibit can be found in the gift shop display case. It is a wonderful collection of models such as airplanes, a ship, a stage coach, and many more items made entirely of Popsicle sticks. While the material used sounds unusual, the objects created are stunning and intricate. The exhibit has already become a favorite of visitors and children especially, who enjoy seeing large airplanes suspended from the ceiling above the display case. The models are on loan from the family of Robert Coats Sr. who passed away earlier this year. Robert was a carpenter in Towanda several years ago and also a veteran. Come and enjoy his works of art this season.

The historical society added two new lighted display cases to the second floor during the bicentennial year and are now offering a special exhibit in each one. The first exhibit is a large collection of canning jars dating back to the mid-1800’s. Several jar brands, sizes and colors are displayed with a history of the canning jars. A jar of unopened canned fruit from 1898 is also displayed. It was offered as a wedding gift that year and never opened. All of the jars were found in Bradford County and used by local families.

The second new display case features advertising products from towns all over Bradford County. These products include gift boxes from stores in Towanda and Sayre; souvenir china from Overton, Laquin, South Waverly; a hanger from Canton and much more. Each item has the name of the local town on it including Wyalusing, Wysox, Troy and many more.

A display of candy boxes from local stores can be found this year. The boxes include “Chicken Dinner Candy” and one of the first Butterfinger candy bar packing boxes. Several have already enjoyed seeing an A&W Root Beer cardboard funnel in which Root Beer could be purchased years ago. Visitors have remarked that this item brings back many memories.

On the first floor, a new exhibit about the Meredith Bottling Works in Towanda features Meredith wooden shipping boxes, and a variety of bottles and labels. A Blood Orange bottle, along with the accompanying Blood Orange cooler sign are in the display. Blood Orange soda pop was a local favorite.

The museum now offers some technological improvements including a digital screen in the gift shop that features hand colored postcards from around Bradford County. The screen also randomly scrolls through announcements for visitors, such as the upcoming program schedule.

The Historical Society is also excited to introduce the addition of QR codes throughout its museum. QR codes are similar to a bar code and can be scanned using a smartphone equipped with any QR scanner app. The app is free and smartphone users can download it from their favorite app store. There are currently five codes placed throughout the museum and all of them tell about life in the building when it was the county jail. When visitors scan each code, they can read first hand reports of executions, escapes, and prison violence from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the very room where it happened. Those who don’t have access to a smartphone can also read the same stories from home by logging on to the museum website.

Matthew Carl, Curator and Manager of the Bradford County Historical Society, is pleased with the new additions made over the past winter. He also reminds patrons that the 2013 Friday Night at the Museum programming season has begun. A schedule of free programs can be found on the museum website.

For more information about the Bradford County Historical Society, visit the website at or call 570-265-2240 during regular hours, Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Get the latest news and announcements by “Liking” the historical society Facebook page. The Bradford County Historical Society is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Friday Night at the Museum Begins Friday, May 17

The Bradford County Historical Society will begin a new season of “Friday Night at the Museum” local history programs on Friday, May 17. The first program is entitled, “A Tour of Sayre’s Monuments, Markers and Memorials,” presented by Jim Nobles. The program, illustrated by slides, will be held in the Great Room at the historical society at 6 p.m. Programs are free and refreshments are provided. Register by calling 265-2240 or by email at