BCHS MUSEUM FAVORITES - by Heather Palmer  

Posted by Matt Carl, Manager/Curator



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#10 - THE SHARPSHOOTER RIFLE AND HISTORIC GAVEL

This case and its contents came from the Bradford Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Towanda. The Remington Hepburn Sharpshooters rifle was designed by Lewis L. Hepburn and produced from 1880 to 1907. In 1875 and 1879, Hepburn was granted two patents on his gun firing mechanism and consigned them to E. Remington and Sons. The ‘Remington-Hepburn’ rifles were introduced for target competition – a sporting rifle with barrel sights as well as a long range Creedmoor target rifle. This rifle belonged to Edward Walker and was used in a competition at what is today Eastside Riverfront Park in Towanda. The gavel was made from wood taken from the Heckewelder house in Wyalusing, the oldest house in Bradford County, built in 1768. The house deteriorated and was gone by the 1930s. If you make a trip down to the first floor of the museum you can read the enclosed letter by the man who made the gavel.

Visit the Bradford County Historical Society Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm to see this and hundreds of other local history pieces.

BCHS MUSEUM FAVORITES - by Heather Palmer  

Posted by Matt Carl, Manager/Curator



Click the title to visit the Curator's Blog if the photo does not appear above.

#9 - FRENCH BURR MILLSTONE Sorry folks, this is not the remnants of a wheel from the Flintstone’s vehicle. This is an upper, or “runner,” stone from a gristmill once located in Leona. It is placed bottom side up here in order to show its grinding surface. It is “dressed” with a pattern of “lands” and “furrows.” The lands refer to the raised portions, while the furrows are the grooves cut into the face using a mill pick.

When it was in use, the stone sat face down and rotated upon a stationary “bed stone.” It was kept in place by the large iron bar seen here, which was called a “balance rynd.” This stone is made from a type of quartz found near the village of Chalons in northern France. It was sent in pieces to America and joined together by a wrought iron band. This stone weighs an astounding 946 pounds.

Visit the Bradford County Historical Society Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm to see this and hundreds of other local history pieces.

BCHS MUSEUM FAVORITES - by Heather Palmer  

Posted by Matt Carl, Manager/Curator


Click the title to visit the Curator's Blog if the photo does not appear above.

#8 - DISCARDED PISTOLS This week’s spotlighted exhibit is a recent addition to the museum. It coincides with the end of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and our upcoming Friday Night at the Museum event entitled “The Last Hurrah”. These pistols were discarded during the Civil War and brought home as souvenirs by Bradford County soldiers. While most of them are not military issued weapons, they may have been used by civilians or picked up by soldiers along the way. In most cases, they were produced in the years before the Civil war began.

Visit the Bradford County Historical Society Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm to see this and hundreds of other local history pieces.

Civil War Historian, Kurt Lafy, to Speak at BCHS this Friday  

Posted by Matt Carl, Manager/Curator


This Friday is the next "Friday Night at the Museum" program at the Bradford County Historical Society. The program is titled "The Last Hurrah" by Civil War historian and author Kurt Lafy. Call 570-265-2240 or email info@bradfordhistory.com to reserve your seat. The doors open at 5:30 pm and the program begins at 6:00 pm.

BCHS MUSEUM FAVORITES - by Heather Palmer  

Posted by Matt Carl, Manager/Curator


Click the title to visit the Curator's Blog if the photo does not appear above.

#7 - 19TH CENTURY FASHION: HEADWEAR

At the museum we have a new display this year that is a collection of headwear worn during the 19th century by both men and women. On display we have what was common 19th century headwear for men, which is displayed on the top shelf. These styles include the top hat, the homburg (with a dent in the top) and the bowler (with a bowl shaped top). The lower shelves show a number of styles of bonnets for women from the 19th century. Most of what we have are morning bonnets and hats that would be worn by women during times of loss here in Bradford County. The two hats pictured are the most colorful hats we have in our collection and are quite beautifully crafted. Headwear for women began in earnest during the Middle Ages when the church decreed that their hair must be covered. During the 18th century, milliners took the hat-making art out of the home and established the millinery profession. Traditionally a woman’s occupation, the milliner not only created hats and bonnets to go with costumes but also chose the laces, trims, and accessories to complete an ensemble. The term ‘milliner’ comes from the Italian city of Milan where in the 1700s, the finest straws were braided and the best quality hat forms were made. Bonnets were fashionable in the early 19th century, growing to huge proportions by 1830. They began to decrease in size through the 1840s and 1850s in order to reveal more of the face and hair. By 1860 parasols had become a fashion staple and bonnets, except for cold weather wear, became purely ornamental. Due to their reduced functionality, bonnets continued to decrease in size throughout the decade. Styles began with the ‘Spoon’ bonnet named for its shallow shape. It had a peaked crown that could be decorated with a nosegay of flowers. Throughout the 1860s hats began to be reintroduced into the wardrobe. They were worn perched at the front of the head over enormous hairstyles. Throughout the 1870s and 1880s, hats and bonnets were both popular. Women who wanted a more modest appearance often preferred bonnets. Very tall hats of the mid 1880s were known as ‘3-story’ or ‘flowerpots’ and soared atop the hair. Hats downsized again in the middle of the 1890s but grew in width again by 1900.

Visit the Bradford County Historical Society Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm to see this and hundreds of other local history pieces.

Friday Night at the Museum to host Civil War historian, Kurt Lafy, July 17  

Posted by Matt Carl, Manager/Curator

The Bradford County Historical Society host a program titled The Last Hurrah scheduled for Friday, July 17, 2015 at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. There is no admission charge for this event but donations are appreciated. To reserve a seat, participants are asked to register by calling 570-265-2240 or by email at info@bradfordhistory.com.

Join Kurt D. Lafy, author and lecturer on the American Civil War as he speaks on the Battle of Sailor’s Creek, the last battle of Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. Learn how local men gave their all in the “final furry” of our Civil War.

This program is part of the 2015 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. Refreshments are provided at each program and the museum is open a half-hour prior to the event.

Upcoming programs are: August 21 – Visions of Teaoga: Insights Into the Region’s Indian-Settler History; September 18 – Preserving Bradford County: Local Historians and the Books and Museums they Developed; and October 16 – Marcel Singer: The Gentle Butcher of Hong Kew.

The Bradford County Historical Society is a recipient agency of the Bradford County United Way and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. For more information about the society and its programming schedule, museum or research center, visit www.bradfordhistory.com or check out the society Facebook page at facebook.com/BradfordCountyHistoricalSociety.

BCHS MUSEUM FAVORITES - by Heather Palmer  

Posted by Matt Carl, Manager/Curator



Click the title to visit the Curator's Blog if the photo does not appear above.

#6 - A REPLICA OF A CIVIL WAR CAMP

We have a display here at the museum that is a scaled down replica of a Civil War camp. This exhibit shows museum goers what life in an army camp during this time would have been like. Most of the items on display come from Bradford County’s own regiment the 141st Pennsylvania Volunteers. The field desk that is in the center of the display belonged to Major Henry J. Madill of the 141st. This desk was the location where he would keep his letters, correspondences, pencils, pictures, maps, and other documents. Happy 4th of July!

Visit the Bradford County Historical Society Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm to see this and hundreds of other local history pieces. NOTE: The museum and research center are closed this Friday in observance of Independence Day.