Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday Night at the Museum to Feature “Bradford County Civil War Music”

The Bradford County Historical Society will host a program titled, “Bradford County Civil War Music,” scheduled for Friday, June 15, 2018 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.

This is the 150th anniversary of the dedication of a monument in the Riverside Cemetery in Towanda that was placed by Watkins Post #68, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Recently restored by the Sons of Union Veterans, Silas Gore Camp #141, the monument was rededicated this May. The Sons of Union Veterans are pleased to present a program that will venture into the world of Civil War music from a Bradford County perspective, as well as an overall look, both north and south. The highlight of the evening will be recently composed music performed by Gary Wells, of Binghamton. 

This program is a part of the 2018 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.

Other programs scheduled for this season are: July 20 – A Hammered Dulcimer Concert with Ted Yoder, Sponsored by Chief Oil & Gas; August 17 – The French Legacy in Bradford County; September 21 – Lumbering Heritage in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Sponsored by Citizens & Northern Bank; and October 19 – The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and its Effect on Bradford County.
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 on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bradford County Museums Promote “Passport Through History” Contest

The museums of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, have released a newly revised 20-page guide highlighting the twelve museums of Bradford County. The guide is now available at over 60 locations in New York and Pennsylvania as well as each museum. It can be supplied to other locations upon request.

The full-color glossy booklet, titled "A Comprehensive Guide to Bradford County Museums" features an introduction to local history, a list of popular history topics and the museums where those topics can be explored, a map identifying museum locations in the county, and a "Passport through History." Each museum is featured on its own page with a photo, description, months of operation, contact information, driving directions, GPS coordinates and a QR Code that when scanned by a QR code app, will instantly connect the user directly to the respective museum website.

The "Passport through History" found in the guide is a yearly challenge. Visitors carry their "passport" as they visit all twelve museums in one season and collect a unique sticker or mark from each location. When the passport is filled, it can be turned in to the Bradford County Historical Society and added to a drawing at the end of the tourist season. The drawing will take place at the October meeting of the museums of Bradford County. The winner will receive one year of family membership in one of the Bradford County museums, or a comparable prize if the museum they choose does not offer family membership.

Bradford County’s museums include the Bradford County Heritage Association (Farm Museum and Historic Village), Bradford County Historical Society, French Azilum historic site, Home Textile Tool Museum, LeRoy Heritage Museum, Manley-Bohlayer Farm, P.P. Bliss Gospel Songwriters Museum, Sayre Historical Society, Tioga Point Museum, Wyalusing Valley Museum, Tuscarora Township Historical Society and the Troy Historical Society (currently under construction). Some of the museums have limited hours or are only open for special events. Contestants may need to contact some of the museums to find out the best time to get their passport stamped.

Filling the passport makes a great summer project for families and students by providing an opportunity to learn about local history and to visit local attractions during several day trips.

A free pdf of the guide can be downloaded for use on either a computer or phone by visiting www.bradfordhistory.com and clicking on Plan a Visit and then County Museums in the left column. 

The guide was sponsored by the Bradford County Room Tax Fund and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

BCHS to Host Research Day for Members


On Saturday May 19, The Bradford County Historical Society will offer a research day. This will be an opportunity for members of the society to come in when the library is closed to receive a tour of the library and its holdings. The society library is a treasure trove of information for the genealogist or local historian. The session will begin at 10 a.m. and is by reservation only. There is no charge for this program to members of the Bradford County Historical Society. A non-member will be charged $35 which is a research membership for a year. Society president Henry Farley will be leading the workshop which will last about two hours. Call 570-265-2240 to register.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Friday Night at the Museum to begin with, “A Chronicle of the Underground Railroad and ‘Black Soldiery’”


The Bradford County Historical Society will host a program titled, “A Chronicle of the Underground Railroad and ‘Black Soldiery’,” scheduled for Friday, May 18, 2018 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.

Based on the book, “Embattled Freedom”, author Jim Remsen explores the life and times of a group of remarkable fugitive slaves who fled north on the Underground Railroad and found safe haven in Jim’s own boyhood hometown in the mid-1800s. The town is Waverly, Pa., a white farming village near Scranton, Pa. In the face of local skepticism, a cadre of white villagers and nearby farmers set up the black runaways with jobs, land and other material support, thus establishing a settlement known as “Colored Hill” that endured into the 1920s. When the Civil War came and the call went out for black recruits, a dozen men and boys left the safety of Colored Hill to return South and fight in the Union army.

This program is sponsored by:

This program is a part of the 2018 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.

Other programs scheduled for this season are: June 15 – Bradford County Civil War Music; July 20 – A Hammered Dulcimer Concert with Ted Yoder, Sponsored by Chief Oil & Gas; August 17 – The French Legacy in Bradford County; September 21 – Lumbering Heritage in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Sponsored by Citizens & Northern Bank; and October 19 – The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and its Effect on Bradford County.

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 on Facebook or Twitter.

Friday, May 4, 2018

BCHS Opens with Hundreds of New Items on Display

The Bradford County Historical Society (BCHS) opened for the 2018 season the first week of May with seven complete display cases changed, two entire rooms changed, and the large lumbering exhibit completely redesigned to include objects from many different industries or businesses in Bradford County.

Historical Society Manager/Curator, Matthew Carl, has worked for the past few years to substantially change the original exhibits that were built when BCHS first moved to 109 Pine Street. Out of 25 exhibit rooms in the museum, 13 have been substantially or entirely changed so far. This year alone, over 300 new items were brought out of storage and placed on display while other items that have been on display for years have gone into storage.

“That’s how a museum is supposed operate,” said Carl. “Items being rotated in and out so that visitors have a new experience and learn new things each time they’re here.”

Over the past 10 years, there have been new items on display every year, but only within the last two or three years has Carl finally been able to dedicate time to a significant overhaul of the museum. While a handful of items will always be on display due to their importance, the majority of pieces can be changed out every so often.

“The museum is a living history book that tells the stories of Bradford County as a whole,” said Carl. 

Since Bradford County is the second largest county in terms of land area in Pennsylvania, the Bradford County Historical Society has a challenging job telling all of the stories, which is what makes regularly changing exhibits so important. As each year passes, new exhibits come and go and they bring new stories to light.

In addition to all the changes made this year, the World War I exhibit is still available during the ongoing centennial anniversary of the war. The award-winning book that accompanies the exhibit is still on sale in the museum Gift Shop.

A new season also brings new programming and this year’s Friday Night at the Museum series is sponsored by the United Way of Bradford County, Chief Oil & Gas, and Citizens & Northern Bank. The series features a mix of historical programs and musical performances and begins May 18th, continuing on the third Friday of each month until October.

Museum and research center hours are Wednesday through Friday, 10 am – 4 pm, and the first Saturday of each month, 10 am – 2 pm.

For more information about the Bradford County Historical Society, visit the website at www.bradfordhistory.com. BCHS is sponsored in part by the United Way of Bradford County.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

BCHS World War I Book to Receive Statewide Award

The Bradford County Historical Society (BCHS) is pleased to announce that it has been selected to receive a PA Museums Institutional Achievement Award. Formerly known as the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations, PA Museums (Pennsylvania’s statewide trade association), serving museum professionals and institutions, award program recognizes exemplary work going on in museums and history organizations in Pennsylvania.

BCHS was chosen for this award as a result of its project titled, "Defending Democracy: Bradford County in World War I, A Centennial Remembrance." During 2017, Historical Society Manager/Curator, Matthew Carl, created both an exhibit about Bradford County in World War I, and a book covering the story of the county’s involvement in the war from beginning to end.

During the PA Museums Annual Statewide Museum Conference in April, BCHS will be honored at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Centre County.

The book published by the Bradford County Historical Society was researched, edited and designed by Matthew Carl with the assistance of a number of volunteers and staff who helped with typing and proofreading. Featuring 516 pages, 18 chapters, 260 photographs, a list of soldiers who registered and were chosen for service from Bradford County, and a complete surname index, the book has been very popular.

Following a different plan from other military histories, "Defending Democracy" focuses on personal stories of the soldiers along with information about what was happening on the home front in Bradford County throughout the war. Send-off and welcome-home parades, Red Cross work, and other unusual details not often found in histories of this nature can be found in this book.

"That is what makes the book so interesting," explained Matthew Carl. "The details of everyday life allow the reader to get a sense of what it would have felt like to live during that time."

A total of 70 families submitted information and photographs to be included in the book and these contributions filled in several gaps in the story. Many original documents that were issued to soldiers, or images of soldiers and nurses, tie the story together.

Over 2,100 soldiers were selected from Bradford County for service in the Great War. Each township and borough provided men for service. Several provided nurses. This project has created a record of their sacrifices for generations to come.

The exhibit will continue to be available while the 100th anniversary of the war goes on through the coming season. The book is still available at www.bradfordhistory.com or by stopping by the Bradford County Historical Society research center, Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm. Other sales locations around the county can be found on the BCHS website.