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December 7th, 2019

The Clearfield County Historical Society

annual open house.....

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Historical Society will hold its annual open house and book sale on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Kerr House Museum, at 104 E. Pine St., in Clearfield.

The program gives the public a chance purchase books and art prints that the society has for sale.

The books deal with a wide variety of county and genealogy topics, and are often discounted as much as 30 percent from the normal sale price.

The books make unique and worthwhile Christmas gifts, suggests Dave Wulderk, society president.

This year, the society’s cookbook of family recipes, compiled by board member Julie Houston, will be featured, as well as the new publication, the 1897 Public Spirit history of select county townships, edited and reconstructed by Diane Stodart Yarger, formerly of Madera, and her husband Jim, formerly of Sanborn.

Gift memberships to the historical society will also be available.

The Clearfield Choral Society will perform Christmas carols and songs on the front porch of the museum at 2 p.m.  Holiday cookies and punch will be served.

The public is welcome to attend and enjoy the day.

October 24, 2019

CCHS hosts 64th annual dinner

and awards program.

The Clearfield County Historical Society held its 64th annual dinner and awards ceremony Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. Pictured are, from left, society President David Wulderk, Speakers Jim Yarger & Diane Yarger, Janice Aleksivich honored for her many volunteer hours on behalf of the Society, Cathy Larson & Cathie Hughes, board members.

Josh Berndt, center, received the Clearfield County Historical Society 's 2019 Historical Preservation Award for his work on The Eureka in Houtzdale. Berndt was presented by society President David Wulderk, left. At right is Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority Director Josiah Jones.

CURWENSVILLE — More than 100 members and guests of the Clearfield County Historical Society gathered Thursday evening for the society’s 64th annual dinner meeting and awards presentation at St. Timothy Church’s social hall, Curwensville.

The welcome was given by the board’s President David Wulderk. The invocation was provided by Pastor Ken Leonard.

Wulderk expounded on events held during the 2019 season touching on the society’s annual Mother’s Day tea, participation in the Clearfield County Fair Fireman’s Parade, the new Hat Derby held during the Clearfield County Fair, the Night at the Museum and the Bloody Knox Festival. He said there have been numerous tours of the museum at the Kerr House. Wulderk also reminded the audience about the upcoming Christmas open house and book sale Dec. 7 at the museum.

He thanked board members for their dedication to the society’s projects and events and volunteers who assist with various projects and serve as greeters during the times the museum is open. He also expressed his gratitude to CBT Bank, A Division of Riverview Bank and Bee Kind Winery for serving as sponsors for the annual dinner and awards ceremony.

The society’s 2019 Historical Preservation award was presented to Josh Berndt who has been rehabilitating the former Berwin and White company store, later the Sahlaney Furniture Store, on Hannah Street in Houtzdale and the adjacent building. Wulderk said, “These buildings haven’t looked this good during my lifetime. I’m thankful that Josh has taken an interest in restoring them. We are seeing a revitalization in Houtzdale.”

Wulderk acknowledged Janice Aleksivich for her willingness to serve and her work on various projects undertaken by the society and in its museum. Wulderk also thanked The Progress for donating all of its microfilm to the society. “We are very excited to have this treasure trove of historical information. He said board members are making plans to purchase some new equipment that will allow the films to be read and printed.

The speaker for the evening was Diane (Stodart) Yarger, formerly of Madera and now of Sinking Spring who researched and restored the newly published “Public Spirit: History of Clearfield County Written and Compiled by Local Historians” published by Publisher Matt Savage, owner of the Clearfield Public Spirit.

The book was a compilation of a series of articles on township histories and settlers that were published in the newspaper from 1895-97. Yarger said of the book, “It is one of the least known geological resources for Clearfield County and one of the richest. It contains hundreds of names and family connections, many available nowhere else.”

Yarger said for years, the publication was elusive. She said she learned while researching a family member, in addition to a not-quite complete copy at the Clearfield County Historical Society there was also a partial copy in the Ebensburg Public Library and later was told of a scrapbook, made up of clippings of some of the newspaper’s series, at the Centre County Library in Bellefonte.

Yarger said the book, four years in its creation, is a collection of all the sections that could be obtained from the combined sources with the remaining information being typed in from the scrapbook copy.

 

Publication Date - August 9, 2019

Clearfield Historical Society to Present “Night at the Museum”

 

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Historical Society will again this year present its “Night at the Museum” program on Thursday, Aug. 15, expanding its hours from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., to accommodate as many or more attendees as last year’s large crowd.

The program will take place at the society’s Kerr House Museum at 104 E. Pine St., in Clearfield.

Society members and friends will dress the part of notable local people of the past and will act out a presentation of his/her character’s biography.

The program will mimic the format of the popular movie of the same name.

During the program, the “Night at the Museum” movie will be shown continuously in the Carriage House part of the museum.   At 8 p.m., the local historical film, “The Last Raft,” will be shown outdoors on the museum lawn.

This film uses original footage and interviews to tell the story of the 1938 ill-fated commemorative logging raft, which began in Mahaffey and crashed into a bridge in Muncy, killing several men on board.

The event is family-friendly and parents are urged to bring their children. It is entirely free of charge and will bring local history alive to young and old alike.

Popcorn and punch will be available on the museum porch and snacks and light refreshments will be available inside. The public is warmly welcome.

Publication Date - April 16, 2019

Historical Society Reviews Website and Readies For

Museum and Research Center Opening

The Clearfield County Historical Society Board of Directors met recently at West Side United Methodist Church to review its comprehensive website.  The presentation was made by Jim Moore, of Clearfield, who maintains the site for the CCHS. 

Both the Kerr House Museum and Alexander Research Center will be open for visitors and researchers, beginning Sunday May 5. Hours of operation will be Sundays and Thursdays, from 1:30 until 4:30. 

 The museum and center will be closed:

·         Sunday, May 26 for Memorial Day weekend

·         Thursday, July 3 for Independence Day

·         Sunday, September 1 for Labor Day weekend

·         Sunday, October 13 for Apple Cider Festival at the Bloody Knox Cabin

·         Thursday, October 23 for the CCHS Annual Dinner

The board received notification from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission of the approval of its annual $4000 grant.  The board also noted that the printing of the 1897 Public Spirit history book of select Clearfield County townships is finished and will be available for sale for $26.   The book was organized and edited by Diane and Jim Yarger formerly of Madera and Sanborn.

In other business, the board:

Ø  Current membership stands at 669

Ø  Set a museum work day for Sunday, April 28

Ø  Approved participation in the Logs To Lumber program at Curwensville Area High School on May 17

Ø  Welcomed the public to attend the Mother’s Day Tea  event at the Kerr House Museum on Sunday, May 12

Heard an update about the planned CCHS cookbook and welcomed submitted recipes from members and those interested in adding to the book.

February 19, 2019

Clearfield County Historical Society Has Monthly Meeting

The Clearfield County Historical Society’s Board of Directors met on February 19, 2019 to discuss projects and events for the upcoming year.           Our Mothers Day Tea is scheduled for Sunday May, 12 at the Kerr House Museum; shortly after the museum’s opening for the 2019 season. 

   The Society will again sponsor its Night At The Museum program, participate in the Clearfield County Fair Parade,

    and present the Apple Cider Festival at the historic Bloody Knox Cabin in Kellytown.

 

The volunteer board has also conducted work days to continue to organize and file acquisitions received.

 

In other business the board:

  • Voted to purchase equipment that will make photo negatives easily identifiable and enable positive prints to be printed or stored on thumb drives
  • Heard of the progress of the printing of the 1897 Clearfield Public Spirit’s Clearfield County history series that contains stories and anecdotes of several county townships.  The series is a fascinating read and was edited and indexed by Diane Stodart Yarger and James Yarger; formerly of Madera and Sanborn
  • Ordered one hundred copies of Richard Hughes’ book, Hunting Camps of the Allegheny Plateau and Clearfield County
  • Heard that the bellows of the parlor pump organ has been repaired so that it can be played.  A date will be scheduled to clean the organ’s brass reeds
  • Made plans to service the microfilm readers and printers
  • Discussed the placing of a historical marker at the rebuilt outdoor bread oven in Frenchville
  • Expressed thanks to the Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority for grant funding and to board member Denny Shaffner’s efforts at securing a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
  • Commended board members Becky Hummel and Julie Houston for organizing displays depicting local amateur radio history and historical photos and artifacts from county movie theaters.
  • Membership Chair, Cathy Larson, reported 667 CCHS current members
  • Expressed thanks to the Clearfield Borough Police Department for their continued security checks of the museum and research center.

October 25, 2018     ....from The Progress

Clearfield County Historical Society hosts annual dinner and awards ceremony

Clearfield County Historical Society hosted its 63rd annual dinner and awards ceremony Thursday, October 25th, 2018 at Curwensville. Members of the board are in the first row, from left, Cathy Larson, Becky Hummel, Susan Williams, Gwen Fox, Julie Huston, Mary Kay Royer, Cathie Hughes, Brent Thomas and David Wulderk. I the back row are Bob Eshelman, Scott Kolesar, Jack Woolridge, Sharon Aaron, Fred Ralston, Dennis Shaffner and Paula Miller.                The Progress Photo by Dianne Byers

Clearfield County Historical Society recognized its volunteersof the year, the dinner chairwoman, new board members and speaker at the annual dinner and awards ceremony Thursday, Oct. 25th, 2018. Pictured from left to right are: society president David Wulderk, volunteer of the year Jim Moore, dinner chhairwoman Cathy Larson, volunteer of the year Brent Thomas, speaker Rebecca Inlow, and new board members Paula Miller and Sharon Aaron.             The Progress Photo by Dianne Byers

CURWENSVILLE — Members and guests of the Clearfield County Historical Society met for its 63rd annual dinner meeting and awards presentation Thursday evening.

More than 100 people attended the event held at St. Timothy Catholic Church’s social center, Curwensville.

The guest speaker was Rebecca Inlow of Osceola Mills, who detailed the subject of her recently completed book, “From Ashes to Beauty, The Rowland Story.”

Inlow’s book is about the birth and life of the Rowland Theatre that opened in 1917 in downtown Philipsburg and its founder, Charles Hedding Rowland, a businessman and later politician, who moved to Clearfield County to live in Houtzdale in 1874 when he was 13 years old.

He resided there until 1900 when he was managing the operations for a large coal mining operation there and was instrumental in launching the Altoona and Philipsburg Connecting Railroad, known locally as the Alley Popper, because he was tired of making concessions to get the coal from the mine into the market.

“In 1917, a coalman/politician took a chance on opening a theatre in a small town. He had no idea it would become his lasting legacy,” she told the audience.

Inlow’s book tells how the theatre developed from its inception through the present time when it has become a showcase for both movies and live entertainment. It is operated and cared for by volunteers.

“The Rowland Theatre is here today because the community has kept it alive,” she explained.

Proceeds from Inlow’s book benefit the theatre.

The master of ceremonies was Society President David Wulderk. He recognized Jim Moore and Brent Thomas as the society’s volunteers of the year. Moore manages the society’s website and Thomas is the board’s treasurer.

The society’s historical preservation and service award was given for work done over several years to rehabilitate the Clearfield County Home cemetery. Board member Dennis Shaffner related details of the work performed to cleanup the cemetery and the extensive work that was done to identify many of those interred there. He said going forward the cemetery would be cared for by the Clearfield County Probation Department.

In addition to Shaffner, Susan Williams, Gary Gilmore, Cathie Hughes, Chris Watson, Steve Banks, Bob Eshelman, Scott Kolesar and former and present Clearfield County Commissioners, Joan McMillen, Mark McCracken, John Sobel and Tony Scott, were honored for the roles each played in the project.

Board Member Susan Williams announced Cathie Hughes, Scott Kolesar, Cathy Larson, Ken Leonard, Mary Kay Royer, Brent Thomas and David Wulderk were re-elected to three-year terms. Sharon Aaron and Paula Miller were appointed to fill unexpired terms on the board. They join remaining board members Gweneth Fox, Julie Houston, Becky Hummel, Carol Laughlin, David Mayersky, Fred Ralston, Dennis Shaffner, John Warsing, Chris Watson and Jack Woolridge.

Wulderk reported on the 2018 events, including a Mother’s Day tea, the Night at the Museum and the Bloody Knox festival. He said the Night at the Museum was well-received by the community with about 350 people attending. There are plans to host it again with featuring portrayals of additional Clearfield County characters.

Wulderk also announced the upcoming Christmas open house and book sale on Dec. 8 at the Kerr House Museum.

Board Member Becky Hummel announced and thanked those who volunteered for the society during the 2018 season.

October 1, 2018

Historical Society restores County Home Cemetery

Clearfield County Historical Society with assistance from the Clearfield County Commissioners and other volunteers recently erected a new sign at the County Home Cemetery after spending years restoring it. Pictured from left are Vegetation Manager Jim Davis, Clearfield County Historical Society booard members Denny Shaffner, Bob Eshelman, Scott Kolesar and Chris Watson, volunteer Milk Miller, Clearfield County Commissioner John Sobel, and Clearfield County Historical Society board member Cathie Hughes.

One of the ongoing projects of the Clearfield County Historical Society board members and volunteers is documenting abandoned and forgotten burial grounds.

In 2010, the society investigated the location of the old County Home Cemetery in Lawrence Township located across the railroad tracks about 1,600 feet behind the former county home.

What the society found was an approximately one-acre piece of ground completely overgrown with brush and small trees with remnants of locust fence posts and barbed wire along one side. Although there are hundreds of graves, the society found only four tombstones.

The County Home opened in December 1895 and housed as many as 140 people in 1917, and 131 resided there in 1925. Burials started soon after opening, and the last burial was in 1951. According to one newspaper article published in 1901, there were 108 burials to-date.

And from a Clearfield Progress article in 1926, “All graves filled in and the entire 360 graves fixed up, and for the first time the name and date of death on each person buried therein appears on a tile and slate marker at the head of each grave.”

The society found no tile markers in the cemetery. However, piles of tiles were found at the edge of the area. The name and dates must have been painted on them as they contained no information. They were probably removed at some point to make it easier to mow. These tiles could have possibly come from neighboring Robinson Clay Works, c1915-1965.

CCHS, with support from the Clearfield County Commissioners, began a many-years project of restoring the cemetery.

Brush and trees were defoliated and cut. This was done with the assistance of board members, many community volunteers and Jim Davis of Vegetation Managers.

Although there is no public access to the site, the society was granted access for the project from the Clearfield Waste Water Treatment Plant.

After extensive research using decades of aerial maps, newspaper articles, courthouse records and researching books and files at the Alexander Research Center, the society has determined this small area contains almost 500 graves.

Only five of the graves are marked with tombstones.

Four of the stones were found during the initial investigation in 2010, and one was found in 2018 during the restoration.

While there are hundreds laid to rest here, the society has only 171 names of known persons.

A permanent sign has been installed, using posts from the County Home, with the name of the cemetery on one side and a list of the 171 people on the other.

September 18

Historical Society Meets To Plan Festival and Annual Dinner

The Clearfield County Historical Society met on Tuesday, September 18 to discuss plans for the Annual Apple Cider Festival which is scheduled for Sunday, October, 14, from 1:00 to 4:00 at the historic Bloody Knox Cabin in Kellytown.  Board members were urged to be on hand to participate in the planned activities and supervise the displays.  The festival is open free to the general public.  Nineteenth century crafts and workmanship samples will be presented. A lecture on the historical significance of the site is scheduled for 1:30 and an egg toss contest will be held at 2:00.  Free pumpkins will be given to children under the age of 12.

The board also reviewed plans for its Annual Dinner,scheduled for Thursday, October 25, at 6:00, at St. Timothy’s Church Hall in Curwensville.  Rebecca Inlow, of Osceola Mills, author of The Roland Theater, From Ashes To Beauty will be the featured speaker. 

Mrs. Inlow has written an impressive history of the premier theater of Philipsburg.  Her book calls attention to Charles Rowland, originally of Houtzdale, who was a prime mover and financer of the theater in 1917.  Rowland’s role in founding and serving as a corporate office of the Alley Popper Railroad, that once offered passenger and coal hauling service to the Moshannon Valley is also an integral part of the book.  The book’s narrative traces the demise of the physical condition of the theater in the 1970’s to its magnificent restoration by community volunteers.  Presently, the theater is operated by a volunteer board and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In other business, the board accepted the recommendations from its nominating committee to add Sharon Aaron, of Curwensville and Paula Miller, of Clearfield,  as members of the Society’s board of directors.

The board also made plans for a photo opportunity, in conjunction with the Clearfield County Commissioners, to dedicate the new commemorative sign to be placed at the old Clearfield County Home Cemetery.  A volunteer group has recently cleared the cemetery grounds in order to honor its historical presence in the county.

August 21, 2018

Clearfield County Historical Society Expresses Thanks

The Clearfield County Historical Society’s board of directors met on Tuesday, August 21, at the Alexander Research Center in Clearfield.

The board express its deep gratitude and appreciation for all who participated in and attended the August 16 Night At The Museum.  The program was an outstanding success; that saw an estimated 350 people attend to see and hear volunteers portray a group of twenty individuals who played a role in Clearfield County’s rich historic past.  The board agreed to repeat the same program format next summer; using some of same characters and adding others to the roster.

In other matters; the board discussed plans for the Annual Cider Festival at the historic Bloody Knox Cabin, in Kellytown; scheduled for Sunday, October 14, as well as its Annual Dinner which will be held at St. Timothy’s Church Hall in Curwensville on Thursday, October 25.

The board also reminded the public that the Kerr House Museum is open for tours and visitation on Thursdays and Sundays from 1:30 until 4:30, until the end of October.  The adjacent Alexander Research Center will be open for genealogical and other research on the same days and hours.

July 17, 2018

County Historical Society Plans For Parade and Historical Reenactment Event

The Clearfield County Historical met Tuesday, July 17th, and finalized its plans to participate in the Clearfield County Fireman’s Parade on Monday, July 30.  The Society’s entry will center upon its Night At The Museum event which is planned for Thursday August 16, at 6:00, at the Kerr House Museum, at 104 East Pine Street, in Clearfield.

Society directors and friends will take the part of local Clearfield County historical characters, by each giving a first person description of their portrayed characters; from the 18th to the 20th century.  The reenactors will dress in period clothing and take questions from those attending. The format will reflect the plot of the movie; Night At The Museum.

Snacks and refreshments will be available.  An outdoor film; showing original footage of the 1938 Last Raft will be shown on the museum lawn.  The event is entirely free of charge and is geared to be family friendly for young and old alike.

In other business;

Ø  The board made plans to feature its museum and genealogy center on WTAJ-TV’s Central PA Live program on Monday, August 6 at 4:00 pm.

Ø  Expressed its thanks and appreciation to the Clearfield Boro police officers for their routine night time checks of both the museum and research center.

Ø  Society membership stands at 677.

June 19, 2018

Clearfield County Historical Society Plans 'Night At The Museum' Event

 

The Clearfield County Historical Society’s Board of Directors met on Tuesday, June 19 at the Alexander Research Center in Clearfield. The board expressed thanks to its members who planted flowers on the grounds of the Kerr House Museum.

The Society will again sponsor its historically themed entry in the Clearfield County Fair Parade on Monday, July 30.

The Board made plans to sponsor a Night At the Museum program at the Kerr House Museum on Thursday, August 16 at 6:00PM.  Volunteers will dress the part of historical county figures and present a recounting of the lives and times of those whom they portray.  Afterwards, after dark, original 1938 film footage of the famous and ill fated last raft on the Susquehanna River will be shown on the museum lawn by board member Jack Woolridge. The public is welcome attend and both events will be presented free of charge.  Those attending are requested to bring a lawn chair.

The board also:

Ø  Commended Rodney Bowers, of Clearfield, upon the publication of his book, This I Remember; which is a compiling of his periodic personal and historic memories that routinely appears in The Progress.

Ø  Commended Ralph Seeley, of Bellefonte, for his new book, Indian Paths of Central Pennsylvania.  Detailed information about Native American paths in Clearfield County is presented in the book.

Ø  Thanked all who placed 13 star US flags on the graves of over two dozen Revolutionary War veterans who are buried in Clearfield County.  Many photos of the graves and flags are available on the Society’s website at clearfieldcountyhistoricalsociety.org.

Ø  Thanked and praised the board members and volunteers who have recently cleared and mowed the old Clearfield County Home cemetery.  A sign will be erected listing the names of those buried there.  The board also extended thanks to the Clearfield County Commissioners for their support of the project.

Ø  Reminded the public that museum tours for individuals and groups are available on Thursdays and Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30 or by calling 378-5748.  It also noted that the adjacent Alexander Research Center is open for genealogical and other research during the same hours.  Trained volunteers will be available to offer help. The public is welcome!

Clearfield County Historical Society readying for the opening of its Kerr House Museum and Alexander Research Center on Sunday, May 6th, 2018.

The society’s 21-person, all-volunteer board encourages the public to visit both adjacent buildings to tour the displays and to explore their family history. “Clearfield County has a very rich history. (The museum) portrays a slice of life that’s gone forever,” President of the board of directors Dave Wulderk said. “It’s not just a big house with overstuffed furniture.” Admission and tours at both buildings are free of charge. Volunteers are posted at both to help researchers.

The society is attempting to reach a new audience this year with new events and displays. One notable happening is “Take Your Mother To The Museum Day” which will be on Mother’s Day, May 13. The museum will be open to honor mothers and their families. Tours will be offered, as well as cookies and refreshments. The public is welcome to this special event.

Wulderk reminds residents that the museum is not just for “notable families,” but “everyday, ordinary people.” 

Because of the microfilm technology and courthouse records, The museum has become a popular attraction for those seeking to learn about their family history through genealogies. “We have a lot of resources that you just don’t find online,” The museum and the research center are frequented by school field trips, family reunions, and individuals of all ages eager to learn. 

From DuBois to Osceola Mills, and everywhere in between, Wulderk said all parts of the county are represented and residents from all across the county are invited. “I have not found anyone, old or young, who walk away without learning something.”

The Kerr House Museum is located at 104 Pine St. and the Alexander Research Center is located at 511 Van Valzah St. Both are open on Sundays and Thursdays, 1:30pm to 4:30pm, from May 6 through the end of October.

Kerr House Museum to Feature Italian Lodge Display

(Provided photo)

The United Society of the Brotherhood (Fraternity) of Italians was first established in Philadelphia in 1867 when the Italian population was relatively small in Pennsylvania and in the United States.

The fraternity served as an Italian-American mutual aid society and was unique, as it did not confine membership to particular regions of Italy. It welcomed Italians from all sections of Italy to join and participate in its events.

During the first decades of the 20th century, two chapters of the fraternity were active in Clearfield County, one in Osceola Mills and one in Janesville in Gulich Township.

Both groups cooperated with each other and held their annual picnic at McDonald’s Spring in Allemansville, Gulich Township on Aug. 15, the Roman Catholic Holy Day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The local chapters waned by the 1950’s although the former meeting hall, shown in the background of the group photo, still stood in Janesville until its demolition in the 1990’s.

(Provided photo)

The display will be available for visitors to view at the Kerr House museum from May until October of this year.  It includes:

  • A group photo of Socitia members taken at the meeting hall in Janesville
  • Ribbons worn by members to denote membership
  • A Socitia presidential sash
  • A Janesville membership certificate signed by Mentore Wulderk and Albert Genesi of Smithmill
  • A Socitia book of rules and meeting procedures owned by Giovanni Palmieri of Allport, who belonged to the Osceola Mills chapter
  • A pre-World War I Italian national flag exhibiting the crest of the constitutional monarchy and labeled Societa di Unione e Fratellanza di Italiana, Osceola Mills.

Julie Ruggiero Houston and David Wulderk, Clearfield County Historical Society board members and descendants of founding members of the Osceola Mills and Janesville chapters supplied the artifacts for the pictured display.

 

Mother’s Day Event Planned By Historical Society

The Clearfield County Historical Society met on April 17, 2018 to make plans for the opening of the Kerr House Museum and the Alexander Research Center on Sunday, May 6.  The board encouraged the public to visit both adjacent buildings and to tour the displays and probe their family genealogies.  Admission and tours are free of charge.  The board emphasized that its research center contains many local genealogy sources that are not found online.  Volunteers will be posted to help researchers.

On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, the Society will sponsor a “Take Your Mother To The Museum Day”, from 1:30 until 4:30.  The museum will be open to honor mothers and their families.  Tours will be offered as well as cookies and refreshments.  The public is welcome.

In other matters, the Board

·         Reviewed its inventory of local historical books, maps and prints for sale

·         Noted that the semi-annual Spring bulletin will be mailed soon to Society members

·         Made plans to participate in the annual Logs To Lumber Day on Friday, May 18 at Curwensville Area High School.  Samples of locally made maple syrup will be available for tasting samples.  

·         Scheduled house cleaning and display changes for the Kerr House Museum

·         Received 13 star US flags to mark the graves of Revolutionary War veterans who are buried in Clearfield County in recognition of Memorial Day

·         Examined the newly revised museum brochure

·         Noted that the Frenchville Picnic will be held on July 21 and 22

·         Noted that Society membership stands at 669.

 

Clearfield County Historical Society Board Meets

The Board of Directors of the Clearfield County Historical Society met, Tuesday, March 27 at the Alexander Research Center in Clearfield.  Plans were made for the opening of both the museum and research center on Sunday, May 6.  Both   are located adjacent to each other and will be open to the public on Thursdays and Sundays, from 1:30 to 4:30, until the end of October.

The following items were undertaken:

Ø  Thirteen star US flags were ordered, to be put on the grave sites of the county’s approximately thirty Revolutionary War veterans on Memorial Day.

Ø  A work day was planned for Sunday, April 8, at 1:00, to ready the museum for its opening in May.  The board extended a welcome to all interested in Clearfield County history to attend and help.

Ø  The board expressed thanks to all of the visitors who attended Clearfield’s Downtown Sportsmen’s Day activities and then visited the museum to view the elk head display.

Ø  The annual Logs To Lumber program, highlighting the county’s lumber industry and heritage, is scheduled for Friday, May 18 at Curwensville Area High School.  The society will again offer its maple syrup display and tasting.

Ø  The board heard from Terry O’Connor, of Clearfield; representing the North Fork Archaeological Group of the Pennsylvania Archaeology Society.  The group will meet in Brookville on April 6 to 8.

Ø  Plans were finalized to replace the main window in the Alexander Research Center.

Ø  The board heard financial reports and a listing of recent acquisitions.

Ø  The society now as 668 members.

Ø  The public is reminded to visit the Society’s website at clearfieldcountyhistoriccalsociety.net and that museum tours for families, groups, etc.  can be arranged by calling 378-5748.

March 15, 2018

Museum to Display Mounted Elk Head for Downtown Clearfield Sportsmen’s Day

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Historical Society’s Kerr House Museum will be open Saturday, March 17, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., in order to offer its mounted elk head display for public viewing.

The display is being held in coordination with the Downtown Clearfield Sportsmen’s Day.  The mounted elk is the result of a poaching incident in Karthaus Township.

Those responsible were apprehended by the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s wardens and prosecuted.

The mounted elk is the largest one to be poached in the commonwealth.  It is permanently housed in the museum.

Those taking part in the Sportsmen’s Day activities, as well as the general public are welcome to view the mounted head and antlers. There is no charge for admission.

*Scroll down this page for additional information referenced in April 2017

February 25, 2018


 

 

CLEARFIELD – The board of directors of the Clearfield County Historical Society met Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Alexander Research Center.

The board thanked member Susan Williams and all who participated in its annual book sale and Christmas events.  The society now has nearly 700 members.

  • Denny Shaffner gave the board an update on grants received from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
  • Julie Houston and Becky Hummel presented a schedule of volunteer museum greeters.
  • Plans were made to open the museum from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, March 17, in coordination with Clearfield Sportsman’s Day, in order to offer viewing of the recent Elk Display to those interested.
  • A “work day” was scheduled for Sunday, April 8 at 1 p.m., to get the museum ready for its opening in May. Interested community volunteers are invited to participate.
  • Projected dates for Society events are:
  • Sunday, May 6: Museum and Research Center opening for 2018
  • Sunday, Oct. 14: Annual Cider Festival at the historic Bloody Knox Cabin in Kelllytown.
  • Thursday, Oct. 25: Annual Dinner at St. Timothy’s Church Hall in Curwensville.

The museum and research center will open Sunday, May 6 and will continue to keep hours on Thursdays and Sundays, from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., until the end of October.  It will be closed May 27 for Memorial Day weekend and on Sept. 2 for Labor Day weekend.

The board warmly welcomes those interested in local history, genealogy and Clearfield County folklore to visit its museum and research center.

Tours are free of charge. Families, organizational groups, school groups and individuals will find a tour of the facilities worthwhile.

October 19, 2017

 

Historical Society To Hold Annual Dinner

The Clearfield County Historical Society will hold its 62nd annual dinner on Thursday, October 19, at St. Timothy’s Church Social Hall in Curwensville.  Social hour will begin at 6:00 with dinner following at 6:45. Dinner will be catered by Luigi’s Ristorante of Dubois.

This year’s dinner sponsors are CBT Bank and Bee Kind Winery.

Following dinner, the society officers will present annual awards to honor the volunteers who help to staff the museum during visitation hours, participate in local historical research and work projects.

This year’s guest speaker will be Clearfield County Wildlife Conservation Officer, Mark Gritzer, who will present The Night The Lights Went Out In Karthaus. Officer Gritzer will tell of the 2014 poaching of the trophy elk; the largest in Pennsylvania.  (see article dated April below) He assisted with the apprehension and conviction of the responsible actors.  The elk head and antlers are permanently mounted in the Society’s museum for public display.  It has become a local tourist attraction.

The dinner cost is $25 per person. Invitations have been sent to society members.  Others wishing to make a reservation are welcome to so by calling the society’s Alexander Research Center voice mail at 768-7318. 

Reservations must be made by Wednesday, October 11.

September 12, 2017

Clearfield County Historical Society plans their 13th Annual Apple Cider Outing and Open House at the society’s Bloody Knox Civil War Log Cabin. Event will be held Sunday, October 8th from 1 to 4. Egg toss at 2:00. Come help make cider, rope, butter and corn meal. Watch demonstrations spinning yarn, making corn brooms, blacksmithing and see Civil War Medical Display. Kids games and free samples. This year’s event is sponsored by Northwest Bank. Presenting check is C. Eric Johnson of Northwest Bank to CCHS board members Scott Kolesar and Bob Eshelman.

August 17, 2017

River eel trap artwork donated to Historical Society....

Casen Zitzelberger, center, local artist and member of the Susquehanna River Art Center of Clearfield, along with SRACC board memberJacqueline Amor-Zitzelberger, right, presented artwork of a river eel trap to Denny Shaffner, president of the Clearfield County Historical Society. The artwork will be included in a new historical marker being placed alomng the Riverwalk at the Society's Kerr museum which remembers the shad and eel migration  that once occurred on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, and was a vital part of the economy for early settlers along the West Branch.

August 2017 - Fair Parade - 1917

The 'Society' steps back 100 years, gaining a sense of the    World War One period !

                                click photos to enlarge.......

JULY 2017

Clearfield Co. Historical Society Board Holds Meeting

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Historical Society met recently for its regular board of directors meeting.

Vice President David Wulderk called the meeting to order at the Alexander Research Center in Clearfield.

Cathy Larson, membership chair, reported the society currently has 633 members.

Genealogy committee members announced the second printing of the genealogy book, Some Genealogies and Family Records by A. Y. Straw, is now available for sale for $30.

This book, originally published in 1931, had been out of print since last year. It is again available for purchase at the CCHS research center, as well as more than 40 other publications.

The committee is also working with the county Veterans Affairs office to obtain a Revolutionary War marker for the grave of Philip Antes, who is buried in Centre Cemetery in Lawrence Township.

He was a soldier of the Revolution and has a marked grave with a tombstone, but he does not have a military flag holder.

Special committee members reported the grass at Bloody Knox has been mowed by Mayersky Landscape, and fire extinguishers have been inspected by Sneath Fire Safety.

The Clearfield County Fair Parade entry was discussed, as well. The entry will be the 100th anniversary of World War I.

This will include a 1917 Model T truck, soldiers in complete World War I uniform, World War I nurses, 48-star flag and the press announcing the U.S. entry into the war.

The society’s Web site is clearfieldcountyhistoricalsociety.net. It’s located at 104 E. Pine St., Clearfield, and open each Thursday and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

April 2017

Trophy Elk for Display

Left, to right, WCOs Dan Murray, Dave Stewart and Mark Gritzer, and Northcentral Region Law Enforcement Supervisor Rick Macklem pose with the antlers seized in the poaching investigation that has led to charges against three Centre County men.
The 10- by 9-point rack at right initially was measured at 432 7/8 inches, based on standards set forth by the Boone & Crockett big-game scoring program. Only two bulls legally harvested in Pennsylvania have scored higher. The rack from the 5-by-7 bull is at left, and the sawed-off antlers from the 4-by-5 can be seen in front of it.
(GANT News File photo)

 

Clearfield County Historical Society    Receives Trophy Elk for Display

CLEARFIELD – The board of directors of the Clearfield County Historical Society have announced that it will receive and permanently display the head and antler rack of the largest poached bull elk in Pennsylvania history.

The display has been made possible through the generous efforts of Clearfield County District Attorney, William A. Shaw Jr., the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which mounted the head and antlers.

On Sept. 15, 2014, Mark Gritzer, a wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, witnessed the poaching of the bull elk, near a reclaimed strip mine in Karthaus. Gritzer had been patrolling the area after previously discovering two, separate illegal killings of bull elk on Sept. 9, 2014. 

While monitoring the area, Gritzer observed multiple bull elks bugling in the field.  Around 9 p.m., Gritzer witnessed an approaching Ford F-150 crew cab. The pick-up stopped, turned on a spotlight and fired a single gunshot from the vehicle killing the trophy elk.

Gritzer immediately activated his emergency lights and conducted a high-risk vehicle stop. Three men were removed from the pick-up and taken into custody. At the time, no weapons were located in the vehicle.

Upon questioning, the outlaws admitted to killing the three bull elk using a 7mm Remington Magnum.  The firearm was tossed from the vehicle when emergency lights were activated by Gritzer. 

A necropsy conducted on each of the animals resulted in the recovery of evidence consistent with a 7mm bullet.  During a search of the area, Gritzer located the firearm used in the killings.   Evidence further established the three poachers were consuming alcohol while poaching the elk. 

When the three suspects came to court, Shaw pursued criminal charges, which had recently been amended in Pennsylvania, for the unlawful killing of big game.

Under the amended law, a violation may result in a misdemeanor conviction and the imposition of a jail sentence, significant fines and a reimbursement fee to the Commonwealth for the cost of replacing the illegally killed animal.

Shaw secured guilty pleas from the poachers, and each culprit was required to serve 30 days in the Clearfield County Jail and to pay more than $10,000 in costs and fees. 

The sentences received in this case are of historical significance. The pleas mark the first time in Pennsylvania history that a jail sentence was imposed for the unlawful killing of an elk.

Prior to changes in the law that enabled Shaw to obtain jail sentences, guilty offenders were subject to a summary violation of the game cade, required to pay a fine and suffer the loss of hunting privileges for a period of time.

After the criminal charges had been resolved, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteered to have the trophy elk mounted, and they took the mount on tour around the country.

Following a year-long venture, the beautiful animal was returned to Clearfield County and donated to Shaw in recognition of his efforts to vigorously pursue game code violations. 

Because of the historic significance of the animal, Shaw felt it appropriate to donate the animal to the county historical society for public display.

The Clearfield County Historical Society is currently renovating a second-floor room, previously used as a museum office, to house the trophy elk.

This remodeling will create the expansive area needed to display the mount, while maintaining the structural integrity of the historic Kerr House, which serves as the society’s museum. 

The dimensions of the mounted elk and antlers are immense. The entire trophy mount is 75 inches high, 61 inches wide and 39 inches in depth.  The shoulders, alone are 22 inches wide. The antler rack has 19 points and has a Boone and Crockett gross score of 460 1/8.

The society intends to have the renovation finished in time, with the elk head on display, for its museum’s opening for public visitation on Sunday, May 7.

The museum is open for both visitation and tours on Sundays and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., beginning the first Sunday in May through the last Sunday in October.

The museum is located at 104 E. Pine St., at the intersection with N. Front Street, Clearfield. Admission is free of charge. Group tours can be arranged by calling 814-378-5748. 

The society warmly welcomes visitors to view all of its historical displays to foster a better understanding of Clearfield County’s rich history.

 

Click images for blow-up photo and greater detail !

VISITOR INFORMATION

The Kerr Museum & The Research Center are ow closed for the Season....

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We will return in May 2020!  

 

We are a 40 member volunteer organization.

WRITE US AT ....

Clearfield County Historical Society

   511 Van Valzah Ave.
   Clearfield, PA 16830

Phone: 814-768-7318 for a brief recording... 

or

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Contact Method

 

COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUMS

1. 'KERR HOUSE' MUSEUM :

 104 E. Pine St,

  Clearfield, PA 16830

(Corner E. Pine & E. Locust Sts.)

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2. 'WILLIAM B. ALEXANDER V' GENELOGICAL RESEARCH CENTER:

  511 Van Valzah Ave.

  Clearfield, PA  16830

      (official business address)

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3. 'Bloody Knox' Cabin MUSEUM:

State Route #453,

Village of Kellytown

Madera, PA 16661

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Courtesy guided group tours of our 'Kerr House' Museum can be arranged year round by calling

814-378-5748.

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Stay current by visiting this web site and our facebook for updated information.

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