About

The Jefferson County Historical Society

The JCHS was established in 1967 and incorporated in 1971 as a non-profit organization that the Jefferson County Commissioners have certified as the official historical society for the county.

In 2001, the Society began the preservation of the Nathan Greene Edelblute Building and adapted it as the Jefferson County History Center, opening the building on the 200th anniversary of the founding of the county, March 26th, 2004.   2017 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Historical Society.

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JCHC News

JCHC To Receive Award

The Jefferson County History Center will receive the PA Museums’ Special Institutional Achievement Award for the Stones N’ Bones 3-Gallery Exhibit at the upcoming PA Museum’s Annual Conference at Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.  PA Museums is a statewide trade association of museum professionals of both large and small museums. Institutional Awards recognize outstanding projects…

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Today, the JCHS owns and operates the Jefferson County History Center, Brady Craig House, and the Margaret Johnson Archives, all of which are located within Brookville's Historic District. The latter two buildings are used primarily for storage and are not open to the public.

Located on Main Street, the History Center contains 9 galleries and 12 exhibit areas totaling 9,000 square feet of exhibit space, a research library, a gift shop, and staff offices.

The JCHS also opened Scripture Rocks Heritage Park, located on Route 28N near the Hazen exit of Interstate 80, as part of its plan to take history into the community.

Each October, at the Annual Meeting, new officers are elected to our 12-member Board of Directors, and amendments to our by-laws are recommended and voted upon.

The board meets monthly, has well-organized committees, and spends time each January on strategic planning to develop and update its long-range goals and to ensure that the organization is consistently working to improve opportunities to engage people in the county’s history.

2020 Board of Directors

                          Tracy Zents, President                                  Colleen Cooney

                          Larry Anthony, Vice-President                    Doug Davis

                          Eric Armstrong, Secretary                            Dave Gilbert

                          Vickie Storey, Treasurer                                Amy Salsgiver

                          Zachary Ankeny                                              David Taylor

                          Lance Carrier                                                  Chuck Williams

Staff

          Executive Director - Kenneth Burkett          kburkett-jchc@windstream.net

          Administrative Operations - Kat Lyons       klyons-jchc@windstream.net

  PathStone Program

          Genealogy Research  - Jack Neale                research-jchc@windstream.net 

          Collections Assistant - Cynde Morrison       archives-jchc@windstream.net

          JCHC Museum Shop - Faye Williams          (814-849-0077)    

The Jefferson County Historical Society is a registered 501 c3 non-profit and is certified as a charitable organization within Pennsylvania. 

The JCHS develops  an annual operating budget and maintains a lasting endowment as part of the annual strategic plan. Funding for the Scripture Rocks Heritage park is held separately.   

General operating funds for the Society are primarily derived from  from membership dues, donations, funding agreements with the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, and the Jefferson County Commissioners and a variety of grants for project specific exhibits and other endeavors. 

A copy of the most recent tax audit and current financial report is available at any time by contacting the JCHS President or Executive Director. 

 

The quality, expertise, and care that is incorporated into this small organization’s exhibits and projects is exemplified by the recognition in the form of numerous awards received over the years.  

JCHS AWARDS

1980    Award of Merit to Jefferson County Historical & Genealogical Society for:  Mini-Window Exhibits at Brady Craig Jefferson County Historical Museum by Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies

1983    Award of Merit to Jefferson County Historical & Genealogical Society for: Jefferson County Pennsylvania History 1982 (displayed as a mini-window exhibit) by the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies

2007    Honorable Mention:  JCHS and North Fork CH29, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology for: Native American Lifeways in Western Pennsylvania Exhibit by PA Federation of Museums & Historical Organizations

2008    Award of Merit:   JCHS and North Fork CH29, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology for:Native American Lifeways in Western Pennsylvania Exhibit by American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

2008    Initiative Award for Community Involvement:  Presented to Carole A. Briggs by Preservation Pennsylvania 

2009    S.K. Stevens Memorial Award:  JCHS and North Fork CH.29, Society Pennsylvania Archaeology for: Native American Lifeways in Western Pennsylvania Exhibit by PA Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations

2010    Award of Merit to Jefferson County Historical Society for: Living on the Land Exhibit by PA Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations

2011    Award of Merit to Jefferson County Historical Society for the exhibit: Living on the Land Exhibit by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

2011    S.K. Stevens Memorial Award for Living on the Land Exhibit by PA Museums Special Achievement Awards

2015    Award of Merit to Brian Fritz and Kenneth Burkett, Jefferson County Historical Society for: The Scripture Rocks: Why Douglas Stahlman Carved His Legacy in Stone, 2014 by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

2016    Scripture Rocks Heritage Park Grand Opening, Jefferson County Historical Society Dedication by PHMC President and Exec Director of Heinz History Center, and PA Deputy Secretary for Marketing, Tourism and Film, Director of PA Lumber Heritage Region, Senator Scarnati, Representative Dush, Jefferson County Commissioners

2016    Scripture Rocks Heritage Park, Jefferson County History Center was designated as “1 of the Top 10 places to visit in Pennsylvania” by uncoveringpa.com

2017    Institutional Special Achievement Award for Scripture Rocks Heritage Park by Pa Museums

2017    Individual Special Achievement Award to Kenneth Burkett, Executive Director, Jefferson County History Center, for: Scripture Rocks Heritage Park by PA Museums

2017    President’s Cup Award to Jefferson County Historical Society for:Scripture Rocks Heritage Park by the Brookville Area Chamber of Commerce

2017    Award of Merit to Jefferson County Historical Society for:Scripture Rocks Heritage Park by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

2018    S.K. Stevens Memorial Award to Jefferson County History Center for: Scripture Rocks Heritage Park by PA Museums

2018    Community Initiative Award to Jefferson County Historical Society for: Partnering with North Fork Chapter 29, Society Pennsylvania Archaeology: “Archaeology-related outreach, education and volunteerism in our local and regional community”by PA State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission

2018    Jefferson Award for Public Service through Volunteerism  to Carole A. Briggs

2020  Institutional Special Achievement Award for the Stones N' Bones Exhibit by PA Museums

The JCHS collects and preserves artifacts, photographs, documents, books and other items related to the history of this rural county ranging from prehistoric times to the present.

The Society also archives the Jefferson County tax records and makes them available to researchers at our off-site Brady Craig archives. 

Items currently not on display may be researched through the PastPerfect database accessible to the public from any of the JCHC computers.  Upon request, specific items will be transported from our archives location to the History Center for researchers to use.

A fee schedule exists for photographs that will be utilized in any for profit publication or endeavor not affiliated with the JCHC and proper acknowledgement of source is required. 

 

 

 The JCHS publishes and distributes three issues of the our newsletter the Jeffersonian to all members in January, June and September and our annual publication the Jeffersonian Journal in October. 

The Society also offers an an open invitation to aspiring authors to submit an article on some aspect of Jefferson County history, for publication in our annual annual peer-reviewed Jeffersonian Journal.  For more information contact Kat Lyons at klyons-jchc@windstream.net or at 814-849-0077.  The annual submission deadline is August 1st.  Manuscripts however, may be sent at any time.  Please refer to the Journal Submission Guidelines.

The History Center can provide your group or organization with a specialized program at your location on a variety of interesting topics that include archaeology and Native Americans, the Civil War, the Story of Scripture Rocks, Genealogy,  important historical people, interesting historical aspects of the county and our collections. 

We also offer guided museum tours and behind the scenes tours of our exhibits and collections.   

For a complete list of speakers and available programs, contact the History Center at 814-849-0077.   

Please make speaker arrangements at least 4 - 6 weeks in advance.  An appropriate honorarium is expected to the JCHC. 

The Jefferson County History Center and Scripture Rocks Heritage Park welcomes school groups of all ages. 

Please complete the Group Tour Form and contact us at least 14 days in advance for groups of 15 or more in order to discuss your groups needs and visiting options both at the museum and a historical walking tour of downtown Brookville.  

Group Tour Form

Become a Member

Membership in the Jefferson County Historical Society offers an opportunity to meet with others interested in Jefferson County history. Along with the knowledge that you are contributing towards the preservation of our past, your membership includes many benefits.  

Membership
  • Free Admission to the Museum
  • Unlimited use of research facilities
  • Voting privilege at annual membership meeting
  • Subscription to our newsletter, The Jeffersonian
  • Learn even more with the History Center’s annual publication – The Jeffersonian Journal
  • 10% discount with membership card in the History Center Shop
  • Advance tickets to special JCHC events
  • Knowing that you are helping to preserve the history of Jefferson County

JCHS Annual Awards Past Recipients

The JCHS annually recognizes groups or individuals who have significantly furthered the mission of the JCHS through their efforts to preserve and or make available in some unique way the History of Jefferson County.   Anyone is welcome to submit a recommendation for either of the awards by contacting the JCHC and providing a brief summary of the nominee's contribution.

Arthur Altman Award

Presented annually in recognition of a JCHS member who has contributed to preserving Jefferson County History.         

Year        

2019                Ed Frank
2018                Austin Fields
2017                Mary Puskarich
2016                Ron Luckenbill
2015                Betty Elza
2014                Bowdish Volunteers
2013                Judy Brady
2012                Dr. Paul Harvey
2011                Louisa Striver
2010                Wrayanne L. Clapie
2009                Randy Bartley
2008                Joan Matson
2007                William Gilbert
2006                Russell Harriger
2005                Jack & Jean Parker
2004                David Taylor
2003                Jean Harriger
2002                James Sterrett
2001                Katherine Sandt Taylor

 

Kate M. Scott Award  

Presented annually in recognition of any person or group who has contributed to preserving Jefferson County History.

Year                    

2019                George Miller
2018                Colleen Hummel
2017                Summerville Story Project
2016                Humphrey Land Trust (Jim Humphrey)
2015                Rob Keith
2014                Brian Fritz
2013                Dr. Todd Phannesteil
2012                John Hallman
2011                Shirley J. Sharp
2010                Agnes Songer
2009                Jefferson County Commissioners
2008                North Fork Chapter 29
2007                Harry Neuhard
2006                Tom Curry
2005                Ada Redin
2004                Eugene Deible
2003                Bill McCracken
2002                Laura Mae Baker
2001                Patricia Steele