Jefferson County History Center announces a newly acquired two-story facility from the Brookville Borough that will be renovated and used to properly hold and preserve our unique collectibles, archives, and county records. This endeavor will permit us to consolidate all of our historical society collections and archives plus the Jefferson County archives from the multiple locations where they are currently housed (some without climate control) into one all-inclusive facility.
The Jefferson County History Center is a magnet for tourists and a source of pride for residents. The museum, located on Main Street in Brookville’s Historic District, is housed in the Nathan Greene Edelblute building filled with fun and educational exhibits depicting the history of Jefferson County. In addition to the museum, the Historical Society owns and operates the Brady-Craig House and the Margaret Johnson Archives building, which are both used for storage and intake.
The two archive buildings are not practical to visitors. Entry is not suitable nor safe with 19th century large quarried stone steps. Interior space provides insufficient storage capacity and lacks climate control, which is crucial to preserving the collection of more than 60,000 artifacts, pictures, documents, and books. The core of the building consists of steep and narrow staircases, creating difficulties for ample storage and safety.
The new building will provide approximately 6,100 square feet of secure and climate controlled space, more than doubling the capacity of our two existing archive buildings. A laboratory or conservation area will allow adequate preparation for storing items upon intake. The lab will be equipped with computers, scanners, and photo stations along with equipment for cleaning and proper archival storage containers. We will have a larger space to assemble exhibits. Research rooms will provide access to future generations the culture, traditions, and heritage of Jefferson County.
In coordination with master planning for adequate storage, exterior construction will include siding, gutters, and graveling the parking area. Interior renovations such as repairs to the drywall and ceiling, reconstructing walls adding partitions to create rooms and work areas, flooring, improving the staircase, and adding shelving and storage units are critical for proper storage. Carpentry renovations including demolition and clean-up, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, modernizing the restrooms, flooring, improving the staircase, along with installation of new windows and exterior doors are all significant to the safety of visitors and staff along with energy and cost efficiency.
We are the designated Archives for Jefferson County. What does this mean? We hold and protect courthouse records, Tax Records and Land Sale documents (dating back to the 1800s), reports, letters, photographs, maps, artifacts, and so many more items depicting historical attributes defining Jefferson County. Visitors are welcome to come and gather facts, data, evidence, reports, photos, and other sources on topics throughout the county. This could be anything from transcripts from a murder trial in 1901 to what business occupied a specific building in the 1800s. We have class yearbooks as early as 1920 and panoramic group photos of schoolhouse classmates, business employees, and more. We also house special collections for the Jefferson County Courthouse and commissioners, making them available for public use.
Many businesses utilize our archive facilities to store their records, artifacts, and history. The Brookville Area Chamber of Commerce’s board meeting minutes dating back to their beginning are filed with us. Brookville Equipment utilized our facilities to research old newspaper articles, photographs, and documents to create a Coffee Table style book focusing on the history of their business for marketing purposes. An original early 1900s armoire from A.D. Deemer Furniture of Brookville is in our storage. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are on file for anyone interested in researching towns, roads, and businesses in the 19th century. We also have a seemingly endless amount of pictures recording the ever-changing Main Street and evolution of businesses and important people around the county. Newspaper clippings of advertisements, accomplishments, and tragedies are often a favored research topic.
Family history is an important part of establishing Jefferson County. Aside from extensive genealogy, family collections with a connection to Jefferson County are a unique addition to our archives. These items illustrate the way of life in past years. Photo albums represent clothing, style, and family history from the past along with tracing family members putting a face to a name. Photographs often include buildings, antique tools, and experiences of the past. Vintage clothing may include anything from an uncle’s military uniform from WWII or Great-Grandma’s wedding dress from the 1800s. We store the Striver Collection, which is a complete Victorian wardrobe along with several handmade quilts from the 19th century.
Your contribution is important to us!
- preserve, protect, and prepare artifacts in a more efficient environment.
- properly store Jefferson County Courthouse records.
- accommodate visitors with a Community Research Room and access to archives.
- provide community use of grounds including JCHC sponsored events.
- offer internships to college students and learning opportunities to high school students.
- equip first floor with ADA accessibilities.
Special Privileges & Benefits
Business Bronze Patron
- Tour of the new facility
- Invitation to JCHC Events on the Grounds
- Certificate of Appreciation
- 1-Year Business Membership
Business Silver Patron In addition to the above:
- Permanent Acknowledgement (plaque)
- Invitation to the private Gala Reception
Business Gold Patron In addition to the above:
- 2-Year Business Membership
- Special commemorative gift
Business Saint Patron In addition to the above:
- JCHS Lifetime Business Membership
- Special commemorative gift
- Plaque to display at your business