Exhibits

We make history fun for all ages!

The Jefferson County History Center showcases many unique exhibits depicting the history of Jefferson County and the surrounding areas. The main exhibits are reconstructed to provide a new experience with each visit. A variety of smaller exhibits that are completely replaced to display new historical pieces and themes. Not only do we invite you to come explore Jefferson County of yesterday, we also want to point out the unique history of some of your own personal interests. In fact, you may find more in common than expected. We have model trains, first four-wheel drive vehicle, first international flight, early technology, dinosaurs, military and medical, and much more. We make history fun for all ages!

Adda Edelblute Pearsall Parlor

Adda Edelblute Pearsall Parlor

Take a step back in time to the JCHC’s recreation of a Victorian Parlor decorated with original artifacts, musical instruments, and original portraits and paintings dating from 1860 to 1910. The parlor is adorned with the original wallpaper and fireplace.

Art Exhibit by Martin Stephan

Art Exhibit by Martin Stephan

A new art exhibit located on the 2nd floor Grande Hall: Unique, eclectic creations by local artist, Martin Stephan, will have you in awe! Martin has mastered the skill of using natural materials to construct his masterpieces including cherry pits, pinecones, toothpicks, and blue jeans. The subjects range from nature and animals to human portraits and historic events such as 9/11. We encourage you to visit the museum and see for yourself, they will blow your mind!

Artifact of the Month

Artifact of the Month

A new exhibit located on the 2nd floor Grande Hall: JCHC staff will pick an artifact or photograph each month with an interesting historical tie to Jefferson County.

June Artifact:  Brookville Laurel Festival

In 1936, a new festival took over Brookville in increase appreciation for the Mountain Laurel. Stop in and see photos, programs, and souvenirs.
 

Bowdish Model Railroad

Bowdish Model Railroad

One of our more popular exhibits, located on the 2nd floor: A miniature railroad and village animations display portraying buildings and attractions throughout Jefferson County. Between 1919 and 1955, thousands visited Brookville to see a Christmas train display at the home of Charles Bowdish. He then moved his work to the Buhl Planetarium in Pittsburgh (Carnegie Science Center) where the exhibit remains today. We are fortunate to have many of Bowdish’s original pieces viewable year-round at the history center. The entire scene operates on the last Saturday of every month with volunteers nearby to answer any questions.

More…

David L. Leach Rhododendron Garden

David L. Leach Rhododendron Garden

The garden was constructed in 2012 and is located at the rear entrance of the history center. Dr. David L. Leach, a resident of Brookville, was an eminent horticulturalist and a world authority on Rhododendrons; known for his development of over 85 varieties of hardy hybrids for the gardening public. 

Dr. Leach’s son, Brian, along with JCHC staff and volunteers brainstormed the idea of a Rhododendron Garden Exhibit memorializing his father’s passion with plants from the original specialty hybrids. The garden is best viewed in May and June when the plants are in full bloom.

KidSpace Gallery

KidSpace Gallery

A new interactive exhibit located on the 2nd floor: Our “Toys to Tech” exhibit was such a hit, we’ve revamped it into a fun hands-on playcenter encouraging our young visitors to experience the coolest old tech of its day. The KidSpace Gallery has everything from View-Masters, rotary phone, 1940s typewriter, victrola, and more. Popular toys from the early 1900s to today include Lincoln Logs and Legos. You’ll have to try out the Whistle Pig Exploratory Coal Mine and Selfie Station with a live video feed!

Living on the Land

Living on the Land

On the first floor, Living on the Land includes eight exhibit sections and four replicated “rooms” that feature a variety of important artifacts, implements and modes of transportation to tell the varied and evolving stories of our ancestors and how they lived, worked, and played. We invite you to step back in time to explore how people in Jefferson County have used this land since the arrival of the earliest Native American inhabitants. Additional exhibits include First People: Native American Lifeways, The Settlers’ Lot, Clear-cuts & Conservation, Working the Fields, The Doctor’s Bag, Buried Treasure, Business & Industry, and Into the Woods.

Maps of Jefferson County

Maps of Jefferson County Exhibit

Located on the landing of the Main Hallway of the first floor. This exhibit showcases maps of Jefferson County from the 1800s including a bird’s eye view of Brookville, townships within county lines, depiction of old and new boroughs of Brookville, and early settlement of Port Barnett. The exhibit also contains original clock hands from the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Stones and Bones

Stones and Bones

An exhibit expanding across two rooms located on the 2nd floor: Geology, Paleontology, and the Ice Age of Western Pennsylvania. In other words, see a life-sized Wooly Mammoth skull with tusks, prehistoric footprints, fossils, Mastodon tooth, dimetrodon skeleton, and so much more!

Twyford: First Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle

Twyford: First Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle

In 1904, a car that could handle snow, mud, and hills was designed and built right here in Brookville, PA at the Twyford Motor Company. The one-seated roadster cost about $1,000, which could not compete with Henry Ford’s Model T at $250. With a lack of buyers, Twyford went out of business after assembling only five or six roadsters.

Read more about the Twyford on the PA Great Outdoors’ Blog.

Wagon

Brookville Wagon

Located on the first floor, adjacent to the Living on the Land exhibit. The Brookville Manufacturing Company produced farm wagons and other items from 1892 until 1918. This wagon was generously donated to the Jefferson County History Center in 2017 in fantastic condition with original wheels and factory paint.

More…

Please help us show appreciation to our major sponsorships:

Consider making a donation to our Archive Building Project: