Native Americans

The presence and impact of Native Americans in what is today Centre County is a matter of both history and popular imagination. In the millennia before European contact with indigenous Americans, archaeology provides the evidence on which to base an understanding of the culture and history of these peoples. From the sixteenth century onward, historical […]

Militia Companies

Militias played a central role in antebellum Centre County, teaching men military discipline and arms skills to ensure their readiness for war. The volunteer companies also served as fraternal organizations that linked members to the communities. The first militias in the county were in the mode of a centuries-old militia tradition that English settlers had […]

Blue Band

The Penn State Blue Band is the university’s marching band that performs at football games and other major events. The band, which is comprised of more than 300 members, is open to all students at the University Park campus. The Blue Band began as the Cadet Bugle Corps in 1899. First-year student George Herbert Deike, […]

State College Spikes

The State College Spikes is a professional baseball team that has played in Centre County since 2006. The club, formerly the New Jersey Cardinals, was purchased in 2002 by a group that also owned the Double-A Eastern League Altoona Curve. The team moved to State College in 2006, playing in the New York-Penn League, a […]

Penn State Football

Penn State fielded its first organized football team in 1887 — just 11 years after the rules of the sport were established — and the school has had a team ever since. Penn State’s football program has been among the most successful in the country, earning 902 victories through 2020 and winning national championships in […]

Daily Collegian

Since 1887, the perennially youthful journalists of The Daily Collegian and its forebears have recorded the first draft of the history of Penn State and its students. Throughout its history, students have run both the editorial and business sides of the enterprise, aided by a small staff providing management, professional advice and technical support. In […]

St. John Catholic Church

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Bellefonte, established in 1828, is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Centre County. Catholics began settling in the county in the early 1800s. By 1824, the number had grown large enough to warrant a priest from Bedford visiting Bellefonte regularly on mission stops. Mass was said at a […]

Civilian Conservation Corps

The Civilian Conservation Corps was a government jobs program, conceived during the Great Depression, that put thousands of unemployed men to work primarily in state and national parks and forests, including four sites in Centre County. The CCC was one of the New Deal government programs that President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed soon after taking […]