Explore Centre County’s History & Culture

Welcome to the Centre County Encyclopedia of History & Culture, an online resource sponsored by the Centre County Historical Society.

Currently, we are featuring articles about the Centre Furnace Mansion and the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania. The mansion, which recently underwent a major exterior renovation, was the meeting place for the founding of the school that became Penn State. The impetus for the Farmers' High School came from the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society, founded in 1851 to promote the economic, political, and social interests of the state’s vast farming community.

We welcome your feedback about all the articles in the encyclopedia as well as your suggestions for future encyclopedia articles.

Featured Articles

Centre Furnace Mansion

Centre Furnace Mansion

The Centre Furnace Mansion, originally the home of the furnace’s ironmaster, was the meeting place for the founding of the institution that became Penn State. The mansion on East College Avenue is now a historic house museum and the headquarters of the Centre County Historical Society.

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College Building

Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania

Chartered by the Commonwealth in 1855, the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania by the early 1860s had become the first successful agricultural college in America. The impetus for the school that became Penn State came from the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society founded to promote the state’s vast farming community.

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Alpha Fire Company

The Alpha Fire Company is the volunteer company that serves State College, Penn State, and the surrounding townships. The company was founded in 1899 as the Union Fire Company. A year later, the name was changed to Alpha Fire Company.

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Municipalities

Centre County is comprised of twenty-five townships and ten boroughs that provide local government for residents. The number of boroughs and townships has grown and changed since the county’s founding in 1801.

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Peter Meek

Peter Gray Meek was the controversial editor of the Democratic Watchman for more than fifty years. He was widely known for his editorials opposing the Civil War, which led to his arrest several times.

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Phil Hallock

Philip Fischler Hallock was a professor at Penn State whose design of residential and commercial projects contributed to the growth of modern architecture in Centre County in the middle of the twentieth century.

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