Harmony Forge, built in 1795 near Milesburg, was one of the first iron forges to operate in what would become Centre County. It flourished as a diversified ironworks but closed in the early 20th century. A mansion built on the site is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Frederick Watts served as founding president of the Board of Trustees of the Farmers’ High School / Agricultural College of Pennsylvania from 1855 to 1874. He played an integral role in establishing the college in Centre County and securing its federal and state land-grant designation.
The First Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte was one of the oldest churches in Centre County until it closed in 2021. Its members included many of the early founders of Bellefonte and Centre County, including James Dunlop, Robert Boggs, James Harris, Jonathan Walker, Andrew Curtin, Henry McAllister, and James Beaver.
When slavery is mentioned in the history of Centre County, it is usually in the context of abolitionism and the Underground Railroad in the decades before the Civil War. However, the county also has its own local history of slavery and slave ownership.
Lemont is a historic village in College Township nestled at the base of Nittany Mountain. Traditionally known as “The End of the Mountain,” it slowly grew as a settlement in the early 1800s as an important crossroads connecting the Nittany and Penns valleys.
Brockerhoff Mill is a historic grist mill in Benner Township and one of only two brick mill buildings still standing in Centre County. Daniel Turner developed the area around the mill on the west side of Spring Creek near Bellefonte in the 1790s, building a forge, sawmill, and gristmill. However, by 1801 the enterprise had […]
The Egg Hill Church in Potter Township was one of the first Evangelical churches in Penns Valley and is considered an outstanding example of the early country churches built in Centre County. The church building, located on an isolated hilltop on Short Mountain, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Daniel Hartman Hastings, a longtime resident of Bellefonte, was the governor of Pennsylvania from 1895 to 1899. He gained public notice with his leadership in the aftermath of the catastrophic Johnstown flood of 1889. During his term as governor, the commonwealth’s government underwent significant change. Hastings was born in Clinton County on February 26, 1849. […]
The presence and impact of Native Americans in what is today Centre County is a matter of both history and popular imagination. Evidence indicates that the region between the West Branch of the Susquehanna and the Juniata Rivers was primarily an area of hunting and transit for Native Americans.
Mount Nittany is probably Centre County’s most famous geographical feature. Thanks to the Penn State football team, which plays in the “vale of old Mt. Nittany,” fans across the country are familiar with the name and image of the iconic ridge that rises above the Penn State campus and State College. As a result, Mount […]