School & Group Tours of the Centre Furnace Mansion

CCHS can customize a tour for your group, based on your interests and needs. General tours of the Mansion are led by experienced docents and include an overview of the charcoal iron industry in Centre County, Centre Furnace and its connection to Penn State, a tour of the ironmaster’s furnished Mansion and, weather permitting, a walk to the Furnace stack. Tour emphasis can also focus on the furnishings, architecture, and gardens as well. Tours generally last about 60-90 minutes, depending on your group needs. General admission is free (suggested donation of $4/person.) To schedule a tour please allow at least two weeks notice.

Make your reservation! Call CCHS at 814-234-4779.

For Group Tours please provide:

  • Name of your school or organization
  • Contact person’s name, telephone number and/or email
  • Number of guests in your group
  • Grade or age levels
  • Preferred dates and times for tours (including length of tour, topics of interest)
  • Any special needs

We can accommodate 20 visitors in a group. Upon arrival, please split your group into two subsets of 10 or less people before you start the tour. We request one chaperone for every 10 youth.

Students and chaperones assemble outside of the Centre Furnace Mansion

General Tour Information:

  • Accessibility: The Centre Furnace Mansion is wheelchair-accessible on the ground and first floors. The second floor is only accessible by stairs. Please notify us if any of your guests require special assistance.
  • Guidelines for students: Please stay with your docent, teacher, or chaperone. Remember that your house is a museum – please touch only those things the docents hands to you. Please use inside voices, and raise your and if you have questions.
  • Lunch: On nice days, the Mansion grounds are available for a picnic (or alternately, the Hearth Room for up to 20 visitors). Please let us know if you plan to stay for lunch, so we can plan accordingly.
  • Restrooms: There are two handicapped-accessible restrooms on the ground floor of the Mansion.
  • Teachers’ Resources: Please visit our Educator Resources page for additional activities and information to share with students.
  • Make a Day of It:  There are several other cultural and natural heritage sites, museums, and libraries within 5-25 minutes of the Centre Furnace Mansion.  Visit the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau for other attractions, dining, and lodging facilities in Centre County and the Penn State area.

Directions to the Centre Furnace Mansion:

Centre Furnace Mansion (Centre County Historical Society office) is located at 1001 East College Avenue, at the corner of East College Avenue (Route 26) and Porter Road – on the southeast corner of the Penn State Campus (1 mile from downtown State College, and 1 mile from Beaver Stadium). The Mansion is set back from the road, behind several historic trees.

CATA Bus Service: From Downtown State College/Camps – BLUE LOOP to Parking Lot 43 East stop 282, then walk less than a mile south (free); CATA bus route HM or XB to stop 171 or 160 at Tailgate on College Avenue ($2.20), the Mansion is to the left of/behind Esber’s Rugs. Driving or taxi is recommended.

Find us on Google Maps

From Philadelphia: Take the PA Turnpike I-76W towards Harrisburg. Take the Harrisburg East exit and follow I-283 to I-83. Proceed north on I-83 to the I-81 interchange. Follow I-81W to the Route 322/22W exit. Proceed on Route 322W through Lewistown to State College. Take the Route 26/E. College Avenue exit. Turn left at the traffic light onto E. College Avenue. Travel 1 mile. Just past the Hampton Inn, turn right at the traffic light (Porter Road). Make the first right into Centre Furnace Mansion’s parking lot.

From Pittsburgh: Take Route 22E to I-99N/Route 220N, towards Altoona. Merge onto Route 220N/Route 322 towards State College. Bear right to follow Route 322 E/Mount Nittany Expressway. Take the Route 26/E. College Avenue exit. Turn right at the light at the end of the ramp. Travel 1 mile. Just past the Hampton Inn, turn right at the traffic light (Porter Road). Make the first right into Centre Furnace Mansion’s parking lot.

From New York City: Take I-80 W to PA. In Pennsylvania, take the 220S exit towards Route 322 and Bellefonte. From 220S, take the Penn State Univ. / Visitor’s Center exit. Merge right onto Park Avenue heading west. At the traffic light at Beaver Stadium, turn left on Porter Road. Proceed up the hill to a stop sign. Go straight. Proceed 3/4 of a mile down the hill. Centre Furnace Mansion’s parking lot is the last turn on your left.