Bradford County Historical Society

Nineteenth century jail converted into county museum. Specs O’Keefe of the 1950 Brinks robbery was incarcerated here. Exhibits in original jail cells featuring Civil War, Native Americans, log cabin, rural life, jail dungeon cell, and much more. Genealogical research center.

The Bradford County Historical Society is one of the oldest county historical societies in the state. A foster child of The first museum, located behind the Court House, Towanda.the Bradford County Medical Society, the Bradford County Historical Society was organized on May 5, 1870, and incorporated on February 12, 1875. A singular donation of ten dollars constituted a life membership, with an exemption to the holder from further dues. Otherwise, an annual contribution of one dollar from members was required.
In 1998, the Bradford County Commissioners voted to deed the former county jail on Pine Street in Towanda to the Bradford County Historical Society to be renovated and used as the new home of the society museum and research library. In 2000, the research library phase of the “Jail Project” was completed. The remaining exhibit construction was completed in May 2002, when the entire facility became available for public use.

The jail was built starting in 1871, and served the county 118 years. In 1991, after the jail was determined to be in a rapidly deteriorating state, the County decided that a new larger and modern jail would be built in the county. The Bradford County Commissioners transferred the property to the Bradford County Historical Society in 1998. Today, the museum features two floors of museum exhibits, which are creatively arranged in what were the cellblocks. The third floor features a genealogical and historical research library that houses a variety of resources for researchers.

The Research Center and Genealogical Library is located on the third floor of the Bradford County Historical Society. It’s purpose is to acquire and permanently preserve valuable public and private records that establish, maintain and develop the identity of Bradford County and to make archives available to the public for personal research.

Museum hours:
MEMORIAL DAY THROUGH LABOR DAY, Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
MEMORIAL DAY THROUGH LABOR DAY, First Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Closed SEPTEMBER through MAY except by appointment.
Closed on all Federal Holidays
Additional hours for groups and school classes by appointment.

Library hours:
YEAR AROUND, Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
YEAR AROUND, First Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Closed on all Federal Holidays

The old jail The genealogical library

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