Black History Month Program

On February 27, 2020, the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County presented “Less Known Stories of African Americans in Indiana County.”  The program was a collaborative effort between the Indiana County NAACP and the Blairsville Underground Railroad History Center.  The program began with some brief remarks by Mr. Jonathan Bogert, the Executive Director of the Historical Society, followed by an Address from Dr. Carolyn Princes, the President of the Indiana County NAACP.

The program continued with some comments by Dr. Lori Woods from St. Francis University who presented “Student reflections of the Blairsville Underground Railroad History Center.”  On February 8, 2020 students from St. Francis University visited the Blairsville Underground History Center for an interactive tour.  Following their visit, the students wrote about their experience.  The students found the tour to be very moving, and also an important aspect of our history that more people should learn about and understand.  This understanding of history helps us to improve society today and move in a positive direction.

Denise Jennings-Doyle, President and co-founder of the Blairsville Underground Railroad History Center, introduced two historical figures who visited and told their story of their life in Indiana County.

Anthony Hollingsworth was a 12-year-old freedom seeker from Virginia, was seized by slave hunters on the Simpson Farm, near Homer City.  He was bound to a horse and taken to the Indiana House hotel at Philadelphia and Sixth Streets.  There was a large crowd that gathered to protest his capture and stormed the hotel to free him.  Dr. Robert Mitchell and newspaper editor James Moorhead, ardent abolitionists, intercepted the enraged citizens and persuaded them to allow the courts to decide the young man’s fate.  The following day, Judge Thomas White asked the slave catchers to produce written evidence that slavery existed in Virginia; when they did not, Judge White set Hollingsworth free.  Several young men hoisted Hollingsworth onto their shoulders and paraded him through the streets.

Hollingsworth settled in Stratford, Ontario, where he was employed, according to the 1863 County of Perth Gazetteer, as a “hairdresser and shampooner.”  Hollingsworth never forgot the kindness and support he was shown by the local residents.  He mailed a letter to Dr. Mitchell, who briefly gave Hollingsworth shelter on his property near Diamondville, thanking him and the “good folkes” of Indiana County for their assistance.

Jane Brunson Johnston, was the wife of Lewis Johnston.  Together they were conductors in Blairsville and Allegheny City (North Pittsburgh), PA.   It’s believed they transported freedom seekers between Blairsville and Hollidaysburg.  Freedom seeker Richard Newman was living with the Johnston family on West Campbell Street in Blairsville when his attempted kidnapping occurred on April 1, 1858.  The Johnstons raised six children.  Their son Lewis Johnston, Jr. became the first black Covenanter Presbyterian preacher in Pennsylvania.

The evening concluded with musical selections by Anthony Frazier – singing and providing a history behind “Wade in the Water” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”  Patti Holmes also provided musical selections of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “The Greatest Love of All.”  Audience members were encouraged to join in singing with the performers and the Armory was filled with song.

Coming up in March the Society is hosting two programs.  The first will be an Irish Sing-a-long held on March 20, 2020 from 6-8PM in the Clark House.  If you love traditional Irish sing-a-long songs or find yourself singing classic tunes your grandparents sang for you, then you are going to enjoy the Irish Sing-a-long.  We will play and sing around the piano in the Historic Clark House.  Musical guests Allen Krynicky, Mike Busija, Scott Neuroh, Ken Black, Hazel Johnston, and Bruce Jenkins, will lead you in singing Irish tunes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, as well as classic favorites from the 30s and 40s.  This event is an OPEN FUNDRAISER with no entrance fee or ticket cost, but donations will be gratefully accepted, with all the proceeds from this event going directly toward repairs needed for the Chickering Square Grand piano that was recently donated to the Historical Society.  For more information, or to donate to the Piano Fund, call 724-463-9600.

Our second event will be held on Sunday March 29, 2020 – the 2nd Annual National Vietnam War Veterans Day Program.  Doors will open at 5:30 PM with the program beginning at 6:00 PM.  The event will feature guest speakers, music of the era, and a historical display relating to “The Wall That Heals.”  Commemorative pins will be awarded to Vietnam Veterans by Christina Lonigro.  Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will follow the program.  For more information and reservations please call 724-463-9600.  This event is sponsored by: The American Legion Auxiliary Post 141, the VFW Post 1989, the American Legion Post 141, and the Indiana County Historical Society.

Finally join us on Saturday April 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm in the Armory for our 3rd Annual Spring Swing.  Dress to the nines and put on your dancing shoes, it’s time to Swing!  Don’t know how? No problem! Lessons begin at 7:00pm, the dance will follow at 7:30pm.  Maybe this year we’ll try a little West Coast swing to spice things up a bit.  Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and are available at the HGSIC or through Crisp Entertainment. Call 724-463-9600 for more information.

Spring Swing Two

Saturday April 6 was the perfect night for a dance, a fifties swing dance that is. Attendees arrived to the society dressed in their best: poodle skirts and saddle shoes. Dance lessons started at 7, for those of us who needed to learn how to swing dance, and for those who needed a refresher course. We learned the basic steps to swing dance.

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Then the night of dancing, listening to those of time tunes, and socializing began. Everyone had a wonderful time. Everyone was on the dance floor dancing everything from the swing, the polka, to the Twist. One of the lessons learned was that it didn’t matter how well one could dance, but so long as we were having fun we were doing something right.

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Special thanks to Crisp Entertainment for providing lessons, the music, and a photo booth to help all those who came out document their evening. Another huge thank you to our sponsors: The American Legion Post 141, Indiana First Bank, Holiday Beverage, and Colonial Motor Mart. And of course the evening wouldn’t have been a success without all those who attended. We hope everyone had a wonderful time and look forward to seeing everyone again at the next Spring Swing!

Welcome 2019!!

Happy New Year!! Just last week we rang in 2019, and this new year is looking to be very exciting for the Indiana County Historical Society. The first event we have coming up in the new year is our second annual trivia night. If you or someone you know is a history buff and you think you can answer any question about Indiana County’s past then you should join us on Friday, February 15, 2019 from 6pm to 8pm to test your knowledge. Tickets are $15 and will be available in advance starting on January 15, 2019. Prizes will be awarded to the most knowledgeable players. Please call the Society at 724-463-9600 for more information and to purchase tickets. We hope you can join us for this wonderful event; rumor has it that this makes for a wonderful Valentine’s Day outing for couples.

We also have some exciting news regarding our blog. Over the next months we will be introducing our Board of Directors; these introductions will give you a chance to get to know those in charge at the Historical Society.  Stay tuned for further events at the Society so you can be involved in all the exciting events that are about to occur over the next year.  We hope you come and visit us this year, whether that is to see the exhibits in the museum, do some family research, or just some research regarding Indiana County.

A programming note for 2019 is our annual closings:

April: Closed Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th

May: The Society will be open from 10 am to 12 pm on Memorial Day

July: Closed Thursday July 4th

November: Closed Thursday the 26th through Saturday the 30th, reopen December 3rd

December: Closed Saturday the 21st through Monday the 31st, reopen January 2nd

Annual Christmas Open House

Last week was a busy week at the Historical Society as the holiday season is in full swing.  On Wednesday afternoon the public was invited to join the Historical Society to view recent interviews of long-time residents of Indiana County conducted by students from IUP’s history department. It was a great afternoon as we got to experience what life was like during the first half of the 20th Century through individual stories.  These stories ranged from life in the coal towns, to time at the University, and military service. We would like to thank everyone who came out and shared the afternoon with us along with the students from IUP’s History Department who completed the interviews, and of course the residents of Indiana County who shared their memories.

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IUP Community Choir

Then on Friday evening the Historical Society welcomed the community to celebrate the Christmas Season.  The weather was perfect, as the rain held off for most of the evening. The community came together to tour the festively decorated Clark House while enjoying holiday refreshments and to tour the museum. There were even gifts in the gift shop for people to do some holiday shopping for family and friends.  Our guests enjoyed holiday music provided by the IUP Community Choir, afterwards guests made their way to the Clark House for a holiday sing along around the piano in the parlor. If you were lucky you got to have a conversation with some historical figures, including Harry and Anna White who were in the Clark House. Thanks to all who came out to celebrate the season with us and to the Evergreen Garden Club for decorating the Clark House for the holiday season.

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Harry and Anna White

As a reminder the Historical Society will be closed from December 22, 2018 through January 1, 2019. We will reopen on January 2, 2019. We are excited to see what the new year holds in store, stay tuned for future events such as programs and fundraisers, or just come in to visit the museum or do some family research in our library. Whatever the reason for your visit we can’t wait to see you at the Society. We wish everyone a happy holiday season and a happy new year.

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Clark House

Historical Society Sock Hop

The Old Armory building was transformed back to the 1950s recently for a night of dancing. On October 12, 2018, guests to the Indiana County Historical Society were transported back to the 1950s for a Sock Hop. Special thanks to Crisp Entertainment for providing the music and giving swing dance lessons to all the dancers on the dance floor. A question many people may have is: what are Sock Hops? So, this week’s blog goes on to discuss the dance popular in the 1950s and the culture during the 1950s. School dances were popular during the 1950s, and those dances were held in the school gymnasium, and in order to protect the floor, story goes, that teenagers often danced in their socks, henceforth the name “sock hop.” Young people would flock to these dances either with a date or as a group, which was a major change in society. 

FASHION 

Fashion in the 1950s was much different than it is today, girls often suited up in sweaters and swirling circle skirts, the best remembered is the poodle skirt. The first poodle skirt was made in 1947, and quickly became a must-have item. The garment was specifically marketed for teens. . Guys would commonly wear sport jeans and T-shirts, although looks varied across social roles ranging from “preppies” to “greasers.” Along with the poodle skirt were saddle shoes, these shoes were black and white shoes that looked like saddles and were worn by both men and women. Some famous saddle shoes in popular culture were Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock and Lucy van Pelt from the Peanuts comic strip also wears saddle shoes. 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Music during the 1950s was a defining characteristic of the time; rock-and-roll had surged into mainstream music, and many young people were obsessed with the new sounds. This music included socks like Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” and Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock.” This embrace of a “new” style of music lead to “American Bandstand” hosted by Dick Clark with nationwide broadcast beginning in 1957. 

New styles of dancing also occurred during this time including the hand jive, the stroll, and the box-step, but none captured the younger generation like the Twist. Although it came late in the game originating in 1959 in a Hank Ballard song, it did not fully come into the spotlight until 1960 when 17-year-old Chubby Checker released a recording of the infamous song. The song and dance were so popular that it was followed up with “Let’s Twist Again.” 

The 1950s were a time of change in American Society not just with music and dance but also in culture. Teenagers parents were concerned, especially with the dance moves; Elvis Presley’s dancing was considered “dirty” and “too sexy” for television. But the teenagers of the day accepted it and the culture of the 1950s become a part of society. 

Historic Church Tour Summary

On Saturday August 18, 2018, a group of us met at the Historical Society parking lot and made our way south of Indiana to visit two historic churches in Indiana County. The two churches have what can be described as a friendly feud: which church is the oldest? Bethel or Ebenezer? At each church the group had a church representative to give a tour of their church and grounds along with a the history about the grounds, the building, and even the cemeteries.

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The oldest recorded history of Bethel Presbyterian Church began on April 15, 1788 with a barn owned by Major James McCombs, where the first church services were held. In 1797, a log cabin was built on the church grounds and used as the church for many years, until a frame structure was built in 1842. The present building was built and dedicated on August 29, 1886 for a cost of $3,000. There were no more major renovations to the building until 1957 when a basement was installed for a cost of $12,000. Another major renovation came in May of 1993 with the dedication and addition of the Educational Wing for a total cost of $145,000.

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Bethel Presbyterian Church Sanctuary

There is some sadness in the church’s history when the minutes of the church were destroyed by fire, not once but twice: in 1933 and again in 1935. Unfortunately, in 2005, the records were lost once again due to a burglary of the church. During the burglary, three suspects stole the office safe which contained records of members and their baptisms, weddings, and funerals. The safe was found later in a farm pond, but all the records were burned including the session minutes that dated from August 18, 1935 through the time of the burglary. Thankfully, a member of the church was able to complete some of the record restoration.

Ebenezer Presbyterian Church is an impressive two-story brick building, with the main sanctuary located on the second floor of the structure, originally only accessible by a set of stairs in the back of the building. Interestingly enough before the current structure was built, the former structure was turned the opposite way, with the front door facing toward the hillside, and every Sunday it was one person’s job to stand guard to watch for Indian attacks. The structure has remained the same with a few modifications over the years. One of the major modifications was the removal of the pews on the first floor (yes this church had two sanctuaries) the reason being it was easier to only heat the first floor during the winter months. The impressive sanctuary boasts the original gas lights, although modernized for electricity; along with the original wooden pews. Ebenezer has a unique feel inside with the large stained-glass windows along with the high ceiling; walking inside takes one back to a simpler time.

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Ebenezer Presbyterian Church Sanctuary and lights

Buried in the Ebenezer Church is John Montgomery, for whom Montgomery Township, Indiana County is named. Mr. Montgomery was born in 1759 in the County of Antrim Ireland and came to America in 1774. He enlisted in the Army in 1776 and was attached to the life guard of General George Washington in which he served until the end of the war. John Montgomery died at the age of 81 on November 11, 1840. In his will he left $75 to the Ebenezer Sabbath School for a library. At one time the Federal government offered to move Montgomery’s remains to Arlington National Cemetery, but the residents of the town refused their offer, wishing John Montgomery to stay at Ebenezer.

We thank everyone who attended the tour and remind you to watch the Society’s newsletter and social media for upcoming events.

Frances Strong Helman: The Society’s Founder

It started in 1928, when Frances Strong Helman traced her ancestry to Indiana County pioneer John Lydick. Ten years later, in 1938, in her living room, Helman and five others founded the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County. She loved finding and telling stories – ranging from genealogical to historical to folklore – and she gave generously of her time and talent to the Society’s needs.

The Indiana Evening Gazette reported on April 1, 1939 that the Society had been formed with twenty-six members. The request to move their materials to the Indiana Free Library had been granted. The holdings by the Society included: fourteen books, pamphlets, and tombstone inscriptions from local cemeteries.

By 1940, members reached one hundred thirty-four members and the Society was officially incorporated. The Society was invited to Wilson Hall, on the IUP campus, by Dr. Leroy King, where they shared a room on the first floor and the newspaper files were stored in the basement.

Fast forward a decade to the winter of 1951, when the Society moved into the Clark House, known at the time as Memorial Hall. The story behind the move from Wilson Hall to the Clark House is an interesting one. AS it was the winter, the books from the library were piled onto a sled and then pulled to a parking lot and loaded into a car. This process was repeated once they arrived to the Clark House. At the time, the library collection did not fill the bookshelves in the study of Justice Silas M. Clark. As time went on, the name of the home changed to the History House and then to the Clark House; along with the name change the library also grew, holding over two thousand surname files by the 1960s.

Mrs. Helman was instrumental in the growth of the Society. She used her storytelling ability to add to the library. This began between 1939 and 1941, when she wrote several articles for The Indiana Countian along with serving as genealogical editor. From 1948-66, she published Your Family Tree, which was a quarterly genealogical magazine. Mrs. Helman also traveled across the country doing research and as a professional genealogist. She was a member of the National Genealogical Society as well as serving as the president of the Pennsylvania Historical and Genealogical Association.

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There were many articles written about the history of Indiana County, many of which were published but many more that were typed and deposited to the collection in the library. In 1953, Indiana County celebrated its sesquicentennial and Helman wrote a noteworthy article, “History of Indiana County.”

The Society was one of her main activities; she served five terms as president and became an honorary life member in 1955, but she also was active in many other historical activities as well. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and held office in that organization, and she helped organize and held office in the James Letort Chapter, Daughters of the American Colonists (DAC) and the Ann Letort Chapter, Children of the American Colonists. As general chairman of a five-county committee, she helped plan the 1956 bicentennial of the Armstrong Expedition and the Armstrong Kittanning Trail Society. She also helped organize the Indiana County Tourist Bureau.

On January 1, 1976, Frances Helman was officially honored by the County Commissioners by naming her Indiana County Historian. Also that year the Society did its first reprint, it was of the 1880 History of Indiana County by Caldwell. A reprint of the 1871 Beers Atlas of Indiana County and then a publication came with Clarence Stephenson’s Indiana County – 175th Anniversary History.

Mrs. Helman loved folklore, sometimes to the point of embellishment. Sometimes these embellishments, like those oral stories passed from generation to generation, came to life; however, these embellishments made the truth more difficult to decipher.

Mrs. Helman passed away in 1980, but she did not forget the Society, as she donated her entire collection of historical and genealogical material. In 1982, Attorney and Mrs. Don Miller donated their extensive collection. These materials were combined with the materials already in the Society’s collections, formed the foundation of the current library.

The library outgrew the Clark House. The Society bought the Armory Building and began renovations, and by the early 2000s it was time once again for the Society to move. Thankfully this time, the material only had to move across the parking lot, but it was still a major undertaking. Shelving units, hundreds of volumes, dozens of filing cabinets full of surname and subject folders, and the Helman Collection were rolled across the parking on flat carts and dollies.

Thanks to her love of genealogy, and hard work, the Society has the library and resources to serve the people researching the history of their family who trace their roots to Indiana County, PA. In honor of this marvelous lady the library is known as the FRances Strong Helman Library. We hope to see you at the library to do your research…who knows what neat and interesting stories you may discover.

“The clues you need are somewhere, just waiting to be found.”

The Pioneer Log House

People are fascinated by the way of life from days gone by, and museums love to show how people lived during different periods of time. It has been nearly thirty-five years ago since an old log house graced the landscape at the historical society. It was an extensive project to undertake for the society and played a significant role in the history and growth of the Society during the early years.

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It was reported in the Society’s April 1961 newsletter that, “Our biggest project in many a year, the reconstruction of a Pioneer Log House as part of our forthcoming Museum, is under construction and the walls are rising fast. The project developed rather rapidly after the public sale of the former Rankin home in Shelocta several weeks ago. After numerous meetings and a unanimous vote to go ahead with the project at the April meeting, the Executive Committee contracted with the new owner of the house, Mr. Walter Roof of Clymer, to have it torn down, moved to Indiana, and re-erected as a permanent memorial to our pioneer forefathers and their way of life. This part of our heritage will attract visitors from far away in the years ahead. We hope you realize the scope of this project and the financial risks involved.”

Originally standing near the bridge on Route 156 near Crooked Creek had long been a landmark of Shelocta.  It had once been the home of Abner Kelly, son of pioneer James Kelly. It is believed the structure dated back to 1883; that is the year Kelly purchased the land on which it stood from Benjamin Walker. Amazingly the logs remained in excellent condition, mainly because at some earlier point, the structure was covered over with siding. Indiana County Commissioners at the time, Frank Barkley, J.W. Everett, and Dee Miller, granted permission to reconstruct the building on county property – the Wayne Avenue side of Memorial Hall north of the National Guard Armory – what is now the parking lot of the Historical Society.

The log house was a two-story, four room house that measured 18 by 32 feet. On the ground floor were the kitchen and living room, each with a fireplace. When it was rebuilt, it was done so as nearly as possible to its original state; although, the upstairs was left without a center wall to provide a larger space in order to accommodate group meetings. The final cost of restoration came to $2,250. The Executive Committee knew they did not have sufficient funds in the treasury to finance this endeavor. A letter was sent to members following the April meeting, about $1,000 had already been collected toward the goal by the end of May.

The timing of this project corresponded with the opening of the Historical Society Museum that summer. Society members were already hard at work preparing two large rooms that would house museum displays, a periodical and newspaper reading room, and a storage area – all housed in the basement of Memorial Hall (the Clark House). The log house was going to serve as an adjunct to the Museum. People around the county were prompted to contribute pieces of antique furniture to help furnish the house.

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An informal open house was held October 12, 1961, at which time the public was invited to view the various museum displays as well as the pioneer log house. The log house was furnished with articles typical of the early 1800s: a crane, tongs and andirons for the kitchen fireplace; a drop-leaf table; a hutch table and chairs and iron-stone china. The hope with this was that county residents would donate items of historical value to the area. Our collections today indicate that the county residents did just that.

The Pioneer Log House served to educate students, and adults, about how their ancestors lived in the 1800s, for over fifteen years. A report of the Society’s activities for 1966 noted a count of 786 persons visiting the log house. Sadly, the structure began to deteriorate through the years and it was eventually deemed unsafe. In April of 1979, the director of the county parks supervised its removal. The logs were stored at one of the county park sites until some determination of their disposition could be made.

2017 Society Summary

It is time once again for us to ring in a new year, and what a year it has been for the Indiana County Historical Society. We have done so much this past year and we take this time to reflect on what we have accomplished. We held a number of programs and workshops that we hope to continue in 2018, so be on the lookout for dates of those events. This year was a year of fundraisers and cooperation with many different organizations in the area.

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The Historical Society once again worked with the Indiana Art Association, sponsoring the Open Arts Show, that is exhibited at the Society from November to early January. We have also worked closely with IUP to bring interns to our Museum. Internships help students learn about how a museum operates and it also enables the Society to use young talent to expand our outreach. Thanks to the Evergreen Garden Club, the Silas Clark House is always beautifully decorated for the Christmas season. Along with decorating the Clark House at Christmas time the club also creates and maintains the garden at the point of South Sixth Street and Wayne Avenue during the Spring/Summer season.

This past year also bring with it new partnerships, including one with the Young Professional Organization (YPO). The YPO is a subgroup of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce comprised of individuals from 18-40 years old with the purpose of promoting networking between local businesses. This past October they sponsored the Haunted School Spirits program that brought approximately 75 people into the museum, along with funds paid by attendees. Also, this past September/October the Society worked with the Paranormal Society of IUP who investigated the Museum, Clark House and grounds for possible spirit entities that may still be roaming the buildings. The activities ended with a reveal of the investigations.

In addition to these big events, the Society also works with the Rainbow Diamond Glass Club, the Horace Mann Elementary School, and showcasing exhibits at the annual Air Show at the Jimmy Stewart Airport. Further, Board members and volunteers have given presentations at the Indiana Free Library and the Blairsville Historical Society. It is important for organizations to work together to expand our horizons; if you know of an organization that would like to work with the Historical Society please contact us at ichistoricalsociety@gmail.com or by phone at 724-463-9600.

A few closing notes about our 2018; we have many fun programs, events, and fundraisers planned so stay tuned to our various social media accounts, or consider becoming a member to learn about member exclusive events. Also, we have the following closings for 2018: March 30-31; July 3-4; November 20-24; and December 22-31.

We want to wish all our readers, followers, and members a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year. We hope to see you at the museum in 2018, either to visit the museum, attend one of our programs, fundraisers, or other events, or to volunteer. We will be closed until January 2, 2018 to give all our staff and volunteers a much-needed vacation.

A Victorian Christmas

Christmas is a festive time of year, here in Indiana we have It’s a Wonderful Life Christmas celebration which kicked off last month on November 17 with a parade, and there are festivities happening all month long.  Coming up on December 8, 2017 at 6:00 is the Historical Society’s Annual Christmas Open House, which the Clark House has been beautifully decorated by the Evergreen Garden Club. Refreshments will be served in the Clark House and at 7:00pm and 7:30pm there will be music played by two local groups in the Armory. This is a great chance to get into the holiday spirit.

The Clark House was built in 1869-1870, and that started a thought: What would have Christmas been like for the Clark family as they lived in the house? Technology was not advanced like it is today, there was not electric Christmas lights nor was there instant Christmas carols over the internet. A Victorian Era Christmas would have been much different than we experience it today.  One of the staple decorations in most people’s homes this time of year is the Christmas tree, although many of us have artificial trees, in the late 1800s these trees would have been real trees filling the home with the evergreen smell. Not only were the trees real, but they were elaborated decorated , this included fruit, garland, pine cones, and candles.

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Clark House Christmas 2016

Many people pride themselves with their Christmas decorating, from elaborate outside light displays and unique indoor decorating; however in the Victorian Era, decorating was much more simple. People of all economic groups decorated for Christmas, but those decorations were limited to garland and foliage. This would include the trimmings of pine trees and mistletoe.

And finally what is Christmas without Santa…the jolly old elf from Clemment Moore’s poem “The Night Before Christmas.”  Santa has been a popular figure of Christmas, having different means for people all over the world; most countries and cultures have there own version of Santa. The Dutch have St. Nick, England Father Christmas, and the Germans have Kris Kringle.

The Historical Society has in its collection many vintage toys from bygone years along with beautiful displays featuring the history of Christmas in Indiana County. Be sure to stop by the museum, visit the Clark House and be transported back to a simpler time. We would like to thank the Evergreen Garden Club for their decorating of the Clark House, and for all the volunteers and staff members that make our Christmas Open House possible.  We hope to see you December 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm, and we wish everyone a joyous holiday season.