History

German Baptists found safe haven in Blooming Grove in 1828

By Don Everett Smith Jr. | January 10, 2022

BALLS MILLS – Nearly 200 years ago a group of Baptist “Brethren” fleeing persecution in Germany purchased a plot of land near what is now the small village of Balls Mills in Lycoming County and the meeting house they built is still there today.  The Blooming Grove Meeting House, which is part of the Blooming…

Etienne Brule: A European’s discovery of Lycoming County

By Don Everett Smith Jr. | December 21, 2021

LYCOMING COUNTY – As the New Year is soon upon Lycoming County, at one time the county was considered the New World. A Frenchman by the name of Etienne Brule is credited as being the first European to visit the area when it was occupied by the Iroquois and Huron tribes.  Who was Etienne Brule…

Freedom From Want: Montgomery is home to Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms posters

By Don Everett Smith Jr. | November 22, 2021

MONTGOMERY – After a recent acquisition that was years in the making, the Montgomery Area Historical Society is now one of only two museums in the country to house the complete collection of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms posters.  The last poster collected is Rockwell’s Freedom From Want poster, which features an elderly woman holding a…

‘Musical prodigy’ pianist Blind Tom’s 1871 Visit to Williamsport

By Don Everett Smith Jr. | November 8, 2021

It was on Nov. 2, 1871, that a unique individual came to Williamsport to play piano at the Academy of Music that was once located at the corner of Pine and Fourth Street (near where Otto Bookstore is today). The 22 year-old musician was described by the West Branch Bulletin as “the greatest musical prodigy…

When Harry Houdini came to Williamsport

By Don Everett Smith Jr. | October 25, 2021

WILLIAMSPORT – It has been 95 years since famed magician and escape artist Harry Houdini died in 1926 on Halloween day. A couple of years before his death Houdini came to Williamsport.  At the time of his death, at age 52, Houdini had been touring the country in an effort to debunk many mediums and…

1894 trolley car returns to Jersey Shore after more than 90 years

By Don Everett Smith Jr. | October 18, 2021

JERSEY SHORE – A long forgotten transportation relic is returning to its home in Jersey Shore after the better part of a century.  According to Tina Cooney, president of the Jersey Shore Historical Society, it was Skip Cochran of River Valley Transit,  who approached her in April during a Historical Organizations of Lycoming County (HOLC)…