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Bradford County Historical Society

Contact Information

109 Pine Street
Towanda, PA 18848

Phone: (570) 265-2240
Fax: (570) 268-2964

Office Hours

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

First Saturday of each month
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

About the Society

The Bradford County Historical Society was organized on May 5, 1870, and was incorporated February 12, 1875. C.L. Ward was the first president, and in ill health at the time of his election, he died ten days after the first meeting. The society continued, held frequent meetings and gathered considerable material relating to early days of Bradford County. This was kept in two cases in the Grand Jury room at the courthouse. Rev. David Craft was assigned the task of preparing a history of the county, which was published in 1878. There was much dissatisfaction with the work and as a result, the society disbanded.


On July 21, 1902, the only surviving ex-president of the organization called a meeting and reorganized the society. In 1903, the county commissioners leased to the society the small brick annex located behind the courthouse. A museum and historical library remained there until 1974, when it was moved to 21 Main Street, Towanda.

In 1996, as a result of significant growth, the board of trustees began to consider adding an addition to the building. Due to the cost involved, a decision was made to look at other buildings in Towanda that might better meet the needs of the society. The old Bradford County Jail, built in 1871, was identified as the best option, and in 1998 the commissioners deeded the property to the society. A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the jail on April 30, 1999. The building was completely renovated for use as a museum and library, though several of the original features of the jail were preserved. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the research library and archives was held on May 19, 2000. Two floors of exhibits were professionally designed. The facility was officially completed, and the grand opening was held on May 9, 2002. Over the years, the Bradford County Historical Society has published many more books in an effort to educate the public about the history of the county.


More information about the Bradford County Historical Society can be found at www.bradfordhistory.com.

Society Services

The Bradford County Historical Society has a collection of local artifacts that has been developed over the past 100 years. The Society is the official repository of county government records including deed books, mortgage books, tax assessment books, naturalization records, etc. The society has an in-house research center and a genealogical library. There are staff and volunteers that are available to assist visitors with their historical and research needs.