Halloween at the Museum

The Forest County Historical Society once again held Trick or Treat at the museum on October 31, 2021.  Seven Board members or friends chose to honor a character from Forest County History by portraying the character as they passed out their treats.  We served at least 120 children most with parents coming through the museum as well.  

Janet Fennell welcomed people to the porch as Ronald McDonald who was an undertaker in Marienville.  Next children and adults met Julia Silzle Wilson portrayed by Becky Pillsbury.  Julia was Becky’s grandmother who although served porridgeto her nine children most of the week, she always made Sunday dinner special.  Martha Brown Sigworth was an artist in Tionesta, and many of her paintings are on display at the museum.  She was portrayed by Nancy Sweda, retired art teacher from Forest Area School District and now of Full Circle Farm and Artisan Center.  Next children were introduced to Daniel W. Clark, Civil War Quartermaster, portrayed by Rodney Daum standing beside the actual Civil War desk of Lt. Clark and the display of the 160th anniversary of the Civil War.  After that they encountered Mrs. Mary O’Toole, beloved English teacher at West Forest portrayed by Mary Alyce Knauff.  Moving to the outside they found Jim Knauff portraying Fred Caligiuri, who was from West Hickory and played professional baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics.  When he passed away in 2018, he was the oldest living professional baseball player.  Finally, the tour was topped off with J.C. Scowden, who owned and ran a carriage factory in the building now owned by Greathouse Autobody.  Scowden was portrayed by Ashley Sweda, also of Full Circle Farm and Artisan Center and he had an authentic carriage made at the Scowden factory with him.  

The Forest County Historical Society has a mission to be the collection, preservation and interpretation of all materials pertaining to the history of Forest County Pa. We engage people through exhibits, a library of relevant information, hosting events and publishing documents to interact with and educate the community we serve.  We have set education as a priority, and we try to educate as much as we can about Forest County and its people.  If you would like to become a member of the Historical Society, please visit us at www.forestcountypahistory.org.  We are closed now for the season except for special events but will reopen next June.  See you then.  

Suffragette Celebration

The Forest County Historical Society held a Celebration Parade to commemorate the 100th year since the passing of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.  The lawn was speckled with over 46 women, most in white with yellow sashes.  One woman even wore her great grandmother’s white dress for the occasion. 

Everyone was welcomed and learned that there was a parade on the same street in 1915 to support the passage of the amendment.  Helen (Adams) Lynch, born in Tionesta 1902, wrote of her mother: “My mother was a very dedicated member of the organization. Their chosen color was yellow. I recall a Memorial Day parade, consisting of our small village band, marching children, and decorated cars. Our Model T was one of them, with a lot of yellow cloth draped over the windshield and lights. At that time, we had a yellow cat, and I do not recall how my father managed it, but I do remember that our yellow cat had a conspicuous place in the total effect. Today, no doubt, it would all be deemed corny, but in that parade, it got a lot of attention.”

We also know that Forest County, like most of Northern and Western Pennsylvania, voted for suffrage. In August of 1920, their efforts paid off and the United States ratified the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote

This day we not only celebrated this amendment, but we celebrated the men and women of Forest County for their hard work to make this space honorable for all citizens to work and play and live together in the forest.

After the welcome we heard from State Representative Kathy Rapp, who represents the western half of Forest County. 

Women then marched two blocks down to the Tionesta Market Village carrying signs and chanting slogans.  We then crossed the street and back to the History Museum where we heard a few words from State Representative, Donna Oberlander, representing the eastern Forest County.  So all of Forest County is represented by women.

It was a fun event and all that participated seemed to enjoy the day.

Special thanks to Burke Beach

Special thanks to our own Burke Beach for his excellent presentation of the Civil War, especially the 83rd of Tionesta. Burke was very informative and even let us shoot blanks from his official gun.
Next week we have the pleasure of Brian Hale, FCHS Historian, Elementary teacher, Forest Press columnists and author of “Kapp Setlement”. Brian will take us on a virtual tour of the former homes etc where the Market Village now stands.
The following week August 11, we welcome Nancy Sweda. Nancy is a member of the Forest County Arts Council, which is also the topic of her discussion. The Arts Council has been very active and involved in our community.
Tuesday Talks at the museum are a lecture series. Speakers speak from 7:00-7:30 and then you have until 8:00 for questions and answers.  Cost for the talks are free for members and for visitors the donation is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students which includes a tour of the house before the speaker begins.  Many of the talks have been outside on the lawn this summer.  We hope to see you there.