The Susquehanna County Historical Society, located in the county seat of Montrose, isthe oldest and largest of the county's historical organizations, and has, for 113 years, collected and preserved the history of the Susquehanna County, from its beginning in 1787 to the present day.
It was during the Centennial of the county, in 1887, that a few forward-looking residents realized the need to organize a society to house the historical records and artifacts of the county. On May 31, 1890, at a meeting in the Court House of Montrose, 25 people laid the groundwork for an organization to do just that. Among the 25 persons who attended the first meeting was Emily C. Blackman, author of our first county history. Soon the mumber of gifts, bequests and donations required charter members to make plans for a permanent meeting place. Toward that end, ground was broken in 1905 between the Court House and the high school. Before construction began, however, Francis R. Cope, Jr., of Philadelphia, notified those involved that the Cope family wanted to provide a memorial public library. (In the 19th centruy the Cope family owned large tracts of land in Susquehanna County and they maintain an estate here to the present day). Through a combination of Society funds and the Cope's donation, a larger site was acquired to house both the library and historical society on Monument Square in Montrose. The building was dedicated on Nov. 8, 1907, the same year the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association was chartered. In 1957, an annex to the building was added, providing the Historical Society with an additional exhibit room. In January 1994, another addition was built, housing an elevator, which allows access to all patrons to our museum and genealogical collections. Realizing the great need for more space to expand the Library and Historical Society, our Board of Directrors has formed a committee to consider our future options.
Recent long-range plans, completed by the Association, identified support for research services and the dissemination of information regarding genealogy and local history as priorities for the Susquehanna County historical Society. Displays (both permanent and changing), genealogical research support and regular programs form the basis of the Society's activities. The Society, located on the second floor of the Association's building, consists mainly of two large exhibit rooms, a small exhibit room, and a genealogy reference area, designated for research materials.
Operating Support Grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission have enabled our Society to expand our research library, improve collection care, exhibts and augmented salaries. A recent Museum Project Grant allowed us to purchase ultra-violet filtering Plexiglas windows for the museum. With the availability of the grant programs through PHMC we are able to increase staff, purchasing power and public accessibility.
Who, What and Where!
Our website uses new technology to present the old and new. It is the product of a grant sponsored by the Montrose Area School District in 2002. Three high school whiz kids and their teacher took on the project and worked with us for about 6 month to develop a site that would provide information about our Society and our offerings. With family history researchers visiting our facility and others utilizing our research by mail option, the web site enables prospective researchers to survey the following: Research Sources, including surname files, microfilm holdings and CD's, published and manuscript family histories; Journal of Genealogy and Local History, back issues with tables of contents; a click-on Map of the County (for photos, churches & cemeteries and place names, old and new); "100 years Ago" back issues ( a weekly article that runs on three county newspapers). You will also find Township Incorporations, Research Options, Membership Form, Publications for Sale, Outside Links, Frequently Asked Questions and Directions and Maps.
To learn more about Susquehanna County and our society, you may reach us at The Susquehanna County Historical Society, 18 Monument Street, Montrose PA 18801, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (570) 278-1881
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Copyright © 2002-2004 Susquehanna County Historical Society
18 Monument Street
Montrose, PA 18801
All Rights Reserved