County History

In 1764, James Potter was the first to record his exploration of the area. Having reached the top of Nittany Mountain, and “….seeing the prairies and noble forest beneath him, cried out to his attendant, ‘By heavens, Thompson, I have discovered an empire!'”

  • Bellefonte February 22nd, 1855

    To the Executive Committee of the Penna. State Agricultural Society

    Gentlemen

    Feeling a deep interest in the early and efficient organization of the Farmers High School of Pennsylvania, I have observed with pleasure that the Legislature […]

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  • Centre Furnace ironmasters James Irvin and Moses Thompson’s longest-lasting contribution to the economic well-being of Centre County was not iron, but support of agriculture and education. In 1855 their offer of land and money beat out six other counties vying […]

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    THE CENTRE REGION College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris, Patton Townships
    State College Borough College Township was the last of the Centre Region townships to be established. It was created from parts of Benner and Harris […]

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  • An Alphabetical Look at Places and Spaces Centre County was formed on February 13, 1800, from parts of Huntingdon, Lycoming, Mifflin, and Northumberland counties and named for its central location in the state. Click on the letter below to open up the information. A Aaronsburg (Haines) – Philadelphia land speculator Aaron Levy laid out the village [...]

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  • Located in the center of Pennsylvania, Centre County lies on a striking landscape overlaid with history. Rock and water shape the surface. The County is divided diagonally almost equally into two parts, bisected by the Allegheny Front:

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  •  Charcoal Iron Furnace/Forge Locations in Centre County

    (In some cases dates approximate)

    Furnace/Forge Location Owners Remains Municipality Centre Furnace(1792-1809;1826-1858) Thompson Run (Willy Brook)East College Avenue and Porter Road (1) John Patton& Samuel Miles(2) James Irvin& Moses […]

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    Moses Thompson (1810 – Jun. 19, 1891)

    Moses Thompson was born in 1810 on a farm along Branch Road (near the current Hills Plaza). He married Mary Irvin on January 4, 1838, and with her had six children […]

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  • John Patton (1792-1798)

    Centre Furnace co-founder John Patton appears to have been the original resident of Centre Furnace. His partner, Samuel Miles, lived outside Philadelphia and traveled to Centre County, but never lived here. Patton sold his interest in Centre […]

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  • Native Americans

    Native Americans – Delaware, Shawnee, Mingo, Iroquois – flourished in the early history of Centre County, planting the valleys in corn and squash, and hunting in the ridges. Their paths through the valleys and the water gaps were […]

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  • John Ziegler & Grant Sherritt, retired Professors in the College of Agriculture at Penn State, have been fast friends for 60 years now. In fact they live 2 blocks from one another in State College, PA. Part of their rich […]

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