Make this holiday a special one with a gift that is a little piece of history, art and charm!

Since 2011, pewter artist, Jerry Jackson, has been working with the Centre County Historical Society to create a series of commemorative pewter ornaments in the likeness of the historic Centre Furnace Mansion, Stack and Centre Furnace Bell.

With every ornament, Jerry has taken great care to research and visually study the subject matter. On the historic Centre Furnace Stack, each stone was individually formed and construction details accounted for. The current Stack was rebuilt in 1826 and witnessed the building of Centre County.

As an important warning and communication tool of the day, the Centre Furnace Bell is an important artifact in the Society’s collection. The bell is thought to be the first product cast from Centre Furnace iron. The miniature version of the Bell features a hand scraping technique used by 18th century pewterers, and includes a black onyx clapper that makes a pleasant ringing sound.

The Centre Furnace Mansion ornament, new in 2014, celebrates 30 years since the “Thompson House” and grounds have been restored and opened to the public as a historic house museum by the Centre County Historical Society. The ornament captures two sides of the Mansion featuring its signature gables, porch and Victorian grace. Each ornament has a 3D effect and is handcast and finished with a black patina.

According to Jerry, “Pewter objects, both utilitarian and decorative, have been treasured since antiquity. These pewter ornaments have been made in the spirit of medieval pilgrims’ badges and Renaissance pendants. These miniature sculptures were for the enjoyment of the user and often carried special significance because of the person who gave them or the place where they were acquired.”

Many special thanks to Jerry Jackson for his generous contribution of time, passion for history and creativity to the Centre County Historical Society for the production of these miniature pieces of art.

Ornaments are available at the Mansion or shop on our website.

For the history and book lovers on your list, here are two new must buys!:

 A War, Three Women and a Tradition: The History of Boalsburg in the Civil War, researched and written by local historians: Susan Evans, Robert Hazelton, Cathy Horner and Nancy Taylor, looks closely at the lives and families of three Boalsburg women credited with starting Memorial Day. The book also gives a fascinating look at the connections Boalsburg and all of Centre County had to the major players of the Civil War including President Lincoln. Book Signings will be available by either Bob Hazelton, Nancy Taylor or Cathy Horner on Friday, December 5 @11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m and on Saturday, December 6 at 11:00 a.m. This book was published as a fundraiser for CCHS and the Boalsburg Heritage Museum and sells for $13.00 [includes tax]

Antiques to Die For, according to author P. L. Hartman, is both a murder mystery and a glimpse into the dynamics of a thriving antiques business. Set in the Appalachians of central Pennsylvania, the story combines history, antiques lore, lively shop interplay, and collectors’ obsessions to tell its tale. Hartman, a local antiques dealer for 20 years and Stocking Stuffer dealer, will be available for book signings at on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 2:00 p.m. Proceeds of copies sold at the Stocking Stuffer benefit CCHS and sell for $24.50 [includes tax].