The JCHS collects artifacts, photographs, documents, and books related to the history of this rural county ranging from prehistoric times to the present. The Society also archives county tax records and makes them available to researchers.
General operating funds come from dues, donations, contracts the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, and the Jefferson County Commissioners. Exhibits and programs are funded through grants and directed donations. Fortunately, the Jefferson County Commissioners have continued their annual grant to us and many members and friends have increased their giving to our Annual Campaign.
The organization is a member of the Brookville Chamber of Commerce, the American Association of State and Local History Organizations, PA Museums, Heinz History Center Affiliate Group and Pennsylvania Association of Non-Profit Organizations.
Our purpose is to engage people of all ages in the history of Jefferson County. We collect and care for relevant objects, images and documents and we invite county residents and visitors to research our materials, interact with our exhibits, take part in our programs and read our publications, in order to encourage an understanding of our past and present and a vision for the future.
The JCHS was established in 1967 and incorporated in 1971 as a non-profit organization which the Jefferson County Commissioners have certified as the official historical society for the county. In 2001 The Society began the preservation of the Nathan Greene Edelblute Building and adapted it as the Jefferson County History Center, opening the building on the 200th anniversary of the founding of the county, March 26th, 2004. This year, 2017, marks the 50th Anniversary of the Historical Society.
Today, the JCHS owns and operates the Jefferson County History Center, Brady Craig House and the Margaret Johnson Archives all of which are located within Brookville's Historic District. The latter two buildings are used primarily for storage and are not open to the public. The JCHS also opened Scripture Rocks Heritage Park, located on Route 28N near the Hazen Exit of Interstate 80, as part of its plan to take history into the community.
Located on Main Street, the History Center contains 8 galleries totaling 9,000 square feet of exhibit space, a research library, gift shop and staff offices.
The quality, expertise and care that is incorporated into this small organization’s exhibits and projects is exemplified by the recognition of being the recipient of two Awards of Merit (2007 and 2010) and two H.K. Stevens Memorial awards (2009 and 2011) from the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations, and two Awards of Merit (2008 and 2011) from the American Association of State and Local History.