The writer of the application for the marker is Austin
Fields, our long-time BAHS student— and now graduate
—volunteer at the History Center. It took three attempts
to obtain the approval of this marker, but Austin persevered with the encouragement of Carole Brigg sand staff.
The marker will be placed in front of the McKnight Building, now the Courthouse Grille and Pub. The dedication of this marker will be scheduled for later this year. Local and state representatives including PHMC will attend.
2018 JCHS Laurel Festival Schedule
JCHS Receives S. K. Stevens Award
The Jefferson County History Center recently received the PA Museums
prestigious S. K. Stevens award for the third time!
This year’s award presented at the organization’s annual meeting and awards
ceremony on April 16, in Bellefonte, was for Scripture Rocks Heritage Park.
This award is given in honor of Sylvester K. Stevens (1904-1974) who was a
noted Pennsylvania State Historian and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania
Historical and Museum Commission from 1956 to 1972.
PA Museums presents the S. K. Stevens Awards to outstanding projects
that have won a national award from both the American Association of State
and Local History and a PA MuseumsSpecial Achievement Award. In addition
to the honor, the JCHS also received a monetary award of five-hundred dollars.
Scripture Rocks Heritage Park serves to preserve the legacy of Douglas M. Stahlman and his dedicated rocks, and to ensure the history of the man’s legacy is accessible to all who are interested in his story and his impact on the Brookville area. Stahlman was an eccentric, reclusive preacher and a self-proclaimed prophet born and raised in Jefferson County in the mid-nineteenth century and resided in Brookville from 1907 to 1915.
Central to Stahlman’s messianic project are the so-called “Scripture Rocks,” a collection of over 500 “dedicated” rocks—many of which are inscribed with Biblical verses,spiritual commentary, and his opinions of the cultural climate of the time—dispersed in various locations around the wooded hillsides surrounding Brookville.
The park is located on Route 28, 1/8 mile south of I-80 Exit 81. It is a free public access site where visitors can explore approximately 1.5 miles of trails. The park contains 67 large sandstone boulders which were engraved by Douglas M. Stahlman between 1910 and 1913.
The Jefferson County Historical Society is proud to announce that Brookville
resident Carole Briggs has been selected as a recipient of a Jefferson Award for Public Service through Volunteerism. The award was presented to her at a gala event at the Heinz History Center in
Pittsburgh on May 9, 2018. The presenter was Rick Sebak, prominent
broadcast personality at public television station WQED.
The citation accompanying the award recognized Mrs. Briggs' thirty years
of preserving and presenting the history of Jefferson County with the
Jefferson County Historical Society. She has been executive director, exhibit
designer, grant writer, and is currently the curator. She has authored and
also contributed to several books about Jefferson County.
Mrs. Briggs is retired from teaching in the Brookville area School District.
The Jefferson Awards Foundation was established in 1972 to recognize “ordinary people who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition.” The award takes the physical form of a gold colored medal suspended from a blue ribbon.
New Historical Marker for Jefferson County
JCHC is proud to announce the awarding of a new state historical marker from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC). The person, place, event, or
innovation to be marked must have a significant impact on its time, and have statewide
and/or national, rather than local or regional, historical significance. The marker is in honor
of Dr. William J. McKnight for his role in furthering enactment of the Pennsylvania State
Anatomical Law in 1883. The new law allowed the use of cadavers for medical research
purposes in all of Pennsylvania, rather than only Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. There was
quite a shocking incident involving McKnight and several other local doctors that makes
this story very intriguing !
JCHC is the recent recipient of two grants. Early this year, we received a $500 grant from Baltimore Life Insurance Company that was used toward purchasing updated office equipment for our research room
that the public can also use.
In May, we received notice of a $750 matching grant from American Hiking Society and L.L. Bean for trail building, restoration, and some additional signage, at Scripture Rocks Heritage Park.
Ken Burkett, JCHS Executive Director receiving the S. K Stevens award from Rusty Baker, PA Museums Director