Union County Historical Society

Welcome to the Union County Historical Society!

 

 

"Exploring Union County's Past to Inform the Present and Future"

For over a hundred years, the Union County Historical Society has gathered, recorded, and shared this county’s rich past. The oral histories, honored memories, and treasured heirlooms in our archives and collections capture and chronicle the essence of time and place.

Explore newspapers, publications, property histories, and genealogies. Join us and discover how your place in time links with ours. This is where your personal journey begins

Notice

 The UCHS office is closed to the public at this time.
  Please send requests by email or letter and UCHS staff will reply;
  If you wish to renew your membership, purchase a book, or make donations, please do so by mail.
         
The Dale-Engle-Walker House is NOT open to visitors or for tours.

The Dale’s Ridge Trail is open. Please keep 6 feet apart, and wear masks when appropriate. Please park in designated areas only. Rules for trail use are posted at the trail head kiosk. 

Future programs and events will be posted on this website. We hope to see you all soon. 

Thank you, stay safe, and keep well.

Presents for the Future

What have you been doing during this health crisis? Gardening? Knitting? Reading? Helping your neighbors? Playing video games? Streaming movies? Playing air guitar to “Free Bird” and “Stairway to Heaven” gets old faster than you think!

It doesn’t matter. We want to hear from you. Why?

Let’s go back 100 years. Coal, steel and the railroads dominated the stock market. Newspaper editors viewed widespread deaths from diphtheria, typhoid and smallpox outbreaks as inevitable as the changing seasons. As horses and cars passed by on unpaved roads, they kicked up particles of dried manure dust that floated into your lungs and onto the food displayed in open sidewalk cases.

Where are all these habits, attitudes and institutions now? Most of them are gone because our surroundings, behaviors, and technologies have changed. And many of those changes began as responses to adversity.

Members of earlier generations knew how to handle adversity. The best therapy in the world, they said, is to work. One neighbor constantly reminded me to “keep moving or you will rust fast.”

Another told me how her family survived during the Great Depression. “Our father left my mother, my two sisters and me, never to see him again. We didn’t know we were poor because everyone was poor. Our biggest concern could have been fuel for heat and cooking, but one neighbor always came down the mountain and dropped off a wagon load of dead trees in our yard. We had to cut, split and stack the wood ourselves, but we never froze or starved. Good neighbors. That’s how we survived.”

History isn’t just an idle exercise in hindsight, either memorizing disconnected trivia or surrounding ourselves with old stuff. If we don’t share what we’ve learned from our experiences, it loses any meaning or relevance.

Now is a golden opportunity for everyone, regardless of age, to become part of Union County’s history by sharing with the future how you’ve weathered this attack on our sense of community.

Keep a journal. Tell us how you spend your time while you’re locked down. How has this pandemic changed your life? What has remained the same? Has this crisis given you a different perspective or a renewed appreciation? What are your concerns now? Monitor and note how you’ve rearranged your priorities.

We could then post your photos, artwork, film, poetry, journals, stories, or any other productions in an exhibit, perhaps entitled “Union County Survives!”

By sharing your collective presents with posterity, we can ensure the future of both your community and your historical society.

Here’s hoping you’re all well and that we’ll see each other on the other side of this health crisis.

Dale's Ridge Trail Use

If you plan to hike on the Dale’s Ridge Trail, please park in the trail-head space along Strawbridge Road.  If the lot there is full, please drive down the lane and park in the barn area near the Dale House.

Please avoid parking along the lane. These areas were recently seeded with wildflowers, and your vehicle may keep farm machinery and mowers from moving into and out of the field. Such parking could also keep emergency vehicles from accessing the area.

Remember, the Dale-Engle-Walker farm is private property owned by UCHS. The Linn Conservancy maintains the hiking trail. Enjoying the property and the trail is a privilege, not a right.

The trail is only open to human foot traffic and pets on leash. No horses, bicycles, etc. are permitted.

Please pick up and remove pet waste from the property.

- Trail use is restricted to approximately 30 minutes before/after sunrise/sunset).

- Park only in designated areas.

- Plants and animals are here for the enjoyment of all. Leave all undisturbed in their place.

We ask you to follow these guidelines, remind others to do the same, and report any abuses or safety concerns to UCHS or to the Conservancy as soon as possible.

Both organizations work to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for visitors, but if abuses continue, we may consider closing the property and trail for the duration of this crisis.

Please enjoy your experience and leave it even better for others.

Thank you!

 

UCHS Meetings, Events, & Dinners

(for more events and details, please click the "What's Happening" Quicklink on the right)

14 July - UCHS Board of Directors

25 July - "Celebration at the Noll-Spangler Farm," New Berlin

2 - 8 August - West End Fair

9 August - New Berlin Day

8 September - UCHS Board of Directors

20 September - "Snapshot of the 1790 Susquehanna Frontier," Gutelius House, Mifflinburg, 1:30 p.m.

10 November - UCHS Board of Directors

Current Exhibits & Displays

Members of our Archives & Collections Committee have a series of rotating displays outside the UCHS Courthouse Office and in the UC Government Center. Please stop by and check out these items from the UCHS collections when you get a chance. (Photos in the "What's Happening?" Quicklink on the right)

UCHS also congratulates the Susquehanna Valley's Congregation Beth-El on celebrating their centennial year. (Photos in the "What's Happening?" Quicklink on the right)

1790 Milne- Druckenmiller Log Cabin

Courtesy of Mike Molesevich

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Please roam around our newly-designed website! Just click the handy Quicklinks to the right. And make sure you check out some of our new features:

  • Contact our Speakers Bureau, if you or your organization needs a speaker.
  • Visit our Gift Shop. We've added a lot of new items, and they're easy to buy online!

 

Click on the following links to read our most recent online publications: 

                     Accounts Oct. 2017 Vol 7, No. 2

                  2018 Newsletter Vol.8, No.1