Bellefonte born George Grey Barnard was a preacher's kid who lived on E. Linn Street. His father, Rev. Joseph Barnard, served with Rev. James Linn at the Presbyterian Church. Interestingly, Lincoln’s great aunt, Lucy Potter, also attended that church while living in Bellefonte. Barnard went on to study in Paris and is well known for sculptures in Harrisburg, NYC, and Cincinnati. The same 1917 cast used for this bust was used on a full body statue of Lincoln in Cincinnati, Ohio. Barnard used a life mask of the 16th president’s face and hands for his sculptures. Such realism make Barnard’s Lincolns really stand out from the norm.
It was common for Civil War soldiers to sleep around a campfire in a circle. It was also common for GAR veterans to reminisce around campfires, dinner tables or other settings during encampment gatherings. To ensure a proper resting place for Union veterans, this plot in the Soldiers’ Circle was funded by the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), a fraternal organization of men who fought for the Union. This bivouac includes Medal of Honor recipient George W. Harris, Private, Company B, 148th Pennsylvania Infantry
Back to the ol’ grind, It’s miller time! Millstones like this one were used in pairs in water-powered gristmills like the Brockerhoff/Roopsburg Mill and @thegamblemill (the only two surviving brick gristmills in Centre County). This stone would be the runner stone which rotated on top of another stationary bedstone. The grain would fall down the hole and be ground between the hand carved stones into fine flour or other run of the mill products like feed or cornmeal. Keep your nose to the grindstone!
Daniel Bush came to town as a map salesman and would eventually develop 27 properties around Bellefonte. The Bush Arcade building burned down and was rebuilt circa 1887. Lost in the blaze were Masonic Lodge rooms, the Keystone Gazette on the second floor, the Valentine and Co. store, Dawson’s Bakery, Twitmire’s tin shop, Powers’ shoe store, Dr. Kirk’s drug store, Bond Valentine’s insurance office, the National Guard Armory, a large ice house, and the Wagner, Bush and Sommerville stables. What a fine and enduring example of commercial Victorian architecture. Source: Fountain of Governors, Bicentennial 1976.
According to the Centre County Historical Society, there were over 48 furnaces and 42 forges established in this region by 1850. This was the first furnace in the area and would become the birthplace of Penn State University! Learn how by visiting the Centre Furnace Mansion @centre.county.history
Established in 1906, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial honors the names of approximately 3,800 veterans of Centre County who fought in the Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, and the Philippine-American War. The memorial of Civil War Governor, Andrew Gregg Curtin was also erected at the same time as the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial by the Van Amringe Granite Co. of Boston. Curtin's statue will be discussed in more detail in another entry.