Past Events

Saturday, May 12, 2018 10 am to 4 pm

History Day

It rained some - but we still had a good time visiting with reenactors from different time periods.  On display was canal memorabilia, special displays, and craftspeople.  Programs on different topics of local history were presented inside throughout the day.  Food and drinks was available.

Thursday, April 18, 2018 7pm

 Barbara Spaventa of Northumberland recounted the September 1911 disaster in Austin, Potter County, Pennsylvania.  A total of 78 people lost their lives when a concrete dam failed in this small town.  Some of Barb’s ancestors the Ripples lived in the town but were spared.


Thursday, March 15, 2018, 7:00 pm

Speaker: Joseph McGinley Jr. of Kulpmont. 

Topic: The Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918 and how it affected the Anthracite Region.

February 15, 16, and 17, 2018

Annual Indoor Yard Sale

A sure cure for the winter blues when “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”  Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss it!  We’ll accept donations of clean, gently used items through Feb. 12. 


We Need Your Help


Get rid of all of those unwanted, gently used things cluttering your cabinets, closets, drawers, and garage! Pack them up and donate them to our annual sale today. Your donations ensure that our sale will be successful and, best of all, that stuff will be gone! We’re sorry but we can’t accept clothing, bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, college textbooks more than one year old, or encyclopedia sets. Call 570-286-4083 to arrange a time to drop off your donation. Thanks for your support!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Last day the Library and Museum are open

until Friday, March 2nd, 2018.

Thursday, December 7

Annual Holiday Dinner

At the Front Street Station, Northumberland

Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.

A brief meeting and election of officers and board members will follow.

Special holiday entertainment by the Susquehanna International Folk Dancers,

Alexa Spaventa, Dixie Gavason, and John Moore.

Reservation deadline is Wed., Nov. 29.

Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7:00 p.m.


     John Moore presented “The defiant Northumberland editor vs.President John Adams.” In 1798 the U.S. government enacted the Alien and Sedition laws, which, among other things, made it illegal to criticize the president of the United States. These laws didn’t sit well with Thomas Cooper, editor of the Northumberland Gazette. In June 1799 he published blistering criticism of the president. One of his readers sent the article to the U.S. government. In April 1800, Cooper stood trial in Philadelphia, charged with libeling Adams. Convicted, Cooper spent six months in jail.

     A retired newspaper editor, Moore provided details of the case and told why the news media today enjoys the freedom to criticize our government.

Saturday, October 28, 2017, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Lantern Tours

 People saw the Fort Augusta property in a different light!

Period-dressed tour guides led the way to three different scenarios reflecting events from the days of the fort.  The fort's museum was open.  Light refreshments were enjoyed.

As always admission was free.


Thursday, October 19, 2017, 7:00 p.m.

 An Evening of Spooky Tales

Beverley Conrad, the fiddle-playing storyteller from Salem Swamp, regaled us with ghost stories dealing with historic locales, accompanied by spooky fiddle music.

It was a great way to get in the “spirit” of Halloween. 

As always it was free and open to the public.



Thursday, September 21, 2017 -- 7:00 p.m.

History Harvest

There was no better time than the first day of fall for the historical society to host a History Harvest.  The public was invited to bring family heirlooms or items made or used in the area to the Hunter House and share the item's story.  We worked with Susquehanna University Library staff and students to document these items as part of a local history project begun at the University last year. Each person was asked to bring no more than two items because of time constraints. 



August 20, 2017 "The Ambush at Bloody Spring"

The public was invited to attend a re-enactment of the August 1756 ambush at Bloody Spring by Indians of a Pennsylvania soldier belonging to the Fort Augusta garrison.
The free event began at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 20 and took place along Memorial Drive in Sunbury, across from the tennis courts. The re-enactment was sponsored by the Northumberland County Historical Society and the Augusta Battalion, whose members portray colonial soldiers belonging to the 3rd Battalion of the Pennsylvania Provincial Regiment. Memorial Drive was closed to traffic during the re-enactment. Spectators were able to park in the lot of the Sunbury City Ice Rink and were urged to bring lawn chairs.
Following the re-enactment, the historical society hosted an open house and guests had the opportunity to speak with the re-enactors, view artifacts related to Fort Augusta and tour the model fort in front of the Hunter House.

Private James Pattin is the victim of the savages at the Bloody Spring.

Above: Retrieving the body of Private Pattin.  Below: Paying respects to the fallen comrade.



Thursday, May 18, 2017 -- 7:00 p.m.

"The Story of Packer’s Island and the 16 Packer Farms" 

Since 1700, the mile-long island situated in the Susquehanna River’s North Branch opposite Sunbury has experienced many changes. Today, the island has a state park, an airport and two campgrounds. There are few vestiges of its earlier incarnations. During the first half of the 18th century, it was part of the Native American town known as Shamokin, an Algonquian Indian word that meant “place of eels.” Agriculture became its mainstay during the 1800s, when it became known as Packer’s Island, but its agricultural heyday is all but forgotten. Local historian Glenda Strouse remedied this in her presentation. A farm woman herself, Strouse has accumulated a wealth of information about this long-ago period in the island’s history. 



Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


History Day

Don’t miss this living timeline of history! Visit with reenactors from different eras.  See canal memorabilia, special displays and craftspeople.  Programs on different topics of local history were presented in the library throughout the day. 



Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 7:00 p.m.

Rescheduled after March cancellation!

Van Wagner to present mining program.


The mining of anthracite coal has long been an essential part of Northumberland County’s history.

     The Irish miners who came to the county to dig that coal make up a colorful part of the anthracite story. The April meeting promises a special treat: singer/songwriter Van Wagner will perform some coal mining heritage songs. He says that he’ll also “explain what I consider to be the three main eras of mining in our region.” Van says that “having once worked underground myself,” he’ll be able to draw upon his personal experiences.  

All programs are free and open to the public.


Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 7:00 p.m.

Thursday's program has been canceled.

Please check back for program updates.


The mining of anthracite coal has long been an essential part of Northumberland County’s history.

     The Irish miners who came to the county to dig that coal make up a colorful part of the anthracite story. Our March meeting occurs on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day and promises a special treat: singer/songwriter Van Wagner will perform some coal mining heritage songs. He says that he’ll also “explain what I consider to be the three main eras of mining in our region.” Van says that “having once worked underground myself,” he’ll be able to draw upon his personal experiences. 
     Refreshments will be served following Wagner’s presentation.  Invite a friend to come along!  All programs are free and open to the public.


February 23, 24, 25, 2017

Stop by and enjoy some shopping for a good cause!

Check out the household items, holiday decorations, books, puzzles and more.

Thursday and Friday -- 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saturday -- 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon



February 23, 24, 25, 2017

Indoor Yard Sale

Now accepting donations for the Indoor Yard Sale!

Get rid of all of those unwanted, gently used things cluttering up your cabinets, closets, drawers, and garage! Pack them up and donate them to our annual sale today. Your donations ensure that our sale will be successful and, best of all, that stuff will be gone! We’re sorry but we can’t accept clothing, bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, or encyclopedia sets.



December 1, 2016

Annual Christmas Dinner
Front Street Station

This evening's entertainment will be Vic Boris of Susquehanna University's Music Department, who plays the piano and encourages us to sing along with him. He entertained us a few years ago and we enjoyed it so much we asked him to return.



November 17, 2016

Native American Food by 

Dr. DeeAnne Wymer
of Bloomsburg University

Dr. Wymer has had an interest in archaeology since her childhood and was always fascinated by the articles in National Geographic.  Her love of science and adventure led her to become an anthropologist and she's researched the Native American culture as well as that of the Egyptians.  

Light refreshments were served after the program.

October 20, 2016


Clarks Summit actor Robert T. Hughes presented "John Mitchell: An American Legend," an hour-long play that commemorates the legendary United Mine Workers president and the miners who revered him.

Mitchell (1870-1919) led the UMW for a decade beginning in 1898.  His success in uniting miners of all ethnic backgrounds to strike in 1902 for better wages and working conditions launched a major reform in miners' lives throughout Pennsylvania's anthracite region.


September 15, 2016

Annual Show and Tell

Bring your favorite find and tell its story.

Bloody Spring Re-enactment Canceled

The outdoor reenactment at Bloody Spring scheduled for Sunday, August 21 at 2:00 p.m. has been canceled because of the threat of inclement weather.  Join us at 2:00 p.m. at the Hunter House, 1150 N. Front Street, Sunbury when John Moore will speak about the Ambush at Bloody Spring.  Members of the Augusta Regiment will also be available to answer questions and discuss the fort's role during the French and Indian War. A reception will be held after the presentation. This event is free and open to the public.

June 11, 2016

Northumberland County Historical Societies'




was held at the Fort Augusta Museum Grounds,

Front Street in Sunbury

 June 11th from 10am-4pm.


Inside the museum-

10am-  History beneath our feet - Outhouse digs – Robert E. Lee


11am - Clarence Deppen– A Sunbury soldier in WW1

John Deppen

12pm– Military Music from different era’s

Rick Enterline 

 1pm– Spies of the Civil War

The Stockers

 2pm– Ft. Augusta during the Rev. War

John Moore

 3pm -  Local canal history –  Capt Mick


Food available


There were many Re-enactors and Historians present to explain life in the past. The Augusta Regiment (they built Fort Augusta), John Moore (Susquehanna Jack), Capt. Mick (Local Canal History), Eileen Anderson (The washer woman). We will have French and Indian War, Civil War (North and South), Coopers Battery, World War Two display, just to name a few.

Gary Fogelman (Expert on Indian artifacts) had a display and did appraisals through out the day. 

April 21 2016

Indian Artifacts


An informal appraisal session was given by

John Moore and guests


March 17, 2016

John Moore in costume presents 

"Murder of Seneca George"

to another full house

February 2016

Thank you for another really great

Indoor Yard Sale!!!!


December 3, 2015 Annual Christmas Dinner and Meeting


Art Lieberman

 A local businessman who can sing and play more than 18,000 songs provided the entertainment Thursday, December 3, at the annual Christmas Dinner and meeting of the Northumberland County Historical Society. 


November 19, 2015 - Conrad Weiser

Colonial re-enactor and long-time volunteer at Weiser's Homestead in Womelsdorf, Lynn Otto presented a talk about Conrad Weiser and his ties with the Iroquois and Delaware Indians who lived at the Forks of the Susquehanna River during the 1740' nd 1750's Otto discussed Weiser's ties with Shikellamy, Sassoonan and other Native Americans who made trips between the naive town of Shamokin (present day Sunbury) and Weiser's base at Womelsdorf.




October 17, 2015

Genealogy 101


This two-hour class was held in the NCHS library

on Saturday October 17th

It was a basic hands-on how-to-get-started presentation

Hopefully there will be a genealogy 201 in the spring


October 15, 2015


Hugh Barnett was with us at our 7p.m. program to portray 

Etienne Brule

The Canadian actor/historian portrayed the early French explorer

who traveled along the Susquehanna by canoe in 1615

 At 4 p.m., Barnett gave a first-person portrayal of Brule in a special after-school program for students. Students attending Shikellamy schools as well as home-schoolers were invited.

September 17, 2015

Annual Show and Tell Program


Members and guests brought some of their favorite items to show and tell about.



July 6, 2015 Sunbury City Band at the Fort




May 21, 2015

David J. Minderhout, professor emeritus of anthropology at Bloomsburg University, addressed our May 21 meeting. His talk focused on Indians who lived along the Susquehanna River.
Dr. Minderhout is the author of the 2013 book, “Native Americans in the Susquehanna River Valley, Past and Present.”

April 16, 2015 Prince David Farrington


Guy Graybill with some of the audience at the program

April 11, 2015


Two students from Susquehanna University raked leaves from the Hunter-Grant Cemetery as part of SU Serve, a community service project, on Saturday, April 11.  The other eight members of the group removed leaves from the fort model, the powder magazine, and mulched flower beds around the Hunter House.  It’s amazing what ten energetic young men can accomplish in three hours!  Before they left they toured the Fort Augusta museum and found the exhibit, especially the story of the large cannon on display, very interesting.



March 19, 2015 Timothy Murphy

Timothy Murphy, a Sunbury man who became a famous sharpshooter during the American Revolutionary War, was the March 19 topic of Northumberland writer John L. Moore.

December 4, 2014

Annual Christmas Dinner and Election of Officers

Was held at the Front St Station in Northumberland

Dick Robey  spoke on the history of the railroads in the Northumberland

and Sunbury area



November 11, 2014

Joe Baker, PennDOT archaeologist, presented a program on the work being done to find the exact location of Fort Halifax by PennDOT and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He discussed the findings to date and future work.


Lantern Tour October 18, 2014

Picture from last years tour

Fun for all

People came to see the fort in a different light
and see the temporary exhibit of Hunter family items.

Tours were led by period-dressed guides from 6:00 to 8:30.

Refreshments were enjoyed in the research library

October 16, 2014 - Stephen G Warfel

The audience listening intently as Steve gives his presentation



September 18, 2014 Show and Tell

An ambrotype from 1854-1866

Just one of the items at our show and tell



August 9, 2014 Colonial Crafts Day

A vendor with his wares



Fort Augusta Day July 5th 2014

See all of our pictures in the picture Gallery


June 19, 2014 Robert Miller speaks about his book


"Many of my thoughts for the novel revolved around an area close to Dalmatia called the Cogan.  As I walked through this wooded area, ideas led to various scenes in my mind.  Sunbury and Fort Augusta also are important places in the novel.  As the characters
developed I placed them in the various settings throughout. Even though this is fiction, history played a big role.  Developing my thoughts and characters led to a story that eventually became this novel."

May 15 2014

Dr Levine with a descendant of Madam Montour's sister



May 10, 2014 History Day

Part of the encampment

See more pictures at "The Photo Gallery"


Saturday April 19, 2014 1 P.M. Shikellamy Marina

 Annual Easter Egg Hunt





April 17, 2014


Jeff Greenawalt, a Central Pennsylvania actor who portrays George Washington, addressed our  April 17meeting.  He told us about George Washington’s involvement in events shortly before and during the French and Indian War, which included his relationship with Andrew Montour.



March 20, 2014

Our own John Moore, did a program about the original construction of Fort Augusta and events at the fort during its first year

(July 1756-June 1757)



February 2014

Customers and workers at the indoor yard sale


Saturday Feb. 1, 2014

For many months, 18th century artisan David Hughes of Gibsonia, Pa., has been making reproductions of a small silver cross found in Sunbury during an archaeological dig at the site of old Fort Augusta. On Feb. 1, Dave got to meet long-time society member Charlotte Rhinehart, who found the original cross while volunteering at an archaeological dig at the Fort Augusta site in 1979. The silversmith refers to the replicas as “Charlotte’s Cross” in Charlotte’s honor. The occasion was the annual 18th Century Artisans Show in Lewisburg where Dave was a vendor. To promote its sale of the silver cross, the Historical Society held a “Meet the Silversmith” event during the show. As a special treat, the society arranged for the original cross to be brought to the show so that Dave could see it. He had never seen the original.

The Northumberland County Historical Society is selling the replicas as part of its fund drive to pay for the construction of the outdoor model of the fort built in Sunbury last year.

Replicas of the cross are still on sale for $50 each. Anyone interesting in purchasing one should contact the Historical Society at 570-286-8043 or by email


December 5, 2013 Annual Holiday Dinner

Over more than 60 members and guests enjoyed a festive dinner,

followed by election of officers and board members



The evenings entertainmment was Victor Boris of Susquehanna Universities Musical History Department, who played the piano and encouraged us to sing along with him.



November 21, 2013 Regular Meeting

Faye and Barry Stocker, civil War Re-enactors gave a presentation on


"Civil War Thanksgiving"

Faye and Barry Stocker, civil War Re-enactors gave the presentation


It covered the celebrating of the holiday before its inception as a National Holiday to actions that Lincoln took to make it a National Day of Thanksgiving.

They also showed untensils that may have been used to prepare the dinner 

Faye and Barry have been involved in doing presentations for 18 years.  They are involved with many various organizations who travel to do re-enactments.



Civil War Ball - Nov 16, 2013

Saturday September 16th in the Lewisburg Hotel's Ballroom.  

Hosted by the Slifer House Museum and Susquehanna River Valley Heritage Alliance,

the ball was conducted by the Victorian Dance Ensemble with live music by

Douglas Jimerson and Civil War Comrades.  



Period costume was encourged!


November 10, 2013

Dedication of the


was held at 3 p.m. 

There were a few short speaches and some light refreshments

See all the photos at the photo Gallery

in the events tab




October 19, 2013 Living History Evening - Lantern Tours

Mike McWilliams and other "mourners"  of  Sam Hunter.

Return of a popular program from last year. 

Participants saw Fort Augusta's well, powder magazine, and the Hunter - Grant Cemetery in a different light!  There were period - dressed tour guides.  Museum was open and refreshments were served



October 17, 2013 Regular Meeting

Jeffrey Frazier, author of Pennsylvania Fireside books, was our speaker.  He dressed in frontier costume and related tales of Northumberland County




The author was born and raised in Centre Hall, Centre County, where he says he grew up in a “Tom Sawyer sort of way”.  Some of his fondest memories of that boyhood include explorations of out-of-the-way spots in the mountains and accounts of the legends that seem to cling to them.  After graduating from Penn State in 1967 and moving out of state, he realized how much he loved the Pennsylvania mountains and their stories.  It was this “home-sickness” that inspired him to collect and write the old-time tales.  Since that time he has collected those same anecdotes from all over the state, ranging from the Blue Mountains of Berks and Lehigh Counties, the South Mountains of Adams County, the “Black Forest” area of Potter and Tioga Counties, the Alleghenies of Clearfield and Blair Counties, and the other counties in the middle. 

September 19, 2013 Show and Tell at Nottingham Village

Ann Roll brought this old baseball program in for all to see


August 17, 2013

Thank you for attending Riverfest and purchasing t-shirts!!!!!



August 10, 2013 Living History Day - Colonial Crafts Demonstration Day

Many people experienced an interesting and colorful blend of arts, crafts and history as new and returning traditional artisans and craftspeople shared their insight, demonstrated their skills and displayed their wares here at the site of Fort Augusta.  Some participants had items to sell. This event which focuses on the 18th century, grows each year!

June 20, 2013 - Emory Conrad Malick - Sunbury’s First Aviator

Presented by Mary Groce, who grew up across the river in Selinsgrove.  She now lives near Philadelphia, in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and she makes her living as a harpist, singer, and writer, as well as presenting lectures about her great uncle, Emory Conrad Malick.

  These programs are free and open to the public.


May 16, 2013 - Zion’s Stone Valley Church Cemetery Tour


                               Judge William Wiest at The Stone Valley Church

Reminiscent of the pilgrimages that the Society used to take years ago, we ventured to Zion Stone Valley Church near Hickory Corners where Northumberland County Judge and accomplished genealogist William Wiest guided us through the church cemetery and discussed the early families buried there. The church and cemetery were established in the 1770's. 


April 20, 2013 - First Annual History Day - Captain Mick with the Packet Boat




April 18, 2013 Regular Meeting


“Fort Augusta’s Contribution

to Gen. John Sullivan’s Expedition

against the western Iroquois Indians in 1779.”


John L. Moore, the Northumberland writer, toldl how Indian hostilities impacted life in the Susquehanna Valley during 1778 and how the American military retaliated against the Indians in 1779.


Sunday - March 24, 2013 - Easter Egg Hunt - Shikellamy State Park Marina Playground

Barb Spavenda - organizer of the event with the Easter Bunny



March 21, 2013 Thomas Badman



Thomas Badman showing some of the artifacts he has collected



Saturday, May 12 10 am to 4 pm

History Day

Don't miss this living timeline of history!  Visit with reenactors from different time periods.  See canal memorabilia, special displays, and craftspeople.  Programs on different topics of local history will be presented inside throughout the day.  Food and drinks available.

March 1, 2013

The library opened for the 2013 year



February 13, 14, 15, and 16, 2013

Four Days of Fun!

Our annual Indoor Yard Sale was held at the Hunter House




We had a great time and the sale was a huge success.  See you again next year!  



December 6 2012 Annual Holiday Dinner





November 15 2012 One Room School Houses in Lower Northumberland County

 Here is Shirley Silvick asking attendees to raise their hands if they ever attended a one room school house.




November 10 2012 Senior Expo at Shikellamy High School

Cindy Inkrote standing next to our display



October 27 2012 Living History Evening

Lantern Tours, by period dressed guides, presented Fort Augusta’s well, powder magazine and the Hunter-Grant Cemetery in a different light!   The Museum was open and refreshments were served.



October 18 2012 “Powwowing and the Pennsylvania Dutch”

Presented by Northumberland County Judge William H. Wiest., who has assembled a collection of area residents powwowing experiences over the years and shared them with the audience. At the end of his presentation, he invited those attending to discuss their personal experiences or those of family members.


September 20 2012 Show and Tell

Show and Tell — One of our favorite programs returned. We invited everyone to bring one of
their personal treasures and share its story.
It’s always interesting to see what turns up!



August 11 2012 Living History Day


Colonial Crafts Demonstration Day — People experienced an interesting and
colorful blend of art, craft, and history as new and returning traditional artisans and
craftspeople shared their insight, demonstrate their skills, and displayed their wares here
at the site of Fort Augusta. Some participants had items to sell. A great event which focuses on the 18th century and grows each year!



August 6-8 2012 Summer History Camp


Summer History Camp at the Hunter House, Sunbury for 1st through 5th graders.  Alan Hackenberg, dressed in period costume, shows the attendees the original fort well



July 25 - 27 2012 Summer History Camp

Summer History Camp at the Joseph Priestley House, Northumberland for 1st through 5th graders.



June 21 2012 “The Schreckengasts of Spread Eagle Manor”

Gary Schreckengost of Lancaster presented “The Schreckengasts of Spread Eagle Manor,” now known as Klingerstown.  He discussed his ancestry and the family’s journey from Germany to America and the various places they lived during the 18th century. 



May 17 2012 The History of Gambling in the Anthracite Region

Dr. Karol Weaver, Associate Professor of History at Susquehanna University returned  with another informative and close-to-home program.  A native of eastern Northumberland County, Dr. Weaver presented her findings of another facet of coal region culture.



April 19 2012 Restoration of the Turbotville Train Station

Mike Sechler, president of the Turbotville Borough Heritage Society told of the project undertaken by a dedicated and determined group of volunteers from the Turbotville area. The train station was moved from Turbotville many years ago to the Magee Transportation Museum just off I-80 near Bloomsburg. On December 16, 2011 the Turbotville Train Station made its 25-mile journey back home.  

April 14 2012 Living History Day

Civil War reenacting group, Cooper’s Battery B, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, were here in full force equipped with soldiers, cannons, tents, etc. The unit they portray was recruited in Lawrence Co., PA and fought in the Battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg to name a few. Many of this group are from the area and look forward to returning to our grounds to commemorate the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial.



March 15 2012 “A Picture of the Past— Stories from the Outhouse”

Presented by Robert E. Lee of Millville, a potter by trade. He discussed the items he’s found on the sites of the more than 200 outhouses he’s dug in the area. He told us of the usual and the surprising discoveries he’s made in America’s first landfills!