Past Events






Sunday May 19th  2024

Bruce Teeple,
President of the Union County Historical Society
did a program on the Irwin store ledgers, the ones
in which Priestley is mentioned.



  Unraveling an 18th Century Tale of Business, Politics, and Revolt

After the program - the ledgers were donated to the Northumberland County Historical Society



April 21st

Laurie McCants

“It’s in the Air We Breathe:
 The Joseph Priestley Story”




March 17th
Mike Molesevich
 an Environmental Consultant
did a Sanborn Map presentation




February 15th - 17th Annual tag sale

Tag sale 23

                           First Hour                                          Later!                  
We would like to thank everyone again for this wonderful sale









The Annual Dinner was held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 3rd at the Midtown Bistro in Sunbury.  The guest speaker was Mary Zimmerman who spoke on Foodways and their History.   



Wednesday December 6th

Toni Rice and Ann Roll evaluate items for the special IOOF Orphanage exhibit that was on display

A special feature this year was an exhibit honoring the lives of those individuals who grew up in the IOOF Orphanage outside of Sunbury.

Attendees were invited to peruse the many items that have been donated to the NCHS.

An interactive activity was offered visitors the opportunity to identify young people who

appear in the many photos from the orphanage.

Another first was the display and playing of our organ in the parlor.  Hope Webster Kopf organized and played the organ for the first time in years and visitors were allowed to sit and play also.

Arlen Snyder was also in attendance to autograph copies of his book,    Descendants of Johann Nicholas Schneider:

The Northumberland County Pioneer, a captivating historical account of the Schneider family's journey from Germany to America during the 17th and 18th centuries. The book explores the challenges faced by German immigrants during this period, including war,
famine, and disease.


Sunday Nov 19th

  “African-American Pioneers of Northumberland County”

The speaker was Kate Hastings, associate professor of communications at Susquehanna University.

Hastings’ research, which began as a project to compare African-American and white newspaper coverage in central Pennsylvania prior to 1950, continues to uncover forgotten black pioneer families.

September  17th

Jake Daubert

Jake died in 1924 after a 15-year career during which he had a lifetime .303 batting average, set a National League record for career sacrifices that still stands, won a most valuable player award, was a two-time batting champion, and won two NL titles and the 1919 World Series championship with the Cincinnati Reds over the infamous Chicago Black Sox.

History Day

at Himmels Church

Saturday August 5






History Day NCHS

Saturday July 22nd




Sun., May 21st, 2:00 pm
Mitch Troutman - The Bootleg Coal Rebellion


Mitch enlightened us on his newly published book "The Bootleg Coal Rebellion". The book focuses on the struggle for survival of Pennsylvania miners who battled against large anthracite companies from 1925-1942. Learn more about the hardships of these hard working men who risked their lives every day to provide for their families.



Sun., April 16th, 2:00 pm

Fred Meckley - History and Use of Limestone and Lime Kilns in lower Northumberland County

Fred presented an interesting and informative program on the history of the use of limestone and lime kilns in lower Northumberland County, as well as the geology of this area of Pennsylvania. The program was very enlightening on a little known aspect of our local agricultural history.



Sun., March 19th, 2:00 pm

David Williams - Henry "Snapper" Reese, Civil War Hero

David gave a fascinating talk about Henry "Snapper" Reese, a miner and Civil War hero. Serving in the Civil War, Reese was instrumental in the Union's attempt at ending the siege of Petersburg, VA by digging a tunnel under the Confederate lines and blowing a hole through the lines, resulting in what is now known as "The Crater" at Petersburg. After the war, Reese later became the police chief and burgess of Shamokin.





Sun., November 6th, 10 am - 4 pm, Albright Center

Native American Day -

Frank Little Bear, Red Vision Dance Team, Red Arrow Singers

With dance and music performances, interactive museum, lecture on native American culture, and more, about 100 people of all ages were treated to a fantastic program with lots of participation.  There was talk about doing it again next year!

Native American dancers

Native American objects

Native American clothing


Thu., September 15th, 7:00 pm

Lynn Otto - Thoughts on the Long Rifle: Pennsylvania vs. Kentucky

Lynn Otto has been researching extensively and his talk encompassed the early firearm history in Pennsylvania and how the name Pennsylvania Long Rifle came into being. A very fascinating discussion on a truly indispensable and life-saving item of our ancestors.

Lynn Otto

Thu., October 20th, 7:00 pm

Jack Minnier - Aunt Mollie's Name Quilt

Jack Minnier, a Sunbury native, explained how his Aunt Mollie’s Name Quilt, handcrafted in Lower Augusta Township, has led him on an amazing journey reconnecting him with family, and meeting many new friends in this rural area of our county.

Jack Minnier

Special Program, Sun. August 28th, 3:00 pm

John L. Moore - The 'Bloody Spring' Incident

Monday, August 29th, marked the 266th anniversary of the 'Bloody Spring' incident. John gave a talk on the 1756 killing by Indians of a Pennsylvania soldier guarding a herd of cows near the Bloody Spring in Sunbury, about a half mile from where Fort Augusta was under construction. Those at the well-attended talk were presented with an enlightening and interesting story.

John L. Moore


Thu., May 19th, 7:00 pm

Alan Gutchess - The Family of Shickelamy

Alan Gutchess, the site director at the Fort Pitt Museum in Pittsburgh, gave an enlightening program sorting out the myths and misidentifications of Shickelamy's sons and related family members. Background on Shickelamy himself and his possible ancestral roots was very surprising. Gutchess describes himself as being obsessed with history and his in-depth program was fascinating and well-received.


Thu., April 21st, 7:00 pm

Cindy Inkrote - Grandma's Herbal & Home Remedies

People around the world have used herbal teas, salves, and other concoctions for medicinal purposes for years. Those in attendance were treated to Cindy's discussion on how this practice has evolved and remains viable today.

Cindy Inkrote


Thu., March 17th, 7:00 pm

Matthew Dodd - Songs and Stories of St. Patrick's Day
Lively tunes and interesting stories from the Emerald Isle were the highlight of this first program of 2022.  Matthew performed a variety of songs and story-telling with a historical theme, centering around Saint Patrick's Day and Irish culture.  A wonderful time was had by all!


Matthew Dodd


Yard Sale sign

Indoor Yard Sale

February 17th, 18th, & 19th, 2022


Once again, we had a very successful response to the Annual Indoor Yard Sale!  Shoppers had their pick of many treasures from a wide range of items including kitchenware, glassware, china, books, collectibles, lamps, toys, craft and hobby items, seasonal and holiday decorations, videos, DVDs, CDs and items of local interest.


A special "thank you!" to everyone who helped with the yard sale and to all of you who attended and supported the society.  Many thanks!


Thank you for supporting this important fundraiser! 
The funds generated help to maintain and improve the services the Society provides for its members and the public.




Annual Dinner –Thursday, December 2nd
Whispering Oaks Winery
Jill Sturgis Thomas

Whispering Oaks Winery, Rt. 61 east of Sunbury, was the venue for our annual dinner. Jill Sturgis Thomas, of Sturgis Pretzel fame, spoke about the History of Pretzels and Pretzel Baking in Central Pennsylvania.


Mike McWilliams, VP NCHS, and Jill Sturgis Thomas


Wednesday, December 1st

1:00 to 8:00 pm

Holiday Open House. Our library and museum were open.  We had lots of books of local interest and other merchandise specially priced for your holiday shopping pleasure.

November 18 –Show & Tell

Bring one of your favorite old items to


to the group and


about it


October 21 – John Moore  

At the Oct. 21 meeting of the Northumberland County Historical Society,
Northumberland author John L. Moore discussed how Indians twice captured
Lt. Moses Van Campen of the Northumberland County Militia during the American Revolution. 



October 9th   St Paul's UCC,   Herndon, Pa




September 16 – Lawrence Knorr 

Presenting his programguy


November 21, 2019

Janet R. Johnson, Curator of Archaeology at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, told us about the ongoing dig at the site of Fort Hunter along the Susquehanna River north of Harrisburg. She also explained how Fort Hunter relates to Fort Augusta. Both forts were built during the French and Indian war.

Fort Hunter


Annual Christmas Dinner 

December 3rd 2019

Annual Dinner Meeting at the Packer House N. Third Street, Sunbury. Turkey Dinner with special entertainment by singer, songwriter, educator and lover of history, Van Wagner. A good time was had by all!

December 8, 2018

Meet and greet with the authors.

Author Meet and Greet

October 21, 2018, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Artist Michael Roush was at our open house to sign his prints. Prints of his painting “Returning to the Fort”, which are suitable for framing, can be purchased at $45.00 each, $40.00 for members, and would make a great gift for the history buff.

Returning to the Fort


October 18, 2018

Speaker: Kathleen Van Schuyler 

Topic: Kathleen’s family genealogy. Kathleen recently visited Salem, Massachusetts, to visit the place where one of her ancestors, the Rev. George Burroughs, was hanged for witchcraft in 1692.

The picture below is of Kathleen with 2 new found cousins, also descendants of the Burroughs family.

Kathleen Van Schuyler


September 20, 2018

Hidden Secrets in Old Timbers. David Ruths and Dendrochronologist William Callahan told about this old house and how they figured out when it was built.


May 17, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

Speaker: Glenda Strouse 
Topic: The Old Chillisquaque Cemetery near Route 147.

 Old Chillisquaque Cemetary

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.

 John L. Moore


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.

Old Lantern


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.

Beverly Conrad


October 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.

The Ambush at Bloody Spring 1
Private James Pattin is the victim of the savages at the Bloody Spring.

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

Mourning the loss


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

History Day

History Day

Don’t miss this living timeline of history! Visit with re-enactors 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. 

History Day Reenactor


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

Van Wagner to present mining program.
Van Wagner presents 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.

June 11, 2016

Northumberland County Historical Societies' History was held at the Fort Augusta Museum Grounds, Front Street in Sunbury, June 11 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

History Day

Inside the museum -

  • 10 a.m. -  History beneath our feet - Outhouse digs – Robert E. Lee
  • 11 a.m. - Clarence Deppen– A Sunbury soldier in WW1
  • John Deppen
  • 12 p.m. – Military Music from different era’s
  • Rick Enterline 
  • 1 p.m. – Spies of the Civil War The Stockers
  • 2 p.m. – Ft. Augusta during the Rev. War John Moore
  • 3 p.m. -  Local canal history – Capt. Mick

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. 


March 17, 2016

John Moore in costume presents "Murder of Seneca George" to another full house.

John Moore

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's and 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.

Lynn Otto


October 15, 2015

Hugh Barnett was with us at our 7 p.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.

Hugh Barnett


July 6, 2015

Sunbury City Band at the Fort

`Sunbury City Band


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.”

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.

Guy Graybill addresses audience


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.

 SU Students Rake


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.

John Moore

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.

Joe Baker


Lantern Tour - October 18, 2014

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 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Refreshments were enjoyed in the research library.

The Graveyard Shift


October 16, 2014 - Stephen G Warfel

The audience listening intently as Steve gives his presentation.

Steve Warfel


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.

Colonial Crafts Day Vendor


Fort Augusta Day, July 5th 2014

Fort Augusta Day


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."

Robert Miller


May 10, 2014 History Day

Part of the encampment.

History Day 2014


April 19, 2014, 1 p.m. - Shikellamy Marina

Annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Annual Easter Egg hunt


April 17, 2014

Jeff Greenawalt, a Central Pennsylvania actor who portrays George Washington, addressed our  April 17 meeting. 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.

Jeff Greenwalt


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)

John Moore


February 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 [email protected]

November 21, 2013

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 utensils 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 Thanksgiving


November 10, 2013

Dedication of the "FORT" was held at 3 p.m.

There were a few short speeches and some light refreshments.

History Day


September 19, 2013

Show and Tell at Nottingham Village

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

Sunbury Yankees


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!

Living History Day


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.

Emory Malick


May 16, 2013

Zion’s Stone Valley Church Cemetery Tour

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. 

Stone Valley Church


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

Captain Mick and the Packet Boat


April 18, 2013

“Fort Augusta’s Contribution to Gen. John Sullivan’s Expedition against the western Iroquois Indians in 1779.” John L. Moore, the Northumberland writer, told how Indian hostilities impacted life in the Susquehanna Valley during 1778 and how the American military retaliated against the Indians in 1779.

John L. Moore


March 21, 2013

Thomas Badman

Thomas Badman showing some of the artifacts he has collected.

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.

Shirley Silvick


November 10 2012

Senior Expo at Shikellamy High School

Cindy Inkrote standing next to our display.

Senior Expo


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.

Cemetery Tours


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!

Living History Day 2012


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.

Summer History Camp


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!

Stories from the Outhouse