Historic Boalsburg is a small village just five minutes from State College. It has a total area of 6.2 miles and a population of approximately 3500 inhabitants. David Boal founded the village in 1798.
The village claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day because, in 1864, three local ladies decorated the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers.
The fifth generation of the Boal family, Colonel Theodore Davis Boal, married a descendant of Christopher Columbus and brought the Columbus Chapel to the Boal Mansion from Spain in 1909, including an Admiral’s Desk that belonged to Columbus himself.
In the 1800’s Boalsburg was on the main road for travelers from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and Duffy’s Tavern, a popular stagecoach stop, still stands today. Boalsburg is also home to the Pennsylvania Military Museum, as well as the headquarters of the Civil War reenacting unit, 3rd Pennsylvania Light Artillery Battery “B” (aka F Troop). The Tussey Mountain Ski Area is also located in Boalsburg. In addition, theatre-goers can catch local productions at the Boal Barn Playhouse.
Popular annual events include: the People’s Choice Arts Festival, Victorian Main Street, and of course, the Memorial Day Celebration.