Thursday, October 21, 2021
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Centre County Historical Society Launches Online Encyclopedia

A new online encyclopedia from the Centre County Historical Society takes a deep dive into the region’s past and culture through significant people, places, events and industries.

The Centre County Encyclopedia of History & Culture can be found at

“We believe the encyclopedia will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in Centre County’s history and culture,” Ford Risley, the encyclopedia co-editor with Lee Stout and a Penn State professor of communications, said in a release. “The entries address a variety of topics, from before the county was founded up to today.”

Containing more than 100 initial entries, the indexed and searchable encyclopedia is an all-volunteer effort with more than 40 writers and photographers contributing. According to CCHS, it “follows accepted scholarly standards in the research, documentation and presentation of the content.”

Entries explore notable events in the county’s history, like the its role in the Civil War, Grange Fair, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts; places such as the Penn State Creamery, Duffy’s Tavern, Hotel State College, Reynolds Mansion, the Neff Round Barn and the Old Much Church; significant figures like Andrew Gregg, Philip Benner, Sherman Lutz, George Atherton and Thelma Price; and subjects including agriculture, the iron industry, movie theaters and Penn State football.

New entries will be added regularly.

“I don’t know of a comparable project for an individual county outside of a major metropolitan area,” Stout said. “It is evidence of both the talented historical researchers and writers we have here and the keen interest Centre Countians have for our past.”