The Huntingdon County Historical Society was formed in 1936 to plan the observance of the county’s 150th anniversary. At the successful conclusion of that effort, those involved elected to charter the Society as an ongoing organization. In 1952 the Society entered a new phase in its history when it inherited, jointly with the Huntingdon County Library, the real property of Miss Clara McMurtrie, a charter member of the historical society. Initially the Library and the Society shared the McMurtrie home at 332 Penn Street, but in 1965 the two groups divided the total McMurtrie property, with the society becoming the sole owner of the William McMurtrie house at 106 Fourth Street, the former McMurtrie store building at 100 Fourth, and the garage-apartment behind 106 Fourth.
The William McMurtrie house was restored, principally as a house museum, for Huntingdon’s Bicentennial in 1967. In 1974 an exhibit gallery was created in the store building, and the Society was finally able to conduct all its activities, including meetings, in its own quarters. With ever greater use of the society’s research facilities, more space was allocated to the library and office functions, which were moved to a more convenient location on the second floor of the McMurtrie House in 1984.
To mark the Huntingdon County Bicentennial in 1987, the McMurtrie Museum rooms were completely redecorated to the period of the County Centennial in 1887. The out-kitchen at the rear of the house was restored and added to the Society’s house museum tour, and the little “1887” house, built for a float in the Centennial parade, was placed in the yard of 106 Fourth street.
The Huntingdon County Historical Society’s mission is to promote the discovery, collection, preservation, and interpretation of material pertaining to the history of Huntingdon County. That purpose is advanced in four major fields of activity: (1) the acquisition of research collections of books, archival materials, photographs, and similar materials which are organized and made available to the public for investigating the history of Huntingdon County; (2) the interpretation of Huntingdon County life in past eras through the McMurtrie House museum, the 1823 Shaver’s Creek Presbyterian Church property; (3) the presentation of programs and exhibits which explore aspects of state and local history, and of annual tours to regional historic sites; and (4) the publication of books which focus on aspects of the history of Huntingdon County.
Over the years an extensive research library was created and housed on the first floor of McMurtrie House. HCHS’s research library is open from April through November every year, Wednesdays through Fridays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Our library is staffed with knowledgeable volunteers to assist you. We offer memberships, contract genealogical services, fundraising events, host lecture series during the winter months, and yearly assistance for all your genealogical needs. Please call ahead if traveling a distance to verify open hours.
Huntingdon County Historical Society, 106 4th St., PO Box 305, Huntingdon, PA 16652
814-643-5449 or firstname.lastname@example.org