Old Bedford Village
Located in Bedford County in south central
Pennsylvania, Old Bedford Village was begun in 1974 as a proposed
solution to the county's twenty percent unemployment rate. It was
hoped that an museum site promoting the area's rich historic
heritage would attract tourism and provide employment for county
residents. Old Bedford Village's stated mission as a living history
museum is to keep the spirit of the Pennsylvania frontier alive by
preserving, interpreting and presenting elements of Bedford County
life in the period 1700-1899.
The Claycomb Covered Bridge, built in 1844, was
dismantled and relocated to the site of the future village; it was
reconstructed to serve as an entrance to the Village. In addition,
an 18th century barn, five log homes, two school houses and a log
church were moved from different areas of Bedford County and also
reconstructed on the site, and a working farm was begun. To
demonstrate early craft skills, replicas of period shops were
built, along with housing for artisans, supervisors and caretakers.
The Village was virtually complete by 1980. Today Old Bedford
Village is home to over 40 authentic and reproduction buildings,
including a church, tavern, jail, blacksmith shop, gun shop,
general store, post office, bakery and log houses. These buildings
house exhibits and artisans who demonstrate crafts such as
spinning, blacksmithing, candlemaking, tinsmithing, tolepainting
A hands-on program for students allows them to learn
pioneer crafts like tolepainting, tinsmithing, quilting,
candlemaking. The children are taught two period crafts a day, and
spend free time touring the Village. A Traveling Hands-On program
takes Village artisans to schools to teach the children about
traditional crafts. In-depth, day-long workshops also allow adults
to experience learning a craft. Festival and re-enactments held
during summer weekends, including the French and Indian War
Re-enactment, Celtic Heritage Day, and Octoberfest, draw visitors
into a world of rich heritage and living legacies.
A 22-page report and bibliography comprise the
Originally submitted by: Bud Shuster, Representative (9th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.