Harrisburg 2010 History Center - Press and Photos

Susquehanna Middle School Students Visit New 2010 History Center, Chat with John Harris, Jr.

Susquehanna Middle School 8th grade history class visits 2010 History Center

Harrisburg, PA, 4/19/10 - History came alive for 8th grade students from Susquehanna Middle School when they visited the new 2010 History Center at 213 Market Street on Monday, April 19, 2010 to learn about Harrisburg history, which the class is currently studying. They heard it from a master: John Harris, Jr. Nineteen 13-and 14-year-old students with teacher Mrs. Kelly Berry toured the 2010 History Center as part of their academic enrichment program and history class. The class also visited the Civil War Museum and the Harris-Cameron Mansion.

"We just completed a project on American History and Harrisburg history," explained Mrs. Berry, "and visiting the museums has helped the students make the connection. The panels depicting Harrisburg's historic events are clearly labeled and fun for them to read."

Several of the students have completed projects on specific Harrisburg topics. Maya Stine of Susquehanna Township chose to study Camp Curtain during the Civil War. "It was a training camp for soldiers, the first and largest in the North. Most Union soldiers went there to get ready for war, sign up for troops, and learn to shoot," she explains.

Stine's classmate Ben Braund studied John Harris and his family. "It was interesting how they settled Harrisburg, and how John Harris, Jr. was nearly killed by Indians," Braund reported.

Another student, Kelsey Tucker, studied the Undergound Railroad in Harrisburg. "Harrisburg played a big part," she said. "The free African Americans here helped the southern slaves find freedom. There was a constant flow through "Tanner Alley," which was somewhere near where the capitol is now."

John Harris re-enactor demonstrates Civil War Captain George McFarland's 1860s wheelchair at the 2010 History Center

The students participated in a history scavenger hunt, finding answers to a series of local history-based questions by reading the History Center panels which feature, among other subjects, the lives of Native Americans of the period, the Harris family trading post, ferry and tavern, the building of the state capitol, the Civil War, and by studying related maps and artifacts. Re-enactor Reverend David Biser portrayed John Harris, Jr., and spoke to the students as Harris about the Harris family, life in Harrisburg during the late-1700s, and explained some the History Center exhibits.

The History Center is a joint project of The Harrisburg SusqueCentennial Commission and Historical Society of Dauphin County and part of Harrisuburg's 150th anniversary celebration. Space for the 2010 History Center is donated by M&T Bank.


Harrisburg 2010 History Center to open on Market Street

Bare Walls Preview

Harrisburg, PA, 3/4/2010 - The Historical Society of Dauphin County, M&T Bank and the Harrisburg SusqueCentennial Commission announce the opening of the Harrisburg 2010 History Center at the "Temple Building" at 213 Market Street, the former Dauphin Deposit Bank building. The History Center will feature exhibits of the history of Dauphin County and Harrisburg spanning the years from Native American occupation to the present and four rotating special exhibits as part of the city's celebration of its 150th anniversary this year.

The museum is a joint project of the Historical Society and the Harrisburg SusqueCentennial Commission, and will open April 17, 2010. The historic former bank building has been donated by M&T Bank to the community for use as a local history Center.

Mike Murchie, M&T Bank, Kathy McCorkle, HSDC, Ellen Brown, Harrisburg 150th, Representative Sue Helm, Lenwood Sloan, PA Tourism Office, Mary Smith, HHRVB at the Bare Walls Preview

"M&T Bank's decision to make available this historic landmark for the SusqueCentennial celebration typifies of the spirit of Harrisburg. This classical structure is a fitting backdrop to reflect on the rich and varied experiences of the citizen's of Harrisburg, as they have contributed to our history one life at a time," says Ellen Brown, Executive Director of The Harrisburg SusqueCentennial Commission.

The building, built in 1832, is the oldest bank building in metropolitan Harrisburg. Now surrounded by modern structures, it stands as an icon to the city's past.

Four different exhibits will depict life along the Susquehanna River that lead to the founding of Dauphin County in 1785, feature memorabilia and photographs relating to the personal stories included in the Highmark Blue Shield Living Legacy Series, create a "snapshot" of life in Harrisburg in the years following of its incorporation as a city in 1860, and spotlight the significant role the city of Harrisburg played throughout the Civil War era.

"The Dauphin County Historical Society and the Harrisburg SusqueCentennial Commission are thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase our rich history in a setting that has been part of that history for over 170 years. We are grateful to M&T Bank for their support of our vision and our efforts and look forward to educating and entertaining members of the community and visitors to the area in the months ahead," states Kathy McCorkle, Executive Director of the Historical Society of Dauphin County.