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50 Years Event
September 18, 2015 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The Bradford House is celebrating 50 years as a Museum!
Come join us!
Admission is FREE
The Bradford House is celebrating 50 years as a Museum on Friday, September 18, 2015 with an Open House from 5 pm to 7 pm with a Re-Dedication Ceremony at 5.45 pm followed by cake and punch reception.
The Museum was opened to the public on September 18, 1965 following a six year long restoration project. The stone house, located at 175 South Main Street, Washington, was built in 1788 by David Bradford, an attorney and businessman who was a leader of the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion.
By the middle 1950’s, the Bradford House was sitting empty and was quickly deteriorating. Demolition seemed the most likely course, but some citizens insisted that to knock it down would be to destroy the city’s most important historical artifact. Among them was Margaretta D. Stewart, owner and publisher of the city’s two daily newspapers, The Observer and The Reporter. She believed the Bradford House was too essential to lose and directed Observer Publishing Co.’s general manager, James S. Lyon, to do something about it.
Mrs. Stewart and Lyon had powerful allies in their effort. Former governor and then-U.S. Sen. Edward Martin hoped to see a restored Bradford House become headquarters and museum of the 110th Infantry. And with State Sen. William J. Lane and State Rep. J. Dean Polen twisting arms, the Pennsylvania Legislature in January 1957 approved $50,000 for the purchase and restoration of the Bradford House.
On Saturday, September 18, 1965 a dedication for the newly restored Bradford House was held. Attending the dedication were many of the men who took the initiative to save the house: James Lyon – president of the Bradford House Historical Association, Charles Coen – Vice President of the BHHA, Senator William Lane, artist Malcolm Parcell and General Edward Martin. Because of the dedication of those first members of the Bradford House Historical Association and those that have followed in their footsteps serving as board members, the Bradford House remains an 18th Century architectural showpiece.
The Bradford House, a National Historic Landmark, is still owned by the Pennsylvania Museum Commission but is operated by the Bradford House Historical Association. The mission of the Bradford House Historical Association is to preserve and promote the history and heritage of the David Bradford House and Museum and to educate the public on the role of David Bradford and the Whiskey Rebellion in shaping American history.