Jefferson County will be celebrating a birthday on September 13. The county is planning a sesquicentennial celebration for the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Construction on the courthouse began in 1868 and was not completed until 1869. An extensive remodeling began in 1927 that added a wing and opened the basement level to the public. The county jail was relocated from the old jail to the basement of the courthouse.
During regular business hours there will be guided tours of the courthouse and the various county offices located in the building. At noon the dedication of the new World War II memorial will be held on the Courthouse lawn. The black granite marker will honor county residents who gave their lives during the war.
A Farmers Market will be held at the Town Square adjacent to the Courthouse. The event recognizes the importance of agriculture to the county. The Punxsutawney High School Band will play on the courthouse steps starting at 5:00 p.m. The band will be playing familiar tunes from the long history of the courthouse.
Several state and local officials will be part of the dedication ceremony on the courthouse lawn starting at 5:30 p.m. Justice Kevin Daugherty, U. S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, Sen. Joe Scarnati, Rep. Cris Dush, Judge John Foradora, a representative from Gov. Tom Wolf and Jefferson County Commissioners Herb Bullers and Jeff Pisarcik will offer remarks. Commissioner Jack Matson will act as the master of ceremonies.
Following the ceremony, an original play, based on the trial of abolitionist Elijah Heath will be performed in the large courtroom in the courthouse. The play may also be viewed during a public rehearsal on Thursday evening, Sept. 12. There is no charge.The cast includes Judge John Foradora, District Attorney Jeff Burkett, Jefferson County Treasurer James “Moon” VanSteenberg, Chris Taylor, author Randy Bartley and many others.
The evening will end with a fireworks display.
For more information, contact the County Commissioners’ office at (814) 849-1653.