About R.V. Historical Society
Redbank Valley has some amazing history of industry, business, religious and social groups, as well as prominent citizens. At each year’s passing we lose a vital link to our local history. One of the goals of the Historical Society is to document our history in books, videos and now some wonderful original and limited editions of original oil pencil drawings of historic sites throughout the Redbank Valley. Please see the flyer RVHS Prints Display Ad and the Store for available books and drawings. There is more information about the release of the drawings under NEWS.
Have you ever sat down with a box of old photographs with no names on the back and no one able to tell you who these people were? Many times these pictures end up in the trash, lost to history. Whether it is family history or local history, if someone doesn’t write the story, it too is soon lost.
Our goal is to document our history now before it is lost forever. The customs and traditions of the towns and families in which we grew up, stay with us for life. We can move to the big city, for education and jobs, but sooner or later most of us come back home. Please see our store for RVHS publications that document the area’s history.
It wasn’t until 2007 when the local railroad tracks through the Valley were lifted that it hit us, A very vital part of history was leaving town after faithfully serving the Valley since 1873. Transporting coal, products, people and supplies to and from the area, the railroad that had supported the Valley for 134 years was now gone. Like many things in life nothing stays the same. It is important that we preserve our story. There is a tremendous oral history here as well. These stories need to be told and written down. Our past is who we are. We are what we are because of our past experiences.
We welcome individual pictures or a collection of pictures dealing with Redbank Valley history and other local memorabilia.
Another goal will be realized in 2020 when RVHS releases its comprehensive history of the Redbank Valley dating back to before 1890 and is intended to supplement and update that A.J. Davis History of Clarion County as to the amazing history of the Redbank Valley. Other books now being compiled deal with farming, coal mines and the diary of a civil war chaplain from the area.
All proceeds from books and print sales will help the Society reach its long term goal of opening a history/genealogy center which is now within reach and eventually a museum to display the many wonderful artifacts of history that are being collected by the Society.
Our Mission Statement
The Redbank Valley Historical Society is a nonprofit group of individuals whose interest is in researching and preserving a factual and accurate history of the area comprising approximately the same area as the Redbank Valley School District.
Goal #1: Research and compile data to be used in the publication of a book of the area. Establish a Heritage and Genealogy Center. Preserve artifacts pertinent to the history and genealogy of the area for display at a center, which will be open to the public.
Goal #2: Entertain guest speakers to present interesting subject matters of local historical interest and conduct field trips to various places of historical interest to the group. The Redbank Valley Historical Society offers membership to anyone who is interested in and is willing and able to contribute to our society’s goals.
John M. Brown’s 1823 history of Schoharie County New York used the phrase “time wearing out memory” to describe how even back then there was the feeling that memory fades and places are forgotten, lost to time. Much of the area’s history since WWII is fast vanishing as that “Greatest Generation,” is fast departing from among us. The Redbank Valley Historical Society is attempting to put together, in one place, as much history as we can gather from interviews, photographs and research. The Redbank Valley has a rich history. We are researching, gathering, and recording many past events in our local valley. The neat thing about history is, it is all around us and is never complete. History is always being formed. We just need to find and record it so this information can be shared with others and future generations.
Meetings & Membership
The Redbank Valley Historical Society offers membership to anyone who is interested in and is willing and able to contribute to our society’s goals.
The society meets the first Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. in the basement of the Presbyterian Church at the corner of Wood & Penn Streets in New Bethlehem, PA. (The building is handicapped accessible).
COME JOIN US For more information, please visit www.redbankren.org or call: (814) 221-6225 or (814) 275-1718.
HISTORICAL PRINTS ON DISPLAY
During the Peanut Butter Festival on September 20-21-22nd, 2019, the Redbank Valley Historical Society will unveil the final two of four sets of a total of 43 original oil pencil drawings of historical sites in the Redbank Valley by talented artist Carol Kennemuth. The drawings will be on display and limited editions will be available for sale for $53 including tax, all 3 days of the Peanut Butter Festival, inside on the 2nd floor at the Gallery at New Bethlehem Town Center at 419 Arch Street, formerly known as the Keck Building, next to the Fire Hall. Hours will be September 20th 6-8 pm, September 21st 1-8 pm and September 22nd 1-4 pm. A limited number (due to weather concerns) and flyers describing all of the prints will be available at the Redbank Renaissance tent at Gumtown Park.
Originals of the art work will be available by a silent auction starting during the Peanut Butter Festival. The auction will conclude at 8:00 PM on Thursday, September 26th. Bids will start at $200. A reception will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at The Gallery at New Bethlehem Town Center on Thursday, Sept. 26th. A presentation will begin at 7:00 pm to share stories about the prints being released. All proceeds will benefit the Redbank Valley Historical Society’s goals of writing and publishing a comprehensive history of the area and opening a genealogy center and museum.
Drawings in the first set include the New Bethlehem Passenger train station which was located right in front of Keck Building, the Climax Tunnel and section house as it appeared in the 1920s, the last train over the Oak Ridge underpass in 2007, the early Brick House, now restored as a B&B, the Leatherwood and Methodist Churches, the East End Station with its glass fuel pumps in front, the Putney House, the tile house built on Penn Street by the Lower family with a great picture of horses and wagon getting ready for a parade, and the Seminole School.
Set #2 includes: New Bethlehem Public School, Old New Bethlehem Dam, Andrews House on Penn, Old Mohney House, Scout Hall, Merry-Go-Round, Red Bank Mills, Oak Ridge Railroad Station, Old Baptist Church, McKelvey Store.
Set #3 includes: Hawthorn Pottery, Northwest Bank, Shay Locomotive at Hawthorn, C.E. Andrews with Grandson Carl, Welsh’s General Store Mayport, New Bethlehem Fire Company, Spaces Tavern, Shannondale Lutheran Church, Rimer Hill School, Putneyville Grist Mill, and New Bethlehem Glass Plant.
Set #4 includes: Andrews Theater, Brewery (now the Peanut Butter factory), American Hotel Mayport, Battle of the Banks, Keck Hotel, Shannondale Store, New Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, McLain Fire Brick, South Bethlehem School, Round Barn at Deanville, St. Charles Catholic Church, and the Andrews Estate.
The Historical Society’s publications will also be available for sale during the festival at Gumtown Park and at the Gallery. They include the Pictorial History of the Redbank Valley, History of the Low Grade Rail Road, The Impact of the Civil War on the Redbank Valley, and the Tom Andrews Business Center Recollections which not only describes the buildings and businesses of the late 1800s to 1989, with editorial updates, but also represents the business history of small town America. These books have been enjoyed by many and are often given as gifts.
Many have expressed an interest in the art work and appreciated the scholarly quality of the publications. For those who are not able to visit, all of the drawings and publications will be available after the festival at the Redbank Renaissance website at the Historical Society Store at www.redbankren.org, For more information, please call 724-664-4754.
FIRST ANNUAL QUILT SHOW – VOICES IN FABRIC – OCTOBER 11-12
Please see the flyer for more information. RVHS Quilt Show Flyer.
Over 100 quilts including family heritage quilts will be on display during the first annual quilt show at the Gallery at New Bethlehem Town Center. To register and bring a quilt please print and complete the attached form. Quilt show registration form
Welcome to the Redbank Valley Historical Society Online Store!
ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED
More books will be released in 2020, including a comprehensive history of the Redbank Valley and possibly books on farming, coal mining history and the diary of a Civil War Chaplain. Please watch for more details.
HISTORIC PRINT RELEASE
September 20- 21-22 Visit us at the Redbank Renaissance Tent at Gumtown Park during the Peanut Butter Festival and at The Gallery at New Bethlehem Town Center for release of the last 2 series of oil pencil drawings of historic Redbank Valley sites. Hours will be:
September 20th 6-8 pm, September 21st 1-8 pm and September 22nd 1-4 pm.
FIRST ANNUAL QUILT SHOW – Voices in Fabric. RVHS Quilt Show Flyer. For those wishing to display quilts: Quilt show registration form
October 11 – 12th Friday 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday 10 am- 4 pm