Baileyville is a little off the beaten path.
It’s a community on the south end of Ferguson Township, about 10 miles from State College between Whitehall Road and Route 45 near Ramblewood and Pennsylvania Furnace. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 201 residents as of 2010, and for those few people in the community lies a gem — Baileyville Community Hall.
This year, the community hall is celebrating its 80th anniversary. But it wasn’t always a community center; it was built as a schoolhouse in the late 1890s.
Community members have come together this fall to organize two celebrations as a way to remember the center’s history and raise money for its upkeep.
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On Saturday from noon to 7 p.m., a chicken barbeque will be held at the grounds at 210 Deibler Road, Pennsylvania Furnace, said Diane Albright, a community member spearheading the project.
She said that the event also includes a salute to veterans, demonstrations, live music, children’s activities and a school reunion for those who attended the school before it was turned into Baileyville Community Hall in 1933.
A history book about Baileyville, “The History of Baileyville: The Town, the Ironwork and the Railroad,” will be sold. The book tells the history of the community from 1790 to 2013. Before this year, Albright said, the book was last updated in 1982 — the same year as the last major Baileyville Community Hall celebration.
“Because we’re outside of town, this is a building that can be used as meeting place, social gathering, and means a lot to this community,” Albright said.
The first celebration came last month at the hall. Local historian Bob Hazelton held a presentation about industries in the area that included the gristmill, the ironworks and the railroad, Albright said.
All money raised will go to help with the hall repairs, Albright said. She added that the first thing to be replaced is the roof. The goal is to raise $30,000 for repairs, she said.
“We’re making a lot of progress with local support,” Albright said. “Our biggest thing is to preserve the building and its meaning to the community.”
Albright said she expects about 150 to 200 people to attend the event Saturday.