Bellefonte

Street tablet project aims to promote Bellefonte’s history

The Centre County Courthouse is one of the buildings in Bellefonte that will receive a street tablet. It was originally constructed in 1805 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Centre County Courthouse is one of the buildings in Bellefonte that will receive a street tablet. It was originally constructed in 1805 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Centre Daily Times, file

About a year ago, Susan Babcock Hoover and JoAnn Knupp embarked on a project to promote Bellefonte’s history.

On Saturday, during Bellefonte Victorian Christmas, the project to install historic street tablets — signs containing an image of what the building used to look like, with information about the history of the site — around the borough will have its dedication.

“I think it’s an excellent thing because it teaches people, gives them an appreciation of the history,” Hoover said at the Centre County commissioners meeting Tuesday.

The project, inspired by a trip to Brookville in Jefferson County, aims to install the historic markers in front of buildings in chronological order to give folks an understanding of how the town started. There are six tablets ready, with two of those already installed — one at the Gamble Mill and the other on Dunlop Street, she said.

A 24-by-36-inch tablet is in the process of being installed in front of the Centre County Courthouse, Hoover said.

The first six being installed are at, probably, the only buildings that were in Bellefonte prior to 1810, Knupp said.

The commissioners helped out with the project, providing a $5,000 grant, Hoover said.

Each vandal-resistant tablet — made by a company in Quebec — is about $600, Knupp said, so they’ll be able to purchase two more signs with the grant money.

Beyond that, they’re hoping that individuals, groups or organizations will fund more markers.

“I grew up in this town, and I didn’t realize that there were so many interesting buildings nor when they were built and the history,” Hoover said.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

If you go

What: Bellefonte Historic Street Tablets Preview and Unveiling

When: 1 p.m., unveiling and preview; 2-4 p.m., community education Saturday

Where: Care for People office, 121 N. Allegheny St.

Info: Project dedication will include the Centre County commissioners, Bellefonte borough and the Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce. Street tablet staff will be available to discuss the project.

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