Tri-County Heritage Society presents “The History of Morgantown - Part 1”

St. Thomas Episcopal Church as it appeared after it was expanded in 1861. Photo provided by Evans Goodling.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church as it appeared after it was expanded in 1861. Photo provided by Evans Goodling.

The Tri-County Heritage Society will present “The History of Morgantown - Part l” on Tuesday, April 30 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Caernarvon Township Municipal Building’s Community Room, 3307 Main St., Morgantown. In addition there will be a fundraiser for the Society consisting of a silent auction and basket raffle.

Admission and light refreshments are free. Come out and learn your town’s history and meet the Heritage Society members including Morgantown historian, Jere Brady, and lifelong resident Diane Bowman.

“Diane and I will be walking around and answering peoples’ questions. Morgantown history will be revived.” said Brady.

Displays of the early Morgantown area will feature artifact collections dating back to Native Americans and early settlers that once populated the local region.


Chairwoman of the event, Jeanne Pavlesich, said, “The first settlers were the Quakers; Welsh members of the Church of England; and the Swiss/Germans known as the Anabaptists. It is our goal to promote the history of the Morganton area.”

William Penn’s ‘Holy Experiment’, freedom from religious persecution, was a blessing to these early settlers. Penn invited the persecuted to come to Pennsylvania. They came through the port of Philadelphia and were given freedom and land. Today’s large farms that cover the landscape reflect the great success of Penn’s ‘Holy Experiment’.

Bowman, the society archivist, said, “There were three major Indian tribes that existed here: the Lenape-Delaware, with whom William Penn established a peaceful existence, as well as the peaceful Susquehanna Indians, who migrated from the Conestoga River along local tributaries. The third group, the Iroquois, were more warlike.”

Three major Indian paths wove their way through the area. They are now known as Route 10, Route 23, and Route 401. The natives lived a nomad life along with their local settlements of the Susquehanna’s long houses and the Delaware s’ wigwams and teepees. They lived off the land and hunted deer, bear and turkey. Hunting and fishing led them to the eastern shore were they caught their fish in large nets.

Displays will include information about: genealogy, Col. Jacob Morgan, founder of the town in 1770; Col. Jonathan Jones; the Welsh Jones’ Cooper Mine, and the long and interesting history of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Evans Goodling, who authored an in depth book about the history of the church will be on hand to answer questions about Morgantown’s history and the Church’s history. Dr. D. Heber Plank, prominent Morgantown historian from the early 1900s, will be portrayed in period costume and available to answer questions.

Members and local businesses have contributed to a silent auction which will feature artwork, jewelry, pottery, hand blown glass, antiques and much more. The society is making up assorted themed baskets for chocolate lovers, children, and wine lovers. There will also be car care and a candles basket raffled off. Tickets to the event are only $1 per ticket, with six ticket bundles available for $5 and 15 ticket bundles being just $10. See you at the event!

For more information contact The Tri-County Heritage Society at 610-286-7477 or by email at or contact Jeanne Pavlesich at 610-286-6464 or Barbara Rutz at 610-644-2210.