Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society

Click here to see the history of Punxsutawney

Click here to see the history of Groundhog Day

The Museum

Punxsutawney has a very good museum you should visit if you come to Punxsutawney. There are rooms full of historical artifacts from the area. There are displays of:

  • coal & mining industry,
  • railroad history
  • early home tools and utensils
  • quilt display
  • radios and early televisions,
  • old photographs
  • old postcards
  • clothing,
  • Groundhog Day history
  • Native Americans.

    The Museum is open during the summer from 1 to 4 Tuesday thru Sunday. Closed Monday. On Thursday it is open from 10 to 4. The museum welcomes special tours also. There is a gift shop featuring history books and videos, Punxsy souvenirs, and Christmas ornaments with Punxsutawney scenes. For more info call (814)938-2555 or (814)938-7221
    Go to Membership information

    Old Pictures

    There is an extensive collection of photographs of the area from the 1890's to present. Some are on old 8 X 10 glass negative and are of remarkable quality. Pictures are available of surrounding towns including Punxsy, Big Run, Adrian, Anita, Rochester Mills, and Timblin. The collection includes many wedding photos and high school yearbook portraits. Reprints can be ordered. The price is $5 for an 8x10; and it is $2.50 for a 5x7. Quantities are discounted. These are printed on Kodak Polycontrast RC glossy B&W paper. We have our own darkroom at the museum.

    See some old photos! Click here.


    Located at the Bennis House museum is our genealogy room which contains a wealth of information.The following resources are available in our genealogy department.

  • obituaries from the local newspaper (The Punxsutawney Spirit).
  • cemetary records
  • funeral home records
  • church records
  • family histories (click here to see list)
  • city directories
  • all the authoritative histories of Jefferson county

    Anyone seeking information on the genealogy of persons or families from Punxsutawney area and Jefferson County, PA is invited to call or visit! Knowledgeable personnel are on hand to help with research. The genealogy department can be visited on Thursdays from 10AM to 4PM. It is best to call ahead before you make a long drive! E-mail can be forwarded to the genealogy department using the previous e-mail address(punxsyhistory@usachoice.net) or write to the following address via "snail mail":

    Bennis House Museum

  • 401 W, Mahoning St. Punxsutawney, PA 15767
  • telephone: (814) 938 - 2555

    See tips on submitting a request for information from the genealogy dept.

    Snyder Hill School

    The Snyder Hill School located on Snyder Hill just south of town. It is a restored one room school house .

    The Snyder Hlll School was typical of the one-room schools which were used years ago. From 1886 to 1959 (73 years) the school provided education for hundreds of children, many of them living today. It was the sole education of most of our agricultural and rural population.

    The one-room school consisted of eight grades and one teacher who was willing to accept hard and trying work. Usually overworked, the teacher undertook to teach as many as thirty pupils in the eight grades. Younger children learned from older children, like part of a larger family.

    The Snyder Hill School has been restored with old desks, books and other materials that were used during the time this type of school existed. Snyder Hill School is surrounded by woods and rolling farm land. Your first steps inside are on hardwood floors. The only source of heat is a large pot-bellied stove that was once covered in the winter with little mittens being dried by the fire. The boys and girls each had their own separate cloakroom on either side of the main entrance. Chalk boards with the day's lessons line the front wall behind the teacher's desk; all of this can be experienced during your visit. The school is open by appointment for individuals or tours. For more information call (814)938-2555 or (814)938-7221

    Click here to go back to Punxsutawney Page

    The Gillespie House

    The Gillespie House on W. Mahoning St. (Across from S.S.C.D. Church) by S. Thomas Curry