Tuscarora Academy Fund-Raiser Is Self-Paced Tour of Historical Landmarks

The second annual Tuscarora Academy fund-raiser is to be held Saturday afternoon, August 20. Planned in collaboration with the Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church’s 250th anniversary, the fund-raiser is a self-guided tour of several points of interest in and nearby the area of Academia.

Tuscarora Academy & Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church [in background] JCHS archival Photo

Tuscarora Academy & Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church [in background] JCHS archival Photo

It includes historical landmarks such as the Patterson House, Pomeroy-Academia Covered Bridge, Tuscarora Academy, Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church and cemetery, Book Indian Mound, Spruce Hill Lunch and Wilson House B&B.

Tickets are $25 per adult ticket, $10 for children 14 and under. Ticket price also includes a box lunch with water/iced tea, and events at the Juniata Valley Winery.

Tours begin at 12:30 p.m., are self-paced and one can visit sites in any order they choose. Greeters will be at each stop and there will be a mock one-room school house and 19th century crafts for children such as a Civil War era doll making project at the Tuscarora Academy. Rides in the immediate area of the Academy, will be offered in a 1931 Ford Model A Roadster.

Visitors at the Academy that day may be interested in learning about another local landmark’s history [Tuscarora Female Seminary]. Although no longer standing, a chapter entitled, “The History of the Tuscarora Female Seminary,” written by Audrey Sizelove is within the book, Pennsylvania History – A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies. Copies will be on hand and available for sale.

Carriage rides will be available to ticket-holders at the bridge. There will be an Indian artifact collection by Andy Paige as well as history about the Book Indian Mound at that stopping point.

Visitors at the church will learn the origins of the church and that it was the spot of the first sermon 250 years ago to nearly the day [August 21, 1766]. A self-guided cemetery tour will have graves of interest identified for visitors. Bottled water, as well as a place to sit and rest will be available at the church.

Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church [photo courtesy of church archives]

Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church [photo courtesy of church archives]

Visitors at the Patterson House, owned by Sharon and Greg Hadsell, will have the chance to learn about the history of the home. They’ll be able to tour about the grounds and out-buildings such as the spring house, an unusual three hole [one-child sized] outhouse, smoke house and a story and half barn, built in the late 1700s. Bottled water will be offered.

Spruce Hill Lunch, turns 70 years old this year. Owners, Nora and Charles “Chuck” Houser and former owner Carlen McClure look forward to meeting new visitors taking the tour as well as regulars.

Tours of the Wilson House B&B and information about its history will be given at that site.

Box lunches and bottled water/iced tea, are included in the ticket cost, and will be available for pick up at the Wilson House B&B [Juniata Valley Winery] after 3:00 p.m.

Additional events to take place at the winery include a display from 12:30 – 4:00 p.m. of artifacts by members of the Lenape Indians from a PA tribe with roots still in the Allentown area. They will do a presentation from 4-4:30 p.m. and afterwards the Greenwood Community Band will perform for ticket holders. Those who don’t do the tour, but would like to hear the music, may for a $10 fee. Please bring lawn chairs for events at the winery. Toilet facilities are available at the Tuscarora Academy, Book Indian Mound, Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church and Juniata Valley Winery.

Tickets must be bought in advance and are available at the Juniata County Library, Juniata Valley Winery [every Friday night], and Juniata County Historical Society Archives, 498 Jefferson Street, Suite B, Mifflintown, PA 17059 [Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon]. Telephone 717-436-5152 or email: jchs1931@juniatacountyhistoricalsociety.org. Tickets are also available from society board members or members of the Tuscarora Academy Fund-raising committee.

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