Bedford County Historical Society Map


Bedford County Historical Society, Inc.

“As we look to the past,
the future looks to us.”

Today is

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Bedford County Historical Society is to document, preserve, protect and promote the history and heritage of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.



© 2010-2017 Pioneer Library, Bedford County Historical Society, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Bedford County Historical Society (BCHS) operates the
Pioneer Library and the Hall at Kinton's Knob.


(Click on photos below to enlarge.)

BCHS Home

The Pioneer Library houses the county's most extensive collection of historical and genealogical materials. It serves as a repository for all types of historical information and welcomes donations of materials. We provide the resources and facilities for a broad spectrum of historical and genealogical research with a knowledgeable staff to assist you. We also sponsor numerous programs, activities, exhibits and seminars throughout the year to highlight areas or events of historical significance to the county and surrounding regions.

The Hall at Kinton's Knob is located above the Pioneer Library in our bank‑barn building and provides a unique venue for meetings, showers, parties, and receptions.

  • Officers

  • Gillian Leach, Executive Director
  • Randy Hillegass, President
  • Larry Smith, Vice President
  • Kimberly Pepple, Treasurer
  • Cindy Mazanowsi, Secretary
  • Directors

  • Glenden Casteel
  • John Imler
  • Josh Lang
  • Bob Way
  • Luisa Young
  • Tanner Young
2017 Board

From left: Josh Lang, Cindy Mazanowski, Bob Way, Larry Smith, Luisa Young, Kim Pepple, Tanner Young


The Bedford County Historical Society, originally known as the Pioneer Historical Society, was formed on July 4, 1937. Albert S. Ritchey and Major Simon M. Lutz were the driving forces behind the formation of the Society. Major Lutz remained a dominant figure for many years. More details about the society's formation may be found in the first publication of `The Pioneer` dated July 1975. “The Pioneer” is BCHS's quarterly magazine and can be found in the book entitled “The Pioneer Library Compiled Quarterly Magazines, Volume 1, 1975-1986” that can be purchased under the “Store” section in the Menu.

If you would like to do genealogical research at the Pioneer Library, for non-members there is a User Fee of $5 for the first hour and $2 for each additional hour. However, use of the library is included with your membership so we encourage patrons who are not already members to please join using the Membership link in the menu on the left. In addition, the library can assist you in your genealogical research. Please se the menu for more information.


Bedford County was created in 1771, and her western border extended to the Ohio line. Records for counties that were taken out of Bedford... Westmoreland, Huntingdon, Somerset, Cambria, Blair, and Fulton... would be recorded here until that county was formed.

We have a large collection of historical materials related to Bedford County including:

  • Old maps and photographs
  • Information about the county's role in the Civil War
  • A large collection of family genealogy books
  • Many files of unpublished individual families
  • Copies of many public records for the County
  • Records on cemetery locations and inscriptions on grave markers in cemeteries

You can see a partial listing of our collection and resources under the “Genealogy Research” section in the menu.


Pictures of inside BCHS

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Various displays at BCHS.

Various displays at BCHS.

Our books for sale.

Our books for sale.

Some items on display.

Some of our items on display.

Part of the research area.

Part of our research area.

A small selection of reference material.

A small selection of reference material.

Additional reference material.

Reference material.

Additional reference material.

Reference material.

Computers and microfilm readers.

Computers and microfilm readers in foreground, and historical items in the background.