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Centre Hall

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The village of Centre Hall, situated along Nittany Mountain where PA 192 and PA 144 now intersect, was linked to Bellefonte and Lewistown. By the mid-nineteenth century, Scots-Irish and German families had settled here. Laid out in the typical Pennsylvania manner with a grid plan and a central square, the village functioned as a business center for the Penns Valley region, with many farm landlords in residence. The arrival of the Lewisburg and Tyrone Railroad in 1885 launched Centre Hall into a period of growth that included agricultural processing and chick hatcheries. The architecture reflects the conservatism evident elsewhere in the county in its five-bay, rectangular houses, such as those at 220 and 315 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, both dating c. 1865. Later houses, for example at 251 S. Pennsylvania Avenue (c. 1880), experimented with projecting gables, bays, and ornate spindlework, but still within the original five-bay format. Three churches served the Protestant population: the brownstone Gothic Revival Trinity United Church of Christ of 1895 at 108 N. Park Avenue; the red brick St. Luke Lutheran Church built c. 1900 at 301 N. Pennsylvania Avenue; and the red brick Centre Hall Grace United Methodist Church, built for a Presbyterian congregation in 1888 at 127 S. Pennsylvania Avenue. The Grange Encampment grounds, southwest of town (237 S. Hoffer Avenue), host thousands of tents and RVs during the weeklong Grange Fair, held every year since 1876, when it was devised as a means of introducing rural families to the Grange organization.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.

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