Lost and Found

Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


Schuylkill County’s first official courthouse was erected in Orwigsburg in 1815, four years after the creation of the county. The building, enlarged in 1846, housed government offices until 1851, when the county seat was moved to Pottsville. Three years later, the Arcadian Institute occupied the building, but the academy failed. In 1873, a group of investors organized the Orwigsburg Shoe Manufacturing Company, the first of many shoe and boot factories established in the borough, and leased the former courthouse. The company used the original bell – once rung to signal the opening of court sessions – to summon workers. The brick building has since been demolished.



The present-day Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte was built in 1818, incorporating at least one section of a building erected in 1805. Dominating the community’s public square, the building was remodeled in 1835, at which time an imposing Greek Revival style portico was added to its main fa¬≠cade. Its massive two-story columns are capped by elegant Ionic order capitals. The Centre County Courthouse was significantly enlarged in 1854-1855, in 1909, and again in 1963-1964. Although major, these alterations have not adversely affected the period appearance or character of the building, and it was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.