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The Bedford County Sestercentennial Celebrations Committee

Who We Are

There are a number of historical groups located throughout the county of Bedford whose scope of interest encompasses particular regions or events. They are all wonderful additions to the culture of the county and the fact that they are preserving certain aspects of the history of Bedford County deserves great appreciation. The Bedford County Historical Society was established to document, archive and serve the entire county. Therefore, the scope of the Bedford County Historical Society earned it the status of the official, sanctioned historical society for Bedford County.

The Bedford County Commissioners named the Bedford County Historical Society as the "official coordinating Commission for the Bedford County Sestercentennial Celebration" because it is concerned about the history of the entire county.

The Sestercentennial Celebrations Committee consists of the Bedford County Historical Society Board of Trustees [currently Randy Hillegass, President; Larry Smith, Vice-President; Linda Norris, Recording Secretary; Bob Way, Treasurer; and Directors: Bill Fine, John Herr, Dave Petit, Debra Topinka and Luisa Young; and Gillian Leach, Executive Director] along with a number of residents of Bedford County representing various aspects of the county [including Debbie Bishop, Kay Dull, Kellie Goodman-Shaffer, Tammie Hess, Josh Lang, Beth Ann Rice, Jeffrey Rinscheid, Rev. Brian Swain and Dennis Tice].

This website was created for the purpose of disseminating information about the events to be held during the Sestercentennial year. Be sure to check out the Calendar on this site.

Questions about this website should be directed to Larry D. Smith, who can be reached via email at schmitt@bedford250.com.

A Brief History Of The Sestercentennial Project

In the year 2014, Gillian Leach and Larry Smith discussed the 250th Anniversary of Bedford County. Although the anniversary year of 2021 was seven years in the future, they knew that for something so important as the county's 250th anniversary it would take time to get certain things done. They did not want to wait until the last minute to begin certain projects. Larry was particularly interested in starting a book project devoted to the approaching 250 year history of the county.

Larry and Gillian met with the Bedford County Commissioners in early June to discuss the necessity of getting started on the planning for a celebration.

On 10 June 2014 the Commissioners issued Resolution No.06-10-14 announcing the naming of the Bedford County Historical Society as "the official coordinating Commission for the Bedford County Sestercentennial Celebration". That resolution appears on this website's home page.

The Commissioners' Office suggested that the name for the 250th anniversary be designated as sestercentennial. 'Sestercentennial' has a nice ring to it, and is easy to say, and so it was chosen. The available options would have been semiquincentennial or Quarter Millennial.

Gillian brought up the subject of a committee to plan a celebration to the Bedford County Historical Society's Board of Trustees and Larry was named as the Chair of the Sestercentennial Steering Committee.

Individuals were identified who could function as coordinators on a Steering Committee. The original list included eighteen individuals from various aspects of the county. Over the years that list dwindled down to twelve members as certain individuals had more pressing concerns or changed positions in their employment.

At the first meeting of the Steering Committee, Larry brought up about twenty ideas for projects. Two additional projects were suggested by the other members. During subsequent meetings other members suggested five additional projects. Including the book project there are a total of twenty-eight projects in the planning stages to make 2021 a memorable celebration year.

Each member of the Steering Committee was asked to choose a project on which she/he would be willing to work. although some of the members were unable to complete their projects because of other commitments and time restrictions, others proceeded and were brought to fruition.

One of the first projects to be completed was the creation of a logo to represent the Sestercentennial. The suggestion was made to hire a graphic arts company to produce a logo, but Larry Smith received a B.S. Degree in Art from I.U.P. in 1977 and felt that there was no need to spend money to produce a logo. Larry created four designs for possible use as a logo, and the members of the Steering Committee chose the one that has become the official design.

In 2019, with certain projects needing funding and ready to be completed, Larry (then Vice-President of the Bedford County Historical Society Board) requested the rest of the Board to become more directly involved with the celebration. They all agreed to participate.

It should be noted that, as Chair of the Bedford County Sestercentennial Celebrations Committee, Larry has emphasized that all of the projects that are being planned for the Sestercentennial need to be designed to engage the entire county, not just certain regions or towns. It is hoped that the Celebrations Committee will succeed in exactly that.