BEAVER FALLS, Pa.— Now through October 16, 2005, McCartney Library will host an exhibit from Old Economy about the beginnings of Geneva College 125 years ago in Beaver Falls. The exhibit shows the history of Geneva College, the Harmony Society, and early industry in Beaver Falls.
Geneva was founded in 1848 in Northwood, Ohio. By the late 1870s the college began to look for a new home. The Harmony Society, located in Economy, Pennsylvania, now Ambridge, made an offer to the college that it couldn’t refuse. The Society owned most of the land in Beaver Falls at the time and offered the school a beautiful area on top of the hill, along with funding to start building the first classroom building. In 1880 Geneva College moved to its new town and began classes. The first Beaver Falls graduating class was made up of six students in 1881.
Duquesne University graduate student, Jessica Ronning of New Kensington, Pa., developed the exhibit as part of an internship at Old Economy Village. She is studying Museum and Archival Studies as part of a Master’s Degree in History. She will complete her course work in May 2006.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. McCartney Library is open Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library is closed Sundays.
Old Economy Village in Ambridge was the third and final home of the Harmony Society between 1824 and 1905. The Society was a religious communal organization from Württemberg, Germany, known worldwide for its piety and industrial prosperity. This National Historic Landmark site is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The site welcomes guests at the visitor center at 270 Sixteenth Street in the National Register Historic District of Ambridge. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. The site is closed Mondays and holidays, except Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day.
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Washington Monthly ranks Geneva among the nation’s top ten “Best-Bang-for-the-Buck” baccalaureate colleges for providing students the highest chance of graduating with an affordable degree that has marketplace value.