Takac-sponsored bill to transfer Centre County historical site to Roland Curtin Foundation clears PA House

HARRISBURG, April 10 – In a move that would help ensure a key piece of Centre County’s history is preserved, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a bill yesterday that would transfer the Eagle Iron Works and Curtin Village from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to the Roland Curtin Foundation, according to the legislation’s sponsor, state Rep. Paul Takac.


Takac said the bill, which passed the House unanimously, would help to promote and educate the public about a key time period in not only the history of Centre County, but also the history of Pennsylvania.


“For over 100 years, the Eagle Iron Works served as a hub of the thriving nineteenth century iron production industry in central Pennsylvania as part of the famed Juniata Iron District. In the early 1800s this five-county region supplied over half of all the iron produced in Pennsylvania and nearly 20% in the entire United States,” Takac said. “This transfer will enable the Roland Curtin Foundation to invest in additional restoration work and to expand programming, especially as we approach the 250th anniversary of the founding of our nation.”

In 1974, the restored 1850’s era mansion was opened to the public for tours under the direction of the non-profit Roland Curtin Foundation. Since that time, the foundation has welcomed thousands of visitors and hosted countless educational events.

Sue Hannegan, president of the Roland Curtin Foundation, weighed in on the bill’s passage:

“Over the past five years, members and volunteers of the non-profit Roland Curtin Foundation have worked toward passage of this legislation, as it provides the means to return Eagle Iron Works and Curtin Village to local ownership, and opens the possibility for the foundation to seek grant funding, initiate a capital campaign, enhance interpretive programs and establish an endowment program to support long-term operation of this historic site,” Hannegan said.

“Our vision is to enhance and expand opportunities for the public to enjoy and explore the story of the region’s leading nineteenth-century industry, learn about the people who forged a century of ironmaking history in Pennsylvania's heartland, and discover this site’s connection to the Commonwealth's ‘Civil War governor,’ Andrew Gregg Curtin,” she said.

“The ability to preserve, protect and promote the rich history and heritage of our region will help ensure that future generations fully appreciate the key role that Centre County and central Pennsylvania played in the development of our Commonwealth and our nation as a whole,” Takac added.

A video of Takac’s remarks on this legislation can be found here.