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McKean County Historical Society Old Jail Museum


Bucktails Photo
Glass Display Photo
History Photo
The Historic Jail
Weaving Photo




British Broadcasting Company

This Jailhouse Rocks

History Alive


The McKean County Historical Society operates the Old Jail Museum in the historic jail located on King Street behind the Courthouse. The jail was constructed in 1872, and is Smethport’s oldest public building.

According to the British Broadcasting Company, the jail is haunted by the angry spirit of a convicted murderer who vowed to return to haunt the jail shortly before he was hanged for his criminal misdeeds.

On the more realistic side, the museum captures “windows of time” in displays of the history of McKean County, its towns, life style, and genealogy of its people. The museum also provides a wealth of information about the famous Civil War Buctail Regiment that was mustered in front of the 2nd McKean County Courthouse, details from the “Oil Boom Days”, records of cemeteries in the county, and microfilm copies of The McKean County Miner newspaper that was printed in Smethport. Additional old photos, artifacts, lectures, and demonstrations bring the area’s history alive.

Museum Admission
General: $4.00
Members, Senior Citizens, Children 6-12: $2.00
Children 5 and under: Free
Group Tours Available

Museum Hours
April 1-May 31: Tuesday & Thursday 1-4 p.m.
June 1-August 31: Monday thru Friday 1-4 p.m.
Sept. 1-Oct 31: Tuesday & Thursday 1-4 p.m.

Weaving Demonstrations:
Every Thursday by Jim Baker

Railroad Talks:
Every Friday by Dick Robertson

Annual Membership Fee
$10.00 Individual
$25.00 Family
$100.00 Lifetime
Membership includes free use of the Library facility, a free subscription to the Society’s newsletter, Bucktail News, and a 50% discount on museum admission.

Library Usage Fee for Non-Members is $5.00

The Museum is supported in part by a grant
From the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

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