What's Historic About Brookville, Pennsylvania?

The Brady Craig House

By Jenny Keihl

The architectural details on the exterior of the Brady Craig House indicate it was constructed during the 1840s or 1850s. Jefferson County was surveyed in 1815 and the lots in Brookville were sold on June 30, 1830. In 1834, Octavius Pickering bought the lot on which the Brady Craig House now stands.

The 1850 census records indicate that attorney Benjamin Lucas, 31, and his wife, Elizabeth, 24, son Albert, 6, and daughter Anne, 1, were living in the dwelling at that time. The tax records assessed the value of the property at $1,400. The Lucas family moved to Pittsburgh when the Civil War began in 1861.

The property was conveyed to Charles Clark from J. B. Evans in 1865. It was written that Charles B. Clark had resided in Brookville for about 30 years when he died on January 3, 1863. Charles Clark willed the property to his daughters and his son-in-law, W. R. Gunnis. He conveyed his interest to Amelia Clark on September 25, 1893. Records show that on February 8, 1917, H. B. Craig bought the house for $2,500 for the Clark estate.

Local historian Dr. William J. McKnight, wrote in 1917 that Hugh Brady Craig was a furniture dealer and an undertaker. He also wrote that Craig's father was also in the furniture business for a number of years.

On July 2, 1972, largely through the efforts of Arthur Altman and the Jefferson County Historical Society, the house was purchased for use as a museum. At that time the kitchen in the rear of the house was removed.

The details of the house indicate the front section were erected first, with the rear portion added on at a later date. The marks of an axe are still visible on the main support post in the basement. It is said the winding stairway was the first of its kind in Brookville. It was also rumored the basement was used during the late 1860s when the new Jefferson County Courthouse jail was being built.

Recently, the Jefferson County Historical Society erected an annex behind the Brady Craig House to serve as an archival storage facitity. The Brady Craig House is located at 232 Jefferson Street.

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