Betsy Taylor finds her heritage at Centre Furnace Mansion

Video posted April 30, 2014 in News by Alexander Wypijewski


Betsy Taylor moved to the State College area three years ago to be closer to family. She later learned her family has a stronger connection to the university than she suspected.

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Taylor now works at the Centre County Furnace Mansion as a docent – a guide or interpreter of historical artifacts.  She works at least once a week, giving tours or working in the mansion gardens.

Centre Furnace Mansion was built in 1830 and was the residence of  Moses and Mary Irvin Thompson.  Upset at his lack of education as a younger man, Moses Thompson decided that he would invest a couple hundred acres of land east of his mansion that he had to help found the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania.

Taylor says that all of the items in the house are either donated by family members of the Thompson family or private collectors.  She says that she gets a haunting feeling whenever she realizes that her mother’s hat boxes are pieces of interest in the house, donated by her family.

Audio: Betsy Taylor and Her Family Ties

Betsy Taylor says that her connection to the family that greatly contributed to the establishment of Penn State University became a deciding factor that led her to work for the Centre Furnace Mansion