CelestiaWilliamsport- The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society will host a Society Program on Sunday, July 16 at 2pm in its Community Room. Guest lecturer Wilson Ferguson will present “Celestia: God’s Village in Sullivan County”. The program is free and open to the public.

In 1850 Peter Edward Armstrong of Philadelphia purchased one hundred eighty-one acres of land in an unsettled area of the newly-established Sullivan County (recently formed from Lycoming County in 1847). His intent was to prepare a place for the second coming of Christ. His village would be based on a divine community of believers united in pure faith and governed by a perfect theocracy on earth where God’s rule was ultimate. To learn about the background, development and outcomes of this ‘divine experiment’, you will not want to miss this fascinating lecture.

A resident of Laporte, Dr. Wilson Ferguson will be the guest lecturer. Dr. Ferguson was a teacher of history and the humanities at Russell Sage College, Troy, New York, from 1968 until 1994. Prior to that, he had teaching posts at Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA., and Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa. He earned his undergraduate degrees at Kenyon College, Gambler, Ohio, and Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA., and his Ph.D at Princeton.

Copies of a book on Celestia will be available in the Taber bookstore. The Society Program continues a series of lectures which focus on communities of Lycoming County and surrounding area. Future talks will focus on Lewis Township and the Washington Boulevard Cemetery.