Brookville’s beautifully restored Victorian Main Street welcomes you to this charming community. Recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Communities and also listed on the National Register of Historic Towns, a wealth of history awaits you.


Revisit the turn of the century when you spend time in historic Brookville, the county seat.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Towns, Brookville features many painstakingly restored Victorian homes and buildings built when the lumbering industry was at its peak in the late 1800s. Take a self-guided walking tour through the 90-acre historic district to truly enjoy the beautiful architecture. Each year in December, the Victorian Christmas Celebration will take you back to the days of Charles Dickens with the sights and sounds of the era.

To learn more about the history of the area visit the Jefferson County History Center located on Main Street just one-half block east of the courthouse in the preserved Nathan Greene Edelblute building. The History Center offers exhibits, public programs, a shop, research facilities and more.

In the summer, the Laurel Festival held in the Downtown area celebrates the blooming of the Mountain Laurel in the laurel fields on the outskirts of Brookville. Other outdoor recreational opportunities include several community parks and golfing at one of two local courses.

Did you know the first four-wheel drive car was built in Brookville, PA?

Robert E. Twyford designed and built the first four-wheel drive car. Twyford, who was a mechanical engineer, had the idea to build a car that could handle snow, mud, and hills better than traditional cars of the day. His idea received backing from two investors in Brookville, PA. So the Twyford Motor Company was formed and a factory was built in the town. In 1904, the first Twyford car was assembled and ready to drive. The first Twyford was a one-seated roadster. It was presented at shows in Buffalo, NY, and New York City, where it was very well received. The Twyford roadster cost about $1,000 compared to Henry Ford’s Model T, which was selling for just $250.

Though Twyford had plans for other models, including a four passenger Stanhope and a delivery truck, they were never manufactured. Only five or six roadsters were built because there weren’t any buyers for the pricey car. As a result, Twyford went out of business.

The Twyford Motor Company may be gone, but it is not forgotten by the people of Brookville, especially William L. (Bill) McCracken, who lives just north of town. Mr. McCracken, who is 91, says a family connection to the original investors in the company piqued his interest in the car and he has been researching it ever since he was 12 years old. In his research and travels, Mr. McCracken has not come across an actual Twyford car. But through photos and rough drawings he built a complete, life-sized replica of the car, which is on display at the Jefferson County History Center in Brookville.

Before donating the car to the history center, Mr. McCracken often drove his Twyford in Brookville’s Laurel Festival and Clarion’s Autumn Leaf Festival parades. You can see the Twyford at the Jefferson County History Center, Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. The center is located at 172-176 Main Street in Brookville. For more information call (814) 849-0077 or visit

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