Elktoberfest is a unique, small Fall festival in the heart of Elk Country held at our beautiful Benezette School! Home made chili, home made chicken noodle soup, smoked pork sandwiches and baked goods. Talented crafters, photographers and bakers will have their work on sale.

Join us for a fun-filled Autumn day in Benezette.

Proceeds help us to preserve the Benezette School - thank you for your support!

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Benezette, Pennsylvania (where did that name come from?) is well-known for the elk who live in the woods and fields around this small northern Pennsylvania town. But before the elk returned, generations of hunters, farmers, woodcutters, sawyers, coal miners, railroaders, tanners and well-drillers worked here. Their wives, moms, and sisters worked at "keeping house" and often earned a few dollars by putting their skills to work. The village bustled with these working people who found ways to hang on through the many changes of the last 200 years. What are their stories?



This effort was inspired by conversations with members of the Benezette School Committee. These volunteers have worked for more than 30 years to preserve and maintain the historic Benezette School. The building is now the gem of the community. It is very much a part of the present scene as the location of the township offices, elections, community events and, of course, Elktoberfest! Talking with them, most of whom have lived in Benezette for decades, reveals the story of a busy and vibrant community that has survived good times and bad times. We need to the know the stories of these folks and their neighbors, and that's what you can find here.

The information you'll find here has been extracted from newspapers, county histories, the federal census, interviews and more. Each fact is like a loose thread - once you start tugging on it, it gets longer and longer, leading to more facts. If you have ever tried to track down the story of your own family, you know that one fact leads to another, and there are always some that you aren't sure are relevant - yet - but something tells you to just file them away for now. You can read some of that here. Good historians don't speculate or make up stories when they don't have the facts, but they do ask questions. Short explanations within articles demonstrate this practice, so this is a presentation of both the stories and the process.

This is just the beginning. As the research continues, stories that are short now will be expanded and new stories will be added, so come back often. Enjoy!