About the Friends of the Fortified Bedford House

What Is The 'Friends Of The Fortified Bedford House'?

  The Friends of the Fortified Bedford House is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to accept donations from any individual or business interested in supporting the restoration, renovation and continued maintenance of what is believed to be the oldest manmade structure in Bedford Borough and possibly Bedford County, Pennsylvania. An expert in French and Indian War fortifications performed tests which verify that the beams and bricks which comprise the half-timber structure date contemporary with the construction of Fort Bedford in the summer and fall of 1758. A portion of the building, therefore, exists as possibly the only extant man-made structure associated with the French and Indian War in the entire United States of America.

       The word structure as used here refers to architecture. The Fort Dewart redoubt on the summit of the Allegheny Mountain is an earthen mound formation and should in no way be considered to be architecture.

Jeff Claycomb ~ Board Member

Bonnie K. Haga ~ Board Member

Patrick Lay ~ Treasurer

Jack Miller ~ Board Member

Adam T. Osman ~ Secretary

Short Bio ~ Adam T. Osman

   Adam has been involved with the Fortified Bedford House preservation efforts since early 2021, but has always had an interest and curiosity in the building.

   Adam's background in Bedford County tourism has led to extensive knowledge of the county's history and a love for the town of Bedford. He's knowledgeable of events and facts of the towns history and has delivered many historic downtown walking tours to various groups for several years.

   Since 2020 he's served on the board of the Bedford Heritage Trust which operates the Fort Bedford Museum. He's also volunteered with many other organizations such as Downtown Bedford Inc., and has participated in their annual Art Walk for several years.

   Adam is a 2017 graduate of the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Leadership program and now sits on the Leadership Committee where he's co-chaired sessions on both County Travel and Tourism and History and Culture.

   He is a graduate of IUP with a bachelor of science degree in Communications Media.

   Adam has been a longtime woodworker and woodcarver. Under the business name "Bedford County Adam" his work can be found at the Fortified Bedford House, the Bedford Museum, the Southern Allegheny's Museum of Art in Bedford, the Bedford Fine Art Gallery, Bison Coral gift shop on the Lincoln Highway, and local craft and farmers markets throughout the year.

Larry D. Smith ~ President

Short Bio ~ Larry D. Smith

   Larry graduated from IUP in 1977 with a BS Degree in Art. He subsequently undertook a personal study of the American Revolutionary War, which culminated in the publication in 1999 of the book Mother Bedford and the American Revolutionary War. The book spawned the creation of a website titled "motherbedford.com" for which Larry created every background, icon and button. To produce his website, Larry created it entirely in html using Notepad. In recognition of the publication of that book and website, he received the Patriot Medal from the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, the highest award that can be bestowed by a state society to a Compatriot member.

   Larry published a history of Blair County, Pennsylvania in 1997 titled: 150th Anniversary History of Blair County, Pennsylvania.

   Larry published a history of Bedford County, Pennsylvania in 2020 titled: Bedford County, Pennsylvania ~ Two and One-Half Centuries in the Making.

   During 2021, Larry served as the Chair of the Bedford County Sestercentennial Celebrations Committee. He was also named, by the Bedford County Commissioners in 2022, to represent Bedford County in the America250PA project.

   Larry currently holds numerous positions, including that of President, in the Frontier Patriots Chapter, of the Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the American Revolution. He is also the editor of the Pennsylvania Society's quarterly magazine The Pennsylvania Minuteman.

An Observation ~ Larry D. Smith

   "It was fortuitous that I was at the Bedford County Historical Society library on the day that Tyna Walker-Lay called. She wanted someone from the historical society to come to the building at 111 S. Juliana Street to look at the walls and give some advice about them. Gillian Leach, the Executive Director of the historical society asked me if I wanted to go along with her to see what Tyna wanted someone to see. Of course I was curious myself, so we headed into downtown Bedford Borough. Tyna took Gillian and me through the ground floor room of the storefront that had most recently been occupied by Mitchell Jewelers. I remember commenting that the four by four upright beams of the walls looked hand hewn. We were led up a steep flight of stairs and into a room above the storefront. I became light-headed and slightly faint as my eyes beheld a sight that I had dreamt of ~ but could only dream of ~ for many years. There were upright and diagonal 4" by 4" hand-hewn beams forming the structure of the walls. The spaces between the beams were infilled with bricks. The bricks were various sizes and were evidently hand made and sun-baked. I couldn't believe that I was actually looking at half-timber construction."
      "I immediately realized that I was standing in possibly the oldest building in Bedford Borough, indeed in all of Bedford County (that is to say, the Bedford County of 1771 when it encompassed the region of present-day Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset Counties), and perhaps even in all of Pennsylvania west of the Susquehanna River!"
      "Tyna told us about some of the plans they had for the restoration of the building and I suggested they cover as much of the beams and bricks as possible with large sheets of plexiglass so that the half-timber construction would be visible to others."
      "After that first visit, I produced the 'analysis' that is transcribed in the History section of this website. And I was honored to be named, by Tyna, as their 'historical consultant'."
      "I could see that the restoration and renovation project was and would continue to be an expensive venture for the Lays. For the sake of supporting the restoration process and to provide for continuing maintenance, something had to be done. I had once been a supporter of the Friends of Colonial Williamsburg and thought that a similar "Friends of" group could help to support this restoration project. The idea of establishing a 'Friends of...' group seemed the perfect means to make it easy for other lovers of Bedford County history to support the project through tax-deductible donations."

Tyna Walker-Lay ~ Board Member

Short Bio ~ Tyna Walker-Lay

   Tyna Walker-Lay along with her husband Patrick own Peppercorn Market and the Fortified Bedford House on historic Juliana St. in downtown Bedford.

   In addition to being a shop proprietor, Tyna is a feature writer for the Bedford Gazette.

   She cooks, she's a history buff, & she love to travel abroad or cross-country in the family RV.

   Future building plans include designs Tyna is developing for outdoor and event spaces, and historically accurate renovations.

   She lives in Bedford where she welcomes home her six children whenever possible, & keeps her granddaughter Emma Grace every opportunity she gets.

 Send E-Mail To:  contact@fortifiedbedfordhouse.com