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As a native of Bradford County, Matthew Carl became interested in local history at the age of 10 on an overnight youth group trip to the former lumber town of Laquin in southern Bradford County.
He was founding president of LeRoy Heritage Museum in LeRoy Township in 2001 at the age of 18 and has served as president since then. Under his leadership, the organization purchased and restored a historic 2,500 square foot grange hall to become a museum. The organization has preserved thousands of objects that tell the story of southwestern Bradford County as well as the largest collection of research material available for this area. In 2015 Matthew led the museum board of directors in its effort to acquire a second property in LeRoy to expand and develop a regional museum to better represent southwestern Bradford County. The building project was finished in 2021 and the museum opened in 2022 in a 9,000 square foot Victorian era hotel. Matthew designed the museum exhibits. The original museum building has now been converted into a research library for local history. LeRoy Heritage Museum has consolidated the collection of several organizations, groups, and local historians into its facilities.
Matthew joined the Board of Trustees of the Bradford County Historical Society in 2004 at the age of 21 and was the youngest board member to be appointed in BCHS history to that point. In the Spring of 2007, he was given the opportunity to transition from being a volunteer board member to being full time Manager/Curator, and later his title was changed to Executive Director. He has authored, co-authored, designed, or worked on the reprints of nine local history books; has created a full-color guide booklet for the historical markers and monuments in Bradford County; and produced a guide to the museums of Bradford County. Matthew has also done the layout and design for the Bradford County Historical Society Settler magazine and Annual magazine for several years and has written and published almost 50 issues of LeRoy Heritage Museum’s full-color Monogram local history magazine.
Matthew has spoken regularly throughout Bradford County on the topic of local history for the past 22 years. He has led numerous walking tours on Barclay Mountain over the years with additional walking tours and historic building tours held for both students and adults at various times.