Coolbaugh Township Historical Association

Preserving, interpreting and encouraging interest in our history

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Wills Mansion & Bicentennial Museum

The museum property has had several owners: Nancy Drake, the Rhodes family, and Annie Wills.

Annie Wills, a wealthy member of Scranton society, built the mansion as her luxurious summer home in the roaring ’20s. She had close ties with the Roman Catholic Church, and her generosity earned her a designation as ”Countess of the Catholic Church,” bestowed by Pope Pius in 1928.

After Annie died, the church purchased her home as a rectory for the priests, and a retreat house was built adjacent to the mansion.

In 1989, Coolbaugh Township purchased the property and the mansion served as the township headquarters for several years before becoming the Bicentennial Museum.

The museum contains a wealth of diverse local artifact, including toys and school materials from the 1930s, a military room in recognition of the township’s ties to the Tobyhanna Army Depot, and displays on ice harvesting and ice fishing. It and features a mysterious secret staircase and two showers with multiple jets.