Strolling Through History at Hopewell Village

For more than a century, Hopewell Furnace in southeastern Pennsylvania had exemplified the technological growing pains of a nation initially built on agriculture but destined to become the industrial titan of the western hemisphere. Between 1771, when Mark Bird (1739-1816) established his furnace at the headwaters of French Creek in Berks County, and 1883, when the­ fires finally cooled,...
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Abraham Lincoln Mask (1860) by Leonard W. Volk

One of the most famous likenesses of President Abraham Lincoln is an unusu­al life-mask made in March 1860 by sculptor Leonard W. Volk (1828-1895) in his Chicago studio. Volk measured Lin­coln’s head and upper torso and made a plaster impression of his face, on which he based his exquisite bust of the beard­less future president. Lincoln’s life-mask lay neglected for twenty years,...
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The Union League of Philadelphia and the Civil War


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A Modest Fountain on the Square

The modest appearance of a squat granite fountain hunkered along the curb on the south side of Philadelphia’s Washington Square belies its noble history. The fountain, which began in a much grander form on the opposite side of the square in 1869, was the first project of a sweeping movement that would adorn the city’s streets and quench the thirst of its residents, both man and beast. It was the...
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Meet Jim Vaughan, PHMC’s New Executive Director

James M. Vaughan was appointed executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in November 2011. Prior to this appointment Vaughan served as Vice President, Stewardship of Historic Sites for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C. In his career Vaughan has led several historic organizations including The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew...
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