Cambria County: Coming Full Circle

Located in the highlands of west­-central Pennsylvania and amidst forbidding mountains – the Allegheny escarpment and the Laurel Ridge standing sentinel on its eastern and western borders­ – the territory that would become Cambria County was not easily accessible to early Pennsylvanians. Migrants bound westward during the second half of the eighteenth century avoided its...
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Northampton County: From Frontier Farms to Urban Industries – and Beyond

Sweeping across southcentral Pennsyl­vania lies the Great Valley and nestled in its northeastern corner is mod­ern Northampton County. Bordered on the east by the Delaware River, on the south by South Mountain and the piedmont, and on the west by the valley of the Lehigh River, the three hundred and seventy-two square mile re­gion is one of gently rolling hills and wooded valleys, with...
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The Boals of Boalsburg: Two Hundred Years of a Pennsylvania Heritage

What is the story of America? The question stirs the imagina­tion, conjuring romantic im­ages of stalwart pioneers stalking the vast wilderness, of hardworking farming families toiling from sunrise long past sunset, and of village mer­chants eking out meager livelihoods in America’s heartland. Much of the story is devoted to the fledging hamlets and em­bryonic communities and their...
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Original and Genuine: Unadulterated and Guaranteed!

John Wanamaker felt ill. He didn’t have time for an autumn cold. There was so much work to do, espe­cially now as his great department store readied itself for the coming Christmas season. Anticipating a busier day tomorrow, he made an heroic effort to stem the cas­cade of papers across his desk into orderly piles before taking a parting glance around his office. Banks of filing cabinets,...
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A Historical Sketch of Indiana County

Indiana County was named for the native Indians. During historic times the two principal tribes were the Delawares and Shawnees. Being reluctant to give up their lands, the Indians struggled desperately to keep out the tide of European settlers. Perhaps the first white settler to enter Indiana County was James LeTort, an Indian trader, about 1726-27. A place called “Letart’s...
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The Little Cub That Roared

The Piper Cub is a very small airplane, especially by today’s standards. When parked on an airport tarmac, a person of average height standing beside it can easily see over its wing, which forms the roof of the cockpit. It accommodates a pilot and one passenger. No space is wasted. The forward, or pilot’s seat, is narrow and cramped. The passenger seat directly behind the...
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A Farewell to Arms: The Passing of the Philadelphia Navy Yard

Not only is the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, established in 1794, the oldest naval shipyard in the country’s history, but it is distinguished as the oldest continually operated public – that is, government – shipyard in the United States. The history of this sprawling complex is an integral part of both state and local heri­tage, as well as of the founding of the United States...
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The Home Kids Find a Place of Their Own

In 1912, Isador Sobel, born in New York in 1858, was an individual of considerable standing in Erie, where he had studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1888. Three years later he was elected to city council and during his second term served as president. President William McKinley appointed him Erie’s postmaster in 1898, as did President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902 and 1906, and...
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A Kentucky Frontiersman’s Pennsylvania Roots: The Daniel Boone Homestead

Mere mention of the name Daniel Boone conjures images of an American icon: trailblazer of the Wilderness Road, preeminent Kentucky frontiersman, defender of early settlements, a crack shot with a long rifle. Boone’s real and folkloric exploits are so well-known that his character is often overlooked, as is the fact that his personality took shape during a boyhood not spent in...
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Taking Flight! Pittsburgh’s Gateway to the Skies

More than twenty million passengers found their way into, through, and out of Pittsburgh International Airport during 1999 alone. (The figure breaks down to six hun­dred flights daily to one hundred and nineteen domestic destina­tions and ten foreign destina­tions.) Had they been attempting to reserve seats on a flight departing Pittsburgh in 1927, passengers would have had to vie for one flight...
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