The Eagle Has Landed… Back in Pennsylvania: An Interview with Dick Vermeil

When Dick Vermeil signed a five-year contract to coach the Philadelphia Eagles on February 8, 1976, he became at age 39 the youngest head coach in the National Football League. He also inherited a football team that had not posted a winning season in nine years. Just three seasons later, Vermeil led the Eagles to their first playoff appearance in 18 years. He drove his players harder than any...
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The Deerslayer by N.C. Wyeth

  In December 1967 PHMC chairman James B. Stevenson accepted an original painting by N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945) for the collection of The State Museum of Pennsylvania from Mrs. George R. Bailey of the George R. Bailey Foundation of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, in a ceremony held in the museum’s Memorial Hall. The painting had been created as the cover design for the 1925 Scribner Illustrated...
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Indian Hannah

Hannah Freeman is a name rarely found in history books, although her story and legend live on in southern Chester County. Known more popularly as “Indian Hannah,” Freeman is remembered in local lore as the last Lenape living in Chester County at the time of her death in 1802. She was born about 1730 on the Webb farm in Kennett Township not far from the Delaware border. Today the farm is part of...
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Camp Elder Civil War Paroled POW Camp

Located in Westtown Township, Chester County, Camp Elder was a holding facility for the Union’s paroled Prisoners of War (POWs) from mid-July to August 1863. Because of logistical problems associated with holding enemy prisoners during the American Civil War both Union and Confederate armies issued hundreds of thousands of paroles to soldiers captured in battle. Terms of this practice were...
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History Cast in Iron: Rediscovering Keystone Markers

From Airville to Blooming Valley, from Camptown to Dornsife, and all the way to Wysox, York Haven and Zion View, Pennsylvania literally claims unusual – as well as unique – place names from A to Z. Most of the Commonwealth’s cities, towns and villages were once marked with cast iron name signs, painted in the rich blue and gold colors associated with Pennsylvania. Manufactured in an elongated...
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York County: A Most Treasured Land

Planted squarely above the Maryland border, the gigantic horse’s hoof, which is the out­ line of York County, covers an area of 914 square miles, supporting a popula­tion of 300,000. Its eastern contour is delineated by the “long, crooked” Sus­quehanna, its pastern cleanly cut off by Cumberland County on the north, its outer edge defined by Adams Coun­ty on the west. This...
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Lancaster County: Diversity of People, Ideas and Economy

When Lancaster County was established on May 10, 1729, it became the proto­type for the sixty-three counties to follow. The original three counties­Philadelphia, Bucks and Chester – were created as copies of typical English shires. The frontier conditions of Ches­ter County’s backwoods, from which Lancaster was formed, presented knot­ty problems to the civilized English­men....
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The Jefferis Collection: A Pennsylvania Treasure

In February 1905, four men entered a small brick building on Miner Street in West Chester and began a month of careful labor. Using cotton and fine wood shavings, they individually wrapped 35,000 mineral speci­mens with their handwritten labels, carefully placed them into boxes, nailed the boxes shut and hauled box after box to the West Chester railroad station. Newspaper reporters kept the...
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On the Trail of Frank Furness

An historic sites survey is rightfully likened to a trea­sure hunt. A game of discovery, it relies on clues obtained from old maps, diaries, photographs, newspapers and countless other sources to lead to the awaiting bounty. Rather than finding a pot of gold, the historic sites survey, through its identification and documentation of old buildings, is rewarded by the discovery of pattern and...
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Geography and Resources: The Story of Adaptation

The country itself, in its soil, air, water, seasons, and produce, both natural and artificial, is not to be despised. – William Penn Man is a creative and inventive creature capable of either adapt­ing to the environment, when need be, or adapting the environment to suit his particular needs. In the words of Max Savelle, “the history of the Anglo­American colonies is . . . a history...
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