Dauphin County: Chocolates, Coal, and a Capital

Dauphin County celebrates its two hundredth anniver­sary this year. The events and themes that are the history of the county reflect the experience of Pennsylvania and the United States. Dauphin County has never been a homogeneous commu­nity; indeed, it is difficult to consider it as a single commu­nity. From the beginning it has comprised individuals of diverse ethnic, national and religious...
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The Consequences of the American Revolution in Pennsylvania

One of the more interesting and controversial aspects of the American Revolution concerns its consequen­ces upon colonial institutions and society in general. Was the society left almost unchanged by a movement fun­damentally conservative in its causes, or was it profoundly altered by a revolution radical in its results, if not in its origins? Specifically, what happened to the society of...
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Historical Sketch of Greene County

Greene County lies in the southwestern corner of the state. Its many hills, the distinguishing feature of the countryside, grow more pronounced as one travels from the eastern to the western areas. The old Washington Waynes­burg Railroad, traveling through the hills, was famous for its 178 sharp turns, each of which jolted the passengers. There were some who took the trip just for the roller...
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History is Alive and Well in Beaver County

On June 6, 1824, the steamboat Ploughboy with the first contingent of Harmony Society members came around the bend in the river at Legionville; the skipper gave a cannon salute. After dropping anchor, the passengers disembarked and made camp. The following day, Father Rapp, leader of the Harmonists, wrote to the remaining members at New Harmony: “I consider this place the most healthful in...
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Lehigh County: The Land and Its People

Lehigh County encompasses the western half of the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania. Bounded on the east by the Lehigh River, the main geographical feature of the larger valley, and on the north by the Blue Mountain range, the land is a mosaic of lime­stone plain, sinks and rolling hills. While the southern region of the county lies astride the so-called South Moun­tain and the hills of the...
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Courageous Cumberland County

Anxious to persuade a Scottish cleric, the Rev. Charles Nisbet, to become the first president of Dickinson Col­lege, its founding trustee Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote the Presbyterian worthy in 1784, describing central Cumberland County. The town of Carlisle lies 120 miles to the westward of Philadel­phia and about 18 miles from the river Susquehannah. It consists of about 300 houses, most of which...
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Two Gentlemen of Vision

Henry Janssen and Ferdinand Thun, whose small textile company grew mto the multi-million dollar Wyomissing Industries, were not only prominent industrial­ists, but also visionaries and idealists. With their unique, progressive approach, the two were largely responsible for the development of Wyomiss­ing, Berks County, one of the first planned industrial com­munities in Pennsylvania. Although...
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A Walk on the Wild Side: Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Creek

At one time deli­cately depicted on dainty lamp shades, the Wissahickon Creek has offered generations of Philadelphians a verdant retreat from the stress of urban life. It is a place to meet old friends, engage in spirited recreational activities, or simply seek solitude. Each person’s reason for seeking respite along the Wissahickon is as unique as the individual, but all share a common...
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Wanted: Women to Meet the Wartime Challenge! A Pictorial Essay

A woman’s place is in the home. That time-honored maxim certainly held true until the out­break of World War II. This selection of photographs and posters – some startling, some engaging – tells the story of a world turned topsy-turvy. Drawn from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s Bureau of Archives and History, the Charles L. Blockson Afro­-American...
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Who Are These Anthracite People? Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum

In the beginning were only the great transverse mountains, seen as ridge upon overlapping ridge stretching far into the horizon of northeastern Pennsylvania. Wide expanses of sweeping landscape contained virgin forests – thick, verdant, and heavy. Deep valleys formed by resplendent rivers – on the east, the Delaware; to the west, the Susquehanna; and northward, the Lackawanna where...
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