Lost and Found

Lost Since its erection, first in iron in 1882 and then in steel in 1900, the Kinzua Viaduct, one of the most popular attractions along Route 6, has been hailed as “The Eighth Wonder of the World,” des­ignated a national landmark, and treasured as the centerpiece of the Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County. The bridge, tow­ering three hundred feet in height and spanning more...
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Survival of an American Boom Town

No stirring debates reverberate through the chambers of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall; white-hot molten steel no longer pours out of the fiery cauldrons in the sprawling mills of Pittsburgh and Bethlehem; and little coal ripped from the earth by giant steam shovels in Carbon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, and Lackawanna Counties in the Keystone State’s anthracite region. As surprising as...
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Letters

Beloved Meeting House Thank you for giving our beloved Forty Fort Meeting House such prominence in Pennsylvania Heritage [“Forty Fort Meeting House: The Architecture of a Union” by Vance Packard, Winter 2008]! The author’s text, the stunning photographs, and the sidebar featuring PHMC’s grant program was beautifully topped by remarks by Scott Doyle, PHMC grants manager....
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Bucktail Monument, Driftwood, PA.

This sounds as if the Bucktails were coming don’t it?” asked an unknown writer to Miss Bessie McPhee of Pittsburgh in a postcard mailed on April 6, 1908, at Driftwood, the second — and last — incorporated borough in Cameron County. Today a community of one hundred residents, Driftwood was incorporated as a borough in 1872; the county seat, Emporium, was incorporated in 1864. The postcard bears a...
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The Bucktails

Three days after the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor on April 15, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued an emergency call for troops to help defend the nation’s capital. Thomas Leiper Kane (1822–1883), scion of a prominent Philadelphia family, helped raise a mounted rifle regiment in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier counties of Cameron, Elk, McKean, and...
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The Shooting Stars of Drake Well

Much like other important industries in the Commonwealth – coal, iron, steel, timber, and railroading – the production of oil in northwestern Pennsylvania was fraught with danger. Among the perils petroleum speculators and drillers faced were fires, explosions, and fatal jams while shipping crude oil to market on waterways. One of the most dangerous tasks in extruding oil from the...
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Pioneering the Civil Rights Movement

Many individuals tend to overlook the political work championed by Black abolitionists during the second half of the nineteenth century. Instead, they celebrate slavery’s demise and then suddenly move on to the civil rights movement of the twentieth century, possibly unaware of what took place on the nation’s streets and in legislative offices and courtrooms from the 1860s through the 1890s. The...
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Wood on Glass: The Lumber Industry Photographs of William T. Clarke

William Townsend Clarke (1859–1930) photographed the forests of northcentral Pennsylvania during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, producing stunning images that tell the story of the logging industry in the vast stands of old-growth white pine and hemlock trees which Henry W. Shoemaker (1880–1958) called the “Black Forest” of Pennsylvania. Shoemaker was a prolific writer,...
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