Bookshelf

Our Priceless Heritage: Pennsylvania State Parks, 1893-1993 by Dan Cupper Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1993 (70 pages, paper, $12.95) “Priceless” is a word that best defines the Keystone State’s natural history, and Our Priceless Heritage: Pennsylvania State Parks, 1893-1993, is a copiously...
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Letters to the Editor

Ecstatic with Esherick Wow! Your magazine is really on the ball. With the growing popularity of the crafts movement, you’re right on target with your feature story on Esherick [see Sharon Hernes Silverman’s “A Passion for Wood: The Life and Legacy of Wharton Esherick” in the Fall 1997 issue]. I’m ecstatic with your timely coverage. Thanks. Mimi Hake-Tripp...
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September 2001 Meeting of Historic Preservation Board

In the dizzying aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans realized that their lives would be forever changed. Terrorism even impacted the routine – and frequently mundane – ways in which business had been conducted. For its September 2001 meeting-held, incidentally, on Tuesday, September 11 – the Commonwealth’s Historic...
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Septennial Census

Pennsylvania’s consti­tution has nothing like the “actual Enumeration” clause of the U.S. Constitution, which is the basis for the once-per­-decade federal censuses that have become the sin­gle most important record group for genealogists. While the Commonwealth has never taken such an all-inclusive headcount, it did enumerate taxpayers in listings called the Septennial Census...
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Reviving – and Revising – the Reputation of Ralph Elwood Brock

On May 31, 1966, D. S. Nace of the state Department of Forests and Waters, now the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), scrawled a note to Joe Hill of the Mont Alto Nursery, in Franklin County, and attached it to a stack of documents. “Might find something of interest in these. Don’t Destroy,” he cautioned. Those nine words ultimately proved to be an invaluable...
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Art with a Purpose: Pennsylvania’s Museum Extension Project, 1935-1943

Like other relief programs launched during the Great Depression under the aegis of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the goal of federal arts programs of the 1930s was two-fold: to rescue unemployed Americans from poverty and to produce something of public benefit. One of the unintended byproducts was controversy. In 1937, the Federal Art and Theatre Project unintentionally...
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The Union’s Forgotten First Defenders

Throughout the four years of the American Civil War, more than two million men served the Union, some for months, others for years. The vast majority were volunteers, young boys and aging men who willingly left home behind to fight for the preservation of the Union and the eradication of slavery.1 Historians have documented the stories of countless citizens-turned-soldiers, recalling the...
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Waging War Their Own Way: Women and the Civil War in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s recently conserved Civil War Muster Rolls, housed at the Pennsylvania State Archives, document the commonwealth’s contributions to the Union. Nearly 345,000 Pennsylvanians served in the U.S. Army during the war, or approximately 60 percent of the adult male population.1 A century and a half ago clerks carefully transcribed the names, ages, regiments, and brief...
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A Forgotten Hero of the Civil War

At seven o’clock on Thursday evening, April 18, 1861, approximately 475 Pennsylvania citizens-turned-soldiers, comprising the ranks of five volunteer militia companies, arrived in Washington D.C., to protect the nation’s capital. The first shots of the American Civil War were fired less than a week earlier at Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, and it had been just...
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This Is a Beautiful, Bountiful Earth: Joseph Trimble Rothrock and the Preservation of Penn’s Woods

The lush, verdant woodlands characteristic of Pennsylvania’s landscape are almost entirely second-growth forests, in existence roughly for less than a century. Had it not been for the groundbreaking work of many conservationists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Keystone State’s present terrain would be dramatically different. One of the most important of those...
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