Protection from Trotter Head

The document pictured here bears the following inscription: “Trotter Head, I forbid thee my house and premises. I forbid thee my horse and cow-stable, I forbid thee my bedstead, that thou mayest not breathe upon me; breathe into some other house, until thou hast ascended every hill, until thou hast counted every fencepost, and until thou hast crossed every water. And thus dear day may come again...
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Searching for Mountain Mary: The Life and Legend of an Early Pennsylvania Saint

“There, underneath this mountain stone, Lies Mary Young, who lived alone, High on the lofty mountainside, Beloved and honored till she died.” —Ralph Bigony, 1846   Enshrined in works of art and immortalized in poetry, the life and deeds of Mountain Mary, or Anna Maria Jung (1744–1819), has become one of the preeminent legends of early southeastern Pennsylvania, embodying the spirit of the...
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Editor’s Letter

Pennsylvania is home to some of the most acclaimed mural paintings in the nation, including those in our own State Capitol created by Violet Oakley, the first woman in the country to receive a public mural commission in 1902 (see “To Form a More Perfect Union,” Fall 2019), and those found on the walls of many U.S. post offices in the state, installed as part of public work projects between 1934...
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Painter of the Stars by Lee S. Heffner and Patrick J. Donmoyer

Painter of the Stars The Life and Work of Milton J. Hill (1887–1972) by Lee S. Heffner and Patrick J. Donmoyer Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, 144 pp., hardcover $35 The most familiar visual symbols of Pennsylvania Dutch folk culture are the colorful circular designs known popularly as “hex signs,” which adorn countless items marketed to visitors to Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country,...
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“Drawing to Represent”: Lewis Miller of York, Chronicler of 19th-Century Life

Lewis Miller’s depictions of people and their everyday lives have been used repeatedly to illustrate 19th-century American life. Whether it is a flood of molasses flowing down the street or Simon Einstein bringing a load of cabbages to town to celebrate his election victory, Miller seemed to have seen it all, and he depicted many of these scenes during his long lifetime. Miller also recorded...
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“From My Own Observation and Familiar Acquaintance”: Phebe Earle Gibbons Introduces the Pennsylvania Dutch to the World

  “It was on a Sunday morning in March, when the air was bleak and the roads were execrable, that I obtained a driver to escort me to the farm-house where an Amish meeting was to be held,” wrote Phebe Earle Gibbons (1821–93), describing a Lancaster County Amish religious gathering in the late 1860s. “The floors were bare, but on one of the open doors hung a long white towel,...
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Editor’s Letter

Twenty years ago, Pennsylvania became the setting for one of the most tragic but heroic episodes in recent U.S. history, when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a meadow in Somerset County after passengers fought back at al-Qaeda hijackers who had planned to use the aircraft for an attack on an unknown target in Washington, D.C. In this issue we mark the somber anniversary of 9/11 with the...
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More Than Decoration: Barn Stars Sustain the Spirit of Folk Tradition

The rungs of the extension ladder echoed across the hollow as the barn star painters prepared to ascend the facade of the barn to begin their third and final day of work. Carefully selecting their brushes and colors, the painters took their places 20 feet above the barnyard where they worked their magic. With rapid and calculated movements, they began applying the paint to the rough contours of...
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Editor’s Letter

History is revisited and revised not only because newly found or overlooked evidence is uncovered through the years but also because distance in time and transformations in society often call for a fresh outlook to provide context and meaning for readers today. The features in this edition of Pennsylvania Heritage are written by experts who have been involved in extensive research in their...
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Chicken and Waffles: The Pennsylvania Story

In his 1861 local-color novel The Young Parson, German Reformed minister Peter Seibert Davis (1828–92) described chicken and waffles as the “stereotypical” Sunday supper among the Pennsylvania Dutch. How this dish moved from a regional identity food into mainstream American cookery is indeed a complicated story, especially since chicken and waffles reached its height of popularity during the...
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