Allegheny Observatory

The mysteries of space and time itself have been explored at the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh, ever since it was built to satisfy the celestial curiosity of the Allegheny Telescope Association, a group of amateur astronomy enthusiasts. In 1859 the group selected a site on the hills of North Side (at that time part of Allegheny City), an area free of city lights, providing a perfect spot...
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Western Pennsylvania’s Earliest Chinese Communities

Most Pennsylvanians recognize Philadelphia’s popular Chinatown, yet far fewer know of the significant presence of Chinese immigrants in western Pennsylvania. On April 16, 2022, the Pittsburgh branch of the Organization of Chinese Americans dedicated a Pennsylvania Historical Marker for Pittsburgh Chinatown in front of the Chinatown Inn at 520 Third Avenue in the city. Six months prior, a marker...
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Sylvania Electric Products

Nestled in the valley of the Driftwood Branch of the Sinnemahoning Creek sits Emporium, the seat of Cameron County. Emporium was known for industries that were prominent in other central Pennsylvania towns: lumber, coal, dynamite, iron smelting and tanning. By the early 20th century, however, the borough made a name for itself as the home of Sylvania Electric Products, which produced...
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Quecreek: Remembering the Remarkable Mining Rescue 20 Years Later

The site of a massive multigovernment rescue effort to save nine miners trapped hundreds of feet below the earth’s surface is today a placid meadow with a memorial park and a museum dedicated to telling the story of four desperate days in July 2002. “It’s been a life-changing 20 years,” says Bill Arnold, executive director of the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation, located at the rescue site, part...
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Charles F. West: Athlete, Physician and Trailblazer

On September 18, 2021, the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) dedicated a Pennsylvania Historical Marker honoring Charles Fremont West (1899–1979) of the W&J Class of 1924. West was a true hometown hero, as he was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, attended Washington High School, and then graduated from W&J. The dedication was...
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Cambria City

Nestled between a bend in the Conemaugh River and a steep bluff, Cambria City is a distinctive, dense neighborhood that tells the story of hundreds of immigrants who came to work in Pennsylvania’s steel mills and coal mines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Following the founding of the Cambria Iron Works in 1852, investors purchased land across the river from the mill, subdivided it,...
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Susquehannock Village at Lemoyne

Around 1610 a group of Susquehannocks, an Iroquoian-speaking Native American tribe, established a village perched on a bluff overlooking the Susquehanna River in what is today Lemoyne, Cumberland County. Fast forward to 2007 when archaeologists began excavating that site in advance of a proposed railroad connector project. There they uncovered evidence of the village, including a wooden...
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From the Executive Director

Throughout the pandemic, we at PHMC have had the opportunity to share Pennsylvania’s rich history with people well beyond our borders through virtual programming. Over the last year we have seen visitors join us from across the country and around the world. Although we have learned how important virtual engagement is, much of what we do remains grounded in the physical world. We have buildings,...
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PA-SHARE Strengthens Preservation in the 21st Century

  It has been more than 50 years since the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) was created. Over the past half century, PA SHPO has helped thousands of Pennsylvanians, municipalities and partners through state and federal historic preservation programs like the National Register of Historic Places, Historic Tax Credits, Pennsylvania Historical Markers, Keystone Grants,...
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Linton Park, Pennsylvania Folk Artist

  Linton Park (1826-1906) is recognized today as a significant artist in the primitive or folk tradition; however, his work was unknown during his lifetime. At his death, in fact, he had less than $100 to his name. He never married or had children, and his relatives and neighbors considered him an eccentric hermit. Evidence indicates that he was a self-taught painter, only beginning in the...
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