The Frankford Avenue Bridge over Pennypack Creek

In 1830 a Philadelphia journal dedicated to literature and the arts included a lithograph by William Breton (c.1773–1855) featuring the Pennypack Creek Bridge, also known today as the Frankford Avenue Bridge. Breton was based in Philadelphia and focused his work on local landmarks and bucolic settings. The bridge satisfied both inclinations. As described in the journal, it was already recognized...
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Life of a Portrait: Laura Wheeler Waring’s Anna Washington Derry

Until recently, painter Laura Wheeler Waring (1887-1948) has been relegated to the sidelines in artist histories. A member of the African American elite, she specialized in portraits and figurative painting and did not share the hand-to-mouth experience of many of her fellow artists. Rather, she worked as an art instructor and choir director for nearly 40 years at the institution now known as...
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From the Executive Director

The Year of the Woman. How many times have we heard that? 1975. 1992. 2018. Yet, this year is a momentous one for Pennsylvania women. June 24, 2019, marks the 100th anniversary of the commonwealth’s ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The amendment, which would give women the right to vote, was adopted on August 18, 1920, making this a full year of celebration....
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Corry State Fish Hatchery

Constructed in 1876, the Corry State Fish Hatchery in Corry, Erie County, is the pioneer trout hatchery of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and one of the oldest in the nation. As the state’s prototype and its longest continually operating site, it represents the commonwealth’s earliest formal commitment to wildlife conservation and sport fishing. Hundreds of millions of fish raised...
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Shippensburg’s Locust Grove Cemetery

The town of Shippensburg, in the heart of the Cumberland Valley, was first settled in the 1730s. Some of the Europeans who moved into the area brought African American slaves with them. The exact number of slaves is unknown; it was not until after Pennsylvania’s 1780 Act for the Gradual Emancipation of Slavery that the numbers of slaves and slaveholders were recorded. Nevertheless, Shippensburg,...
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Dr. Edward H. McCleery, Savior of the Lobo Wolves

Edward H. McCleery (1867–1962) was a physician from Kane, McKean County, who saved the lobo wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf, from extinction. While McCleery was a student at Princeton University, he was inspired by a speech given by future president Theodore Roosevelt about his experiences living in the western United States. McCleery then spent several months in Canada’s Yukon territory...
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Rev. Dr. Leon Howard Sullivan, Global Civil Rights Activist

Leon Howard Sullivan (1922–2001) was devoted to improving the lives of black people throughout the world. A strong advocate of self-help, he believed that anyone could achieve success if they had the tools and opportunities to do so. He became pastor of Philadelphia’s prominent Zion Baptist Church in 1950, and shortly thereafter he established organizations to promote youth employment and find...
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History, Retail: Pennsylvania Historical Marker Dedications

Of all the duties PHMC commissioners perform, the one I enjoy most is representing the commonwealth at Pennsylvania Historical Marker dedications. Sometimes there’s music. Often there’s food. Always there are speeches, which is the best part of all. There’s always something surprising to learn about Pennsylvania’s past. The first marker dedication I attended was with PHMC Commissioner Ophelia...
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Loretto Perfectus Walsh, First Woman to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces

At the age of 20, Loretto Perfectus Walsh (1896–1925) became the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces in March 1917, just weeks before the U.S. entered World War I. Women had served in the American military since 1901 but as nurses only. Walsh joined the U.S. Navy and was sworn in as a chief yeoman. She was expected to perform the same duties and was entitled to the same benefits and...
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Hunter Liggett, World War I General from Reading

Hunter Liggett (1857–1935), born and raised in Reading, Berks County, was a senior officer in the U.S. Army during World War I. When America entered the war, he was given command of the 41st Division, which arrived in France in late 1917 as part of the American Expeditionary Forces. He then commanded I Corps and later the First Army. Liggett had graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West...
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