World War I Centennial Trails

As part of PHMC’s Pennsylvania at War initiative, sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History have planned programs and events to commemorate the centennial of America’s entry into World War I. Check the websites listed below or the weekly Trailheads blog and its monthly program pages for updates and additions to events and activities.   Erie Maritime Museum On April 6, 1917,...
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Training at Indiantown Gap

  At age 19, Waldo Preston Breeden Jr. sent a postcard to his father in Pittsburgh describing his seemingly pleasant experiences at Indiantown Gap, Lebanon County, in July 1938. He “found apples and berries on the range,” “shot the 37 mm. guns” (a common caliber of antitank gun at the time) and mentioned that he had a special ranking and higher pay because of his ability to drive. The...
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Pennsylvania Governors Residences Open to the Public

Pennypacker Mills Pennypacker Mills possesses a lengthy history dating to about 1720 when Hans Jost Hite built the fieldstone house and a gristmill near the Perkiomen Creek, Schwenksville, Montgomery County. Purchased in 1747 by Peter Pennypacker (1710-1770), the house was enlarged and a saw mill and a fulling mill were constructed. The property acquired its name for the three mills. Peter...
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Honoring Valor: Pennsylvania’s Collection of Civil War Battle Flags

As the American Civil War Sesquicentennial of the past four years draws to a conclusion, it is appropriate to direct attention to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s vast collection of Civil War battle flags and its 1914 transfer from the Executive, Library and Museum Building to the Capitol’s main rotunda cases. This special event, which occurred on Monday, June 15, 1914 – Flag Day...
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Camp Beaver

  “Hello Mary” wrote Frank Lloyd. “I’m in camp and have a fine time. You should be here.” Lloyd was at Camp Beaver, a 1914 National Guard encampment at Indiana, Indiana County. The camp was named in honor of James A. Beaver (1837-1914), decorated Civil War officer, judge of Pennsylvania’s Superior Court and governor of the Commonwealth, 1887-91. The entire National Guard of Pennsylvania was...
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How They Served: Recovering the Experiences of Five Pennsylvanians in the American Civil War

Pennsylvania supplied approximately 362,000 soldiers to the Union effort in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. This was more than any other Northern state except New York. The Keystone State suffered the loss of 33,183 sons to death while in war service, and virtually every aspect of Pennsylvania society was affected by the pervasive nature of the great conflict and its staggering cost in terms of...
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Lebanon County: Small in Size – Rich in Heritage

Lebanon County is located in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the center of the beautiful Lebanon Valley, which is formed by the Blue Ridge of the Kittatinny range of mountains to the north and the South Mountains, or Furnace Hills, to the south. Covering an area of 363 square miles, the county is inhabited by ap­proximately 100,000 people. Between the shale...
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Colonel Fred: The Handsomest Man in the Pennsylvania National Guard

A surprising number of the residents of Warren, Pa., remember Fred E. Windsor (1859-1936), though his name as well as his exploits have been long – if not deservedly – forgotten beyond the corporate limits. In the memory of Warrenites, he is the man on the borrowed white horse who led the Memorial Day parades in their youth, a relic and a reminder of the exhibitionistic optimism of...
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In the Public’s Best Interest

Edward Martin distin­guished himself as soldier, governor, senator and, above all, as honored citizen of the Ten Mile area in Pennsylvania, the small rural community in which he was born. His full and varied life had led him from the front lines of battle to the diplomatic circles of the nation’s capitol. The people whose lives he touched knew him as a dignified, loyal and honest...
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Pennsylvania Woman as Pioneer: Hanna Tiffany Swetland (1740–1809)

When the swollen waters of the Susquehanna River roared and smashed over its banks in the Spring of 1972, bringing destruction to property and homes and despair to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania citizens, one of the hardest hit areas was the Wyoming Valley in Northeastern Pennsylvania with its many small towns. One such community was the quaintly and historically named Forty Fort. That...
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