From Wilkes-Barre to the Wild West: George Catlin, Indian Painter

His early exposure to American Indians indelibly impressed northeastern Pennsylvania native George Catlin (1796–1872). His mother Mary “Polly” Sutton Catlin (1770–1844), married in 1789 to Putnam Catlin (1764–1842), formed his earliest impressions of Native Americans. With her mother Sarah Smith Sutton (1747–1834) she was captured and held captive at the age of seven by Iroquois. The day was...
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Pennsylvania Architectural Heritage: The Preservation Movement in the Keystone State, 1800-1950

The primary focus of this series of four articles is the architectural heritage of Pennsylvania through the past three centuries. However, in the context of history, architecture is neither an isolated creation nor an assured cultural resource for the future. As buildings ore the products of the interaction of many facets of a society, so. too, the preservation of architecture is the result of...
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Pennsylvania’s Architectural Heritage: Representative Styles as Seen in Lancaster County

At the time of the Common­wealth of Pennsylvania’s Ter­centenary, it is appropriate that architecture receive special atten­tion. Of all the arts, architecture is most closely related to life itself: whether a barn or a cathedral, a build­ing satisfies a human need. Thus, buildings are a mirror of a given epoch’s ideals and functions. 1n this light, Pennsylvania’s architectural...
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Bedlam in Penn’s Woods

Pennsylvanians have been concerned with the welfare of the insane since the earli­est provincial days. Indeed, as befits the Commonwealth’s humanitarian Quaker heritage, Pennsylvania has made pio­neering efforts in the field. For most of the pre­Revolutionary period, care of the mad was restricted to physical support and occa­sional confinement for public safety. Victims’ families...
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Lost and Found

Lost For their country estates, many affluent Americans favored the Italianate style, which became es­pecially popular for suburban mansions by the mid-nineteenth century. Noted Philadelphia architect John Notman (1810-1865) designed Alverthorpe in Abington Township, Montgomery County, for Joshua Francis Fisher. One of the most distinctive features of the mansion, erected in 1850, was its...
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Slifer Wall Drawing

The old adage, “Kids will be kids,” once again rings true with the recent discovery of a fragile work of art most likely executed by a child of Eli Slifer (1818-1888) and Catharine Motter Frick Slifer (1814-1886), at their stately residence in Lewisburg, Union Coun­ty, about 1870. Hidden in a third-floor closet of the Slifer House Museum for more than one hundred and twenty-five...
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Gettysburg High Street School

A historic school building in Gettysburg, Adams County, is being given a new lease on life through a Keystone Historic Preservation Grant, awarded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). The High Street School, completed in 1858 as the community’s first consolidated public school building, was based on plans by noted Philadelphia architect, Samuel Sloan (1815-1884)....
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