Lost and Found

Lost Proving that it is as important as the buildings and structures it documents, Pennsylvania Architecture: The Historic American Buildings Survey, 1933-1990, recently released by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, boasts more than sixteen hundred entries. The 1787 Joseph Dorsey House near West Brownsville, Washington County, had long been recognized as a fine example of a...
read more

September 2001 Meeting of Historic Preservation Board

In the dizzying aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans realized that their lives would be forever changed. Terrorism even impacted the routine – and frequently mundane – ways in which business had been conducted. For its September 2001 meeting-held, incidentally, on Tuesday, September 11 – the Commonwealth’s Historic...
read more

Bookshelf

African Americans in Pennsylvania­ – Above Ground and Under­ground: An Illustrated Guide By Charles L. Blockson RB Books, 2001 (320 pages, cloth, $29.95) For thirty years, Charles L. Blockson, noted bibliophile and author, traveled throughout Pennsylvania’s sixty-seven counties “with an unquenchable desire to research and record the neglected history of the African-Americans of...
read more

Chester Heights Camp Meeting

By the outbreak of the Civil War, Methodism had become the largest Christian denomination in the country, tracing its dramatic rise from a reform movement in the Episcopal Church to successful camp meetings. Methodist circuit riders visited local communities and conducted large public religious meetings, some of which lasted many days, with a succession of commanding speakers, spirited singing,...
read more

The 1948 Donora Smog

As early as 1881, the cities of Chicago, Illinois, and Cincinnati, Ohio, had passed laws in attempts to control several types of pollution. Air pollution, however, remained an uncontrolled, unrecognized health hazard until tragedies in the twentieth century demonstrated its lethal effects. In 1930, smog covering the Meuse River Valley in Belgium sent sixty people to their graves, and in 1952...
read more

Wyoming Monument

Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley was a focus of British military strategy during the American Revolution because its three thousand residents constituted the largest population center on the Susquehanna River. The British believed that by eliminating this stronghold of American patriotism they could dominate the frontier. Major John Butler organized a force of two hundred and...
read more

Shorts

On Thursday, October 17 [2002], Robert Pow­ell, president of the Historical Society of Carbondale, will present a talk entitled “The Delaware and Hudson Canal Com­pany’s Gravity Railroad” at the National Canal Museum in Easton. His lecture explores the construction, operation, and development of one of the country’s pioneer railroads – a major artery for the...
read more

The Value of Pennsylvania History

George W. Bush won the presidential election of 2000 because the fifty states cast more electoral votes for him, even though more people actually voted for his opponent, Albert A. Gore Jr. The election reminded Americans about a curious institution called the Electoral College, and an equally peculiar system known as federalism in which each state conducts elections according to distinct laws...
read more

St. Gabriel’s Catholic Parish Complex

St. Gabriel’s Catholic Parish Complex in Hazleton, Luzerne County, is more than a collection of imposing ecclesiastical edifices. The complex is significant because it reflects the parish’s status as the city’s first Catholic parish, and is integrally associated with the growth of its Catholic population stimulated by the development of the anthracite industry. Hazleton grew...
read more

All in the Family: The Riches in Woolrich

John Rich II received a “warm” welcome when he visited winter logging camps in the dense forests of northern Pennsylvania in the early nineteenth century. Tough, hardened lumberjacks valued the one bit of comfort and protection from frostbite that Rich proffered from the back of his mule cart: a simple pair of woolen socks. From those humble beginnings, Rich engaged in a trade that...
read more