Executive Director’s Message

From the Executive Director features news and reflections on the work of PHMC by its chief administrator.

With the warm summer months before us, Pennsylva­nia’s fascinating historic sites and museums await both residents and visitors to sam­ple their educational and cul­tural fare. From Pennsbury, founder William Penn’s grand country plantation overlooking the Delaware River near Phila­delphia, to western Pennsylva­nia’s eighteenth century Fort Pitt, the Pennsylvania Trail of History crisscrosses the Com­monwealth’s rich historic land­scape. Indeed, throughout the summer the historic sites and museums which make up this network of attractions will welcome visitors to numerous public activities and events. Scheduled during the summer at our facilities are concerts, outdoor art shows, military reenactments, musical dramas, crafts demonstrations, festi­vals, antiques shows, lectures and quilting bees.

But there’s so much more.

Vast recreational areas – such as the Darnel Boone Homestead in tranquil Berks County, the Bushy Run Battle­field near Jeannette and Wash­ington Crossing Historic Park, Bucks County – offer travelers respite in lush, verdant set­tings on which the American frontier was claimed and pro­tected. Entire villages and complexes – Eckley Miners’ Village in the northeastern anthracite region and the Pennsylvania Farm Museum of Landis Valley – offer visitors a glimpse of everyday life, albeit for two disparate lifestyles, a century ago. And a host of industrial structures, such as Cornwall Iron Furnace near Lebanon and the Drake Well Museum near Titusville, depict two of Pennsylvania’s greatest and once titan industries.

The excitement doesn’t end at our Trail of History. Rich in historical and artistic tradi­tions, Pennsylvania boasts several hundred museums, art galleries, historical societies, even commercial galleries, in which more than three centu­ries of our unparalleled heri­tage is safeguarded and generously shared. And that’s not to mention the plethora of special exhibits commemorat­ing the bicentennial of the United States Constitution. This summer Philadelphia will rekindle the feverish excite­ment of two centuries ago when fifty-five individuals labored through the sweltering summer to draft the landmark document. Not only are the major museums sponsoring important shows, but so too are the lesser known institu­tions and organizations.

While the fair months of summer are with us, think history. And visit Pennsylva­nia. It’s educational and in­formative. That’s not to mention enjoyable and stimu­lating and memorable.

For those Pennsylvanians who are unfamiliar with the historic sites and museums operated by the Common­wealth’s official history, write for a free brochure and map: Trail of History, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Com­mission, P.O. Box 1026, Harris­burg, PA 17108-1026.

Larry E. Tise
Executive Director