Historical Highlights

Historical Societies: News and Highlights presents news and information about Pennsylvania's regional and county historical societies.

John H. Ware III, Fund ’76 general campaign chairman for Chester County Historical Society, has announced the persons who have accepted leadership positions in the society’s improvement campaign. They include John L. Hall, campaign treasurer; Thomas R. Butler, membership gifts general chairman; Mrs. Andrew Wyeth of Chadds Ford, major memberships gifts chairperson, Mrs. Robert J. Merrich of West Chester and Joseph A. McFalls, Jr. of Malvern, general membership co-chairmen; John Chaltey, Jr. of West Chester, community gifts general chairman; Donald N. Givler of Downingtown, corporate gifts chairman; the executive committee and Dr. Arthur E. James of West Chester, president emeritus of the Chester County Historical Society, board gifts chairman.


The Lycoming County Historical Society and Museum plans a three-day trip to Williamsburg September 26, 27, and 28 [1975]. Interested persons are to contact the society’s office at 858 West Fourth Street, Williamsport; telephone is 717-326-3326.


The Peters Creek History has begun a project of cataloging all of the old houses including vestiges and sites, in the Peters Creek watershed and adjacent areas. Recording accessory building such as springhouses, cook houses and barns will also be included.

The society is also launching an oral history of tape recorded memories of senior citizens. The society is located at Finleyville, Pa.


The Lower Merion Historical Society, Ardmore, celebrated its twenty-fifth birthday on April 27 [1975] at St. Christopher’s Church, Righters Mill Road, Gladwyne. Charter members were honored at the party and annual meeting.


Members of the Bicentennial Committee of Washington County Historical Society are working on their project: the renovation of the outside of the building and of the Le­Moyne garden. Society headquarters are at the LeMoyne House, 49 East Maiden Street, Washington, Pa.


The Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County has during the past several months sponsored a program for the education of students in preparation of brooms and keelers, corn husk dolls, the arts of spinning and dying and weaving and the making of maple sugar and funnel cakes. The students are being trained in crafts to participate in the annual Crafts’ Day at the festival as well as to present demonstrations in the various schools in the county.

In addition, a kite festival is planned where the students will research, design and fly their own kites. Further, the society will be submitting radio programs on local historical subjects, personalities, crafts and discussions of the way people lived 200 years ago.


The Haverford Township Historical Society held its an­nual Heritage Day at Powder Mill Valley Park on May 17 [1975]. This event gave the community a chance to see and share in the participation of colonial crafts. The society has also held several most successful days of colonial living for groups of fifth graders from the township schools. Many visits have been made to the newly-acquired Grange property and much work has been done by volunteer groups.


The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street Philadelphia, will sponsor through July, 1975, “The New Deal and the Arts,” an exhibition marking the fortieth anniversary of the creation by President Franklin D. Roose­velt and the Congress of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). WPA was a federal agency whose activities included the subsidization of artists and writers. On view, mostly from the Society’s own collections, are books, manuscripts, prints, paintings, dolls, puppets and other art forms produced ­largely by Pennsylvania artists. Hours are Mondays from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Tuesdays through Fridays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00p.m. (Closed Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.) Admission is free.


John Zavinski, a junior at Warren Area High School, was elected state secretary at the senior level of the Pennsylvania Federation of Junior Historians at the recent convention in Pittsburgh. Kathy Metzgar, who will be a ninth-grader at Warren’s Beaty Junior High School, was elected state first vice-president at the junior level. Both are guides and volunte­er workers at the Warren County Historical Society.


The Brockway Historical Society’s Taylor Memorial Historical Museum, Brockway, Jefferson County, will be open every Sunday and holiday from 2:00-5:00 p.m. May 25 through September 1 [1975].


Perryopolis Pioneer Days will be held October 3, 4, and 5 [1975]. Pioneer Days are planned each year in conjunction with Fayette County’s Fall Foliage Association’s Activities. The Perryopolis Borough Council and Perryopolis Parks and Recreation Authority sponsor Pioneer Days in a continuing effort to raise funds to preserve and restore the many his­torical sites in the area. Also, the society recently purchased a building in the center of Perryopolis and plans to have a museum opened there in time for Pioneer Days.


Erie County Historical Society contributed furnishings on loan for a department store’s Bicentennial Celebration. The society’s contribution was exhibited on the third floor of the store. Several of the items, including a Lincoln rocking chair, flax wheel, spinning wheel, Victorian marble-topped washstand, dresser and bed, were gifts to the society from Georgianna Reed.


The Pioneer Historical Society of Bedford County, chartered in the 1930’s, has been re-activated and intends to assume an active role in publication of history about Bed­ford County. Officers are H. K. Frear, president; Vaughn Whisker, vice-president; Mrs. Mary Wilson, secretary; and Mrs. Elizabeth Madore, treasurer.


Marple-Newtown Historical Society, Inc., Broomall, is working on the restoration of two of the oldest surviving structures in Pennsylvania: Swedish log cabins built circa 1650 on the Darby Creek. The cabins will be open to the public in a historic park compound, including an eighteenth-century house and a pre-Columbian Indian basin. Crafts and living conditions of the first pioneers of Pennsylvania will be shown. This project is being done in conjunction with Upper Darby Township Schools.


The Friends Historical Association has shared in the preparation of several dioramas depicting the life of William Penn and his contribution to the history of Pennsylvania. This exhibit is in the old Quaker meetinghouse at 304 Arch Street, Philadelphia.


Philip Baraccu, librarian, and Edward Fleming, systems analyst, spoke on “Pittsburgh – Past and Present” on April 24 [1975] in the Historical Society building, 4338 Bigelow Boule­vard, Pittsburgh.


The Historical Society of York County is planning a 1975 European trip with Spain as destination point. It will be held September 18-25 of this year [1975]. Reservations and/or in­formation can be obtained by writing the society at 250 East Market Street, York.