Historical Societies: News and Highlights

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

Elk Society Honored

The Elk County Historical Society has received a Certificate of Commendation from the American Association for State and Local History. The award was “For achievement in disseminating historical information through its newsletter, The Elk Horn.

The Elk County society is now entering its twelfth year. The first issue of The Elk Horn appeared several months after the formation of the society and “immediately became a focal point for historical news while serving as a valuable and cohesive force to those interested in preserving the heritage of Elk County.”

The Elk County Historical Society maintains a library and museum at the County Courthouse in Ridgway. The society has approximately 400 members. Its publication, The Elk Horn, is published three times yearly.


Federation Committees

Membership of committees of the Pennsylvania Federa­tion of Historical Societies as approved by the Executive Committee includes:

Nominating – Mrs. Henry Patterson, chairperson; Harry Hoehler, Wayne; Fred Long, Altoona; Ernest Miller, Warren; Arthur Altman, Brookville.

Resolutions – Mrs. Robert Johnston, Havertown, chairperson; Orvis Anderson, Mercer; Calvin Pollins, Greensburg; Daniel Gilbert, Bethlehem; Donald Kent, Camp Hill; Richard Wright, Erie; Craig Newton, Bloomsburg.

Awards – Donald Crownover, Lancaster, chairperson; Homer Rosenberger, Waynesboro; Harry Whipkey, Camp Hill; Ruth Salisbury, Pittsburgh.


Federation Events

The Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies will hold Regional Workshops on March 27 [1976] and in April [1976].

The Lycoming County Historical Society, Williamsport, will host the March workshop. The April [1976] workshop will be hosted by the Erie County Historical Society.

The Federation’s annual meeting will be held June 12 [1976] in State College.


Bradford County Society Has Century Program

The Bradford County Historical Society’s “Century Farm Certificate Award” served as a model for the Century Farm program being sponsored as a joint venture of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Bicentennial Commission.

The Bradford County society has been activating a Century Farm Certificate Award program since 1940. In 1973, the society added the Century Home Certificate Award. Together, the file in the Towanda Museum is a valuable source of historical interest to persons in Bradford County.

The Bradford program also includes a sign purchased by the farmer and displayed on his property. The use of signs is also being considered in the state program.

Applications for the state Century Farm program can be obtained through subordinate Grange offices or from the State Grange Office, Box 1084, 1604 North Second Street, Harrisburg 17108. Applications also are being distributed by The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Harrisburg, or any one of their seven regional offices; the Pennsylvania Farmer’s Association, and County Agricultural Extension offices.


Erie Cashiers House Open

The Cashiers House in Erie is open to the public. It was incorrectly noted in the December issue that it had been closed. The Erie County Historical Society continues to operate the Cashiers House at 417 State Street.

The Cashiers House recently was the setting for an open house and farewell reception for George Brewer, executive secretary. Mr. Brewer served Erie County Historical Society for ten years.

Highlighting the open house was a display of portraits of Erieites of the nineteenth century. Among the portraits were those of Col. John McLane, Mrs. Daniel Dobbins and Mrs. William J. Sands.

The Cashiers House hours continue to be 1:00-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Saturdays. The new executive secretary is George Benson, a past president of the society.

The society is co-sponsoring, with the Erie Society for Genealogical Research, the publication of the Bicentennial Edition of the 1884 History of Erie County, Pennsylvania.


Lancaster County Programs

Capacity audiences have been attending the Lancaster County Historical Society’s “Bicentennial Film Festival” series commemorating three periods of Americana.

Entitled, “A College of Life – The American Way,” the subscription series is separated into three stages: A Nation is Born, An American Panorama, and The Way We Were.

The selected films in the first phase include “1776,” “Freedom’s Finest Hour,” “Williamsburg: Story of a Patriot,” “Colonial America: The Beginnings,” and “Home Life.”

The second phase, a saga from slavery to armistice, enter­tains selected topics as “Negro Slavery,” “Immigration,” “The Road to Gettysburg,” “The Years of Reconstruction: 1865-1877,” “America Becomes an Industrial Nation,” and “The Great War: 1914-1917.”

The collection’s finale, featuring a nostalgic reverie of a unique spirit features “The Real West,” “Movin’ On,” “The Innocent Years: 1901-1914,” “Life in the Thirties,” “The Jazz Age,” “The American People in World War II,” “Foxfire,” and “Replay.”

This series of eighteen films is presented in the Historical Society’s auditorium with showings Wednesday afternoons and evenings through mid-May [1976].


Octorara Historical Society

The Octorara Historical Society will hold a dinner at 6:30 p.m. May 18 at the historic Upper Octorara Church, Parkesburg. Dr. Norman Vincent Hope, Archibald Alexander professor of church history, Princeton Theological Semin­ary, will speak on “Right and Wrong Uses of the Past.”


Northampton Township News

Furman A. Edwards of Richboro has been named re­cipient of the second annual “Living Tree Award” of North­ampton Township Historical Society for notable service to the community over a period of many years.

Edwards lighted a 15-foot blue spruce tree at dusk on December 14 [1975] on the grounds of the Northampton Town­ship Civic Center on Newtown-Richboro Road as a three-way tribute to the 253rd anniversary of the founding of the township (December 14, 1722). the holiday season, and as an honor to a distinguished citizen.

Edwards was selected from among a number of candidates by a five-member jury of the historical society, which donated and planted the tree six weeks ago and strung the 81 lights – one for each year of his life – with the assistance of the Webelo Unit of Cub Pack 145, Richboro.

Hugh Dougherty, Jr. served as general chairman of the “Living Tree Award” Committee. and Mrs. Raymond P. Gallagher headed the selection committee. Robert D. Crompton is president of the historical society.


Historical Society of Western Pa.

Col. John B. B. Trussell, Jr., USAC (Ret.), associate historian, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, will speak May 5 [1976] at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. His topic will be “The Role of the Professional Soldier in the Preservation of the Republic.” The public lectures are at 2 and 8 p.m.


Chester County Society

Future programs sponsored by the Chester County His­torical Society will include an April 20th [1976] lecture by Dr. John Turner on American Loyalists of the Revolution: Supporters of Law and Order.

The society also will have an exhibit opening in June, emphasizing collections pertaining to the Revolutionary Period. Of special interest is that the society’s headquarters will be open this year throughout the summer months for the benefit of Bicentennial visitors.


Peters Creek Society

The Peters Creek Historical Society has a continuing project to provide a “Roster of Speakers.” The project’s purpose is to provide program chairmen with a ready source of speakers and to open up lines of communication and co­operation among local historical societies. The roster can be obtained by contacting Edward Boss, PCHS Newsletter editor, 345 East McMurray Road, McMurray 15317.


Honor for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania historical societies and persons received one Award of Merit and eight Certificates of commendation from the American Association for State and Local History. This was more than any other state received from AASLH in 1975. We salute those organizations and persons receiving the awards and believe this indicates the strength of the state’s historical organizations.