Historical Societies: News and Highlights

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

Fort Site to be Dedicated

On Saturday, October 7, 1978, the 200th Anniversary (minus one day) of the first orders issued from Fort McIntosh, there will be a dedication of the restored site of the fort. The dedication will climax five years of hard work and research by volunteer archaeologists and the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation. The former have uncovered many of the original foundations of the buildings and fire­places of the fort. These have been restored and stabilized as features in an historical park. This restoration will com­plete the memorialization of the five great forts of the frontier: Duquesne, Necessity, Ligonier, Pitt, and now McIntosh.

Fort Mcintosh had these distinctions: the first fort built north of the Ohio by the United States; the headquarters of the largest army to serve west of the moun­tains during the Revolution; the site of the Treaty of Fort Mcintosh which signalled the enactment of the Land Ordinance of 1785 – the terms of which became the basic tenets of all future treaties with the Indians; and the first permanent base – except for two small units at Fort Pitt and West Point – of the entire army of the United States, in 1784-1785.

Tentative plans call for a parade to the site and ceremonies there which will feature an address by General William C. Westmoreland. Some of the uniformed contin­gents will be: the Third Infantry which owes its distinction of being the oldest regiment in the Regular Army to its service here in 1784, two companies of the reorganized Eighth Pennsylvania which first garrisoned here in 1778, the Royal Americans, and the Ninth Virginia. General Lachlan Mcintosh was commander of the troops who built the fort. It is fitting that direct lineal descendants of John Mohr McIntosh, chief of the clan and Lachlan’s father, will take part in the ceremonies.


Federation Meeting

Harrisburg – The U.S. Postal Service will be urged to issue a postage stamp commemorating Pennsylvania’s 300th anniversary in 1981. The action was urged by resolu­tion at the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies recent 71st annual meeting at the William Penn Memorial Museum in Harrisburg on May 6, 1978.

Federation delegates also urged the General Assembly not to acquire any additional buildings, sites and properties for historical purposes unless it is willing to commit itself to providing adequate funding for their restoration, preserva­tion, maintenance and administration.

After the annual election of officers was held, Mrs. Aimee D. Sanders of Reading was re-elected Federation president for 1978-79.

Ernest Miller, president of the Warren County Histori­cal Society, Warren, and Mrs. Margaret Johnston, curator of the Haverford Township Historical Society, Havertown, were elected to three-year terms on the Federation execu­tive committee.

Dr. Albert R. Goldsmith of the Western Pennsylvania Research and Historical Society, Pittsburgh, and Dr. James E.Mooney, director of the Historical Society of Pennsyl­vania, Philadelphia, are the retiring members of the execu­tive committee.

The first S. K. Stevens Award was presented to the McKean County Historical Society for its development of an effective local museum in the County Courthouse at Smethport as a Bicentennial project. The award consists of a certificate and a $500 grant from the Historical Foun­dation of Pennsylvania. James B. Stevenson of the His­torical Foundation presented the award made by his group in cooperation with the Federation. Mr. Stevenson is a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

In addition to the S. K. Stevens Award, Federation awards of merit were made to two societies: Pennsylvania German Society, Breinigsville, received an award of merit for the publication, with the assistance of the Free Library of Philadelphia, of an outstanding two-volume work, The Pennsylvania German Fraktur of the Free Library of Philadelphia: An Illustrated Catalogue.

Middletown Area Historical Society, Middletown, received its award of merit for energetic and successful efforts to preserve numerous historic properties, including the Liberty Fire Hall.

Awards of honorable mention were presented to:

  1. Elk County Historical Society, Ridgway, for the preparation and publication, in cooperation with the Village Improvement Association of Ridgway, of a handsome chil­dren’s historical coloring book entitled Ridgway, Our Town – Let’s Color. Alice L. Wessman edited the book.
  2. Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, Indiana, for resuming the publication of the Society’s magazine, Indiana County Heritage, after a pause of several years.
  3. Westmoreland County Historical Society, Greens­burg, for the character of six publications that the society issued in 1977, including Hanna’s Town.
  4. Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society, Easton, for the publication of the excellent historical brochure, Historic Northampton County. Society President W. Bruce Drinkhouse edited the publication.
  5. Union County Historical Society, Lewisburg, for the support and encouragement of its members in the publica­tion of Charles M. Snyder’s 324-page Union County Penn­sylvania: A Bicentennial History.


Hanover Area Historical Society Applies for $15,000 Development Grant

Undaunted by a rebuff from the powers that be in the National Park Service, Hanover Area Historical Society, through President Marian Rebert, has applied to the York County Planning Commission for a $15,000 grant to help complete restoration of the Neas House. Funds are available through the 1978 Community Development Act, and are being sought with the help of Hanover Borough.

Detailed description of the work remaining, with esti­mates of the amounts needed for each item, were given to Mr. Thomas Foust, director of Planning and Community Development for the Planning Commission.

Mrs. Rebert pointed out that the Neas House is intended to be the headquarters of the Society, complete with museum to be open to the public displaying artifacts, furnishings and memorabilia of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It will also be shared for meetings of other com­munity groups.

Total cost of restoration is estimated at about $200,000, and Mrs. Rebert informed the Commission that more than $125,000 of this already had been raised in the community. That has been expended for acquisition of land, exterior restoration and limited interior exploratory and stabilizing work.

“The Society believes the Neas House restoration will contribute to the overall downtown revitalization of Hanover,” Mrs. Rebert said, adding that area residents will aid with volunteer activities.


York County Exhibit

The Historical Society of York County held a major exhibit evaluating the development and influence of the “Philadelphia Chair” as it was produced from the period of early settlement in the late 17th century until its cul­mination in the late Chippendale era.


Remembering General Sullivan

The May, 1978 issue of The Settler, a quarterly maga­zine of the Bradford County Historical Society, contains two informative articles on General John Sullivan.


Labor History Workshop

The Pennsylvania Labor History Society sponsored in Spring a workshop in Philadelphia. Discussion topics in­cluded “Women in the Labor Movement” and “Organizing Black Workers.” Ted Kirsch is the society’s president.


Attention: Directors of Museum Publications

If you have overstock of any of your museum publica­tions, we might be able to help each other.

X-S Books, a wholesaler to the book trade of publishers’ overstock of all kinds. is currently paying highest prices for art remainders. Our specific needs: book titles and museum catalogues dealing with art, artists and collectibles, in­cluding paintings, prints, graphics, sculpture, antiques, rugs, silver, furniture, bronze, glass, crystal, books, manuscripts, jewelry, Americana, etc., etc. We buy both clothbound and paperbound volumes in quantities ranging from several hundred to several thousand copies per title.

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