Letters to the Editor

Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

Fishing Around

Steven K. Vernon’s excellent article, “Fishing Around Phila­delphia” (spring 1990), was greatly appreciated. As the mother of a teenage son in the late 1950s, I found his early morning forays to the local trout streams perplexing at best. You’ve captured the ex­citement of fishing for me, and I’ve passed this issue on to my son for him to enjoy as well. Incidentally, he’s still a de­voted angler, only now his wife sounds the “wake up” call! Thank you for the won­derful story.

Helen A. Taggart
Bethlehem, Pa.


Assignment Matlack

The story by William C. Kashatus III on the Free Quaker movement (see “A Quaker Testimony to the American Revolution” in the spring 1990 issue) was well done and very informative. Perhaps I’m a bit touchy, but it has always seemed to me that any story which mentioned Col. Timothy Matlack’s role in the American Revolution wasn’t quite complete unless it also noted that he received the assignment to make the first copies of the Declaration of Independence, and that it is his familiar, flowing script we see everytime we look at a copy of that venerable document.

Ross A. Matlack, Jr.
Carnegie, Pa.


Jefferson County

It was amazing to see the pho­tograph of the logging scene in the article on Jefferson County (“Jefferson County: Of Wilder­ness Tamed” by Michael J. O’Malley III) in the winter 1990 issue. One of the six men in the photograph is my father, Aaron Kingsley (“King”) Yost. The men are (from left to right): Jim McGee, Joe Wil­liams, Clark Grinder, John Coon, “King” Yost and Reuben Williams. All of the men lived in Cloe, a small town near Punxsutawney. They would build a shallow dam in the Mahoning Creek in which they assembled rafts of timber. After a heavy rain, they would use a pole-axe to knock out the brackets of the dam, thus releasing a great surge of water. Riding this crest, the raft was steered down the creek to the Alle­gheny River at Moss Grove, then to Pittsburgh and the Ohio River. There the men sold the raft and walked back to Punxsutawney. My grandfa­ther, Samuel Filmore States, a Jefferson County Commis­sioner, was pleased that six of his seven sons who grew to maturity rafted with him on the “big waters.” I own a second photograph of the men taken the same day, but the crew was lined up rather stiffly; Pennsylvania Heritage published the better picture. Except for these two photo­graphs, the only artifact I have of this era is a carpenter’s draw-knife with which my grandfather shaped the wooden pins during winter nights in anticipation of the rafting season. It may also interest your readers to know that the white areas in the center background of the pho­tograph are large blocks of ice from the Mahoning Creek, protected from melting by the shade of the trees.

Arthur Kenneth Yost
Carmel Valley, Calif.


Mr. Baseball

Thank you for the excellent article on Connie Mack (see “Philadelphia’s Mr. Baseball and His Amazing Athletics” by William C. Kashatus III in the summer 1990 issue). The story was great and the photo­graphs were fantastic. Pennsyl­vania Heritage really does know how to make history exciting for all of us!

Mitchell S. Leiper
Philadelphia, Pa.