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.

County Features

My work as an extension specialist takes me to many counties in Pennsylvania. Your features on individual counties have been most helpful in giving me some insight into the cultural and historic character of each. I have kept all my copies of Heritage and refer to them, especially when I’m travel­ing to a county I’ve not visited before.

I look forward to the new Pennsylvania Heritage.

Dr. Mary C. Saylor
University Park, Pa.


In reading the article on Montgomery County (PH, Winter 1984) I find the author stating that Valley Forge Park has been under the juris­diction of the federal government since 1976. As the last “state superin­tendent” of the Park, I know that it was actually turned over to the National Park Service on March 30, 1977 – a beautiful spring day following one of the coldest winters in recent times.

Frank Schmidt
Harrisburg, Pa.

Mr. Schmidt is currently the property placement officer for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.


Ethnic Articles

One suggestion. Please encourage representatives of the various ethnic groups in Pennsylvania to contribute articles to Heritage on their history, culture and language. We Pennsylvania Dutch have been well studied these past 300 years, but this doesn’t seem the case for our brothers and sisters from other parts of Europe, Central America and Asia.

C. Richard Beam
Millersville, Pa.

Mr. Beam is an associate professor of German at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.

The imbalance of coverage among various ethnic groups which you point out does certainly exist. This is, indeed, a valid criticism which can be made of numerous books and magazines, beyond PH. Unfortunately, material submitted to us on some of Pennsylvania’s more recent immigrant groups is limited. We hope this will change and we encourage authors to develop articles to better balance the scales.


Etcetera …

Your emphasis on local history by featuring a dif­ferent Pennsylvania county in each issue has been unique and most interesting. I suggest, however, that more attention could be given to the counties of western Penn­sylvania, particularly the southwestern area. In addi­tion, historical articles could deal with a wider variety of topics which would appeal to audiences with both scholarly and popular interests in history. Articles dealing with regional decora­tive arts, craftsmen, tech­nological developments or economic and social history would be most welcome.

John G. Labanish
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Mr. Labanish is the director/ curator of The Historical Society of Western Pennsyl­vania.

Changes in the design of PH which have been inaugurated with this issue are accompanied by an expansion in coverage, as we hope readers will see after glancing through the “new” magazine. The intention is to publish articles on a variety of topics which will appeal to as broad an audience as possible. This will be achieved while continuing to cover county histories, including those in the southwestern section of the state. To date we have already featured Armstrong, Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, Somerset and Fayette. Every attempt is made to provide geographic diversity from issue to issue. Before we complete our county feature series, however, we guarantee a story on each of the state’s sixty-seven counties.


Due to Heritage, my interest in Pennsylvania history has been aroused. You have alerted us to many interesting sites in our state. We have enjoyed visiting Pottsgrove Manor, the Doll Museum, Hopewell Village, St. Peter’s Village and the Daniel Boone Homestead. If possible, Heritage should provide more travel information and ideas for families who are interested in discovering Penn­sylvania’s history.

Rhoda Purnell
Grier City, Pa.


Magazines such as yours are doing much to get the local history message spread among people of all ages. More power to you.

Ted Fenstermacher
Berwick, Pa.