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.

Ecstatic with Esherick

Wow! Your magazine is really on the ball. With the growing popularity of the crafts movement, you’re right on target with your feature story on Esherick [see Sharon Hernes Silverman’s “A Passion for Wood: The Life and Legacy of Wharton Esherick” in the Fall 1997 issue]. I’m ecstatic with your timely coverage. Thanks.

Mimi Hake-Tripp
Philadelphia, Pa.


My Heart and My Soul

I was born and raised in southwestern Philadelphia and Darby, went to Muhlenberg College in Allentown, but left Pennsylvania in 1963, first for Indiana and then the Pacific Northwest. I left part of my heart and my soul in my home state. Circumstances (and budget) permitting, I return about once a year. If the weather is right and if I can maxi­mize the time I spend in the country­side – especially Lancaster, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lebanon, Montgomery, Lehigh, York, Snyder and Mifflin Counties (I am fairly broadminded!) – I realize with each trip how beautiful and interesting Pennsylvania is. What T especially miss and appreciate on return are the Pennsylvania landscapes, especially those of the countryside and small towns, villages, crossroads, and farm­steads. So you can imagine my delight with the Spring 1997 issue [see “Painting a Sense of Place: Walter Emerson Baum and the Lehigh Valley” by Martha Hutson-Saxton in, the Spring 1997 edi­tion]. The problem with your wonderful magazine is that I gulp it down in one sitting and then want three more right away. I especially enjoy articles on eastern Pennsylvania, art and artists, buildings, architecture, and the local economy. Keep telling us what county your articles take place in, and include more maps when you can. I spent four beautiful years in Baum’s Lehigh Valley (a.k.a.”Leaky Valley”), but I am ashamed to admit that I still do not know precisely – or even imprecisely – where it begins and where it ends, what’s in it and what’s not. All good wishes for your excellent and enjoyable magazine.

J. Frederick Truitt
Salem, Ore.


Return Requested

As a former Pennsylvanian, who has the space for his return reserved in Williamsport’s Wildwood Cemetery, I would like to thank you for your excellent articles that remind me always of my precious heritage. I would also like to suggest that you devote some attention to that grand valley, the West Branch of the Susquehanna and particularly the Williamsport, Lycoming County, area.

John J. Way
Westmoreland, N.Y.


Life in Peale

The article “Soft Coal’s Soft-Spoken Diplomat” [by Barry P. Michrina in the Spring 1997 issue] covered the subject well, but with one exception-the now nonexistent town of Peale. My husband, William C. Lovell, was born there in 1899, as were his three younger sisters. Author Kyle Crichton was also born in Peale, and in his book Total Recoil, published by Doubleday and Company in 1960, he devotes several pages to his life there. Peale was an advanced version of company towns. In about 1930 I attended a reunion of former residents of Peale at the site of the town, not far from Grass Flat. It was a joyous occasion for the many who attended.

Vivian Cartwright Lovell
Indiana, Pa.


Fraktur Frenzy

In the Summer 1997 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage I read with interest the item entitled “Fraktur Frenzy” in “Currents.” When I was growing up in Akron, Lancaster County, in the 1940s, my great aunt’s walls were full of family fraktur. I now have one of them, a rather ordinary example, but precious to me since it is a family piece. It was done by G. Peters of Harrisburg and dates to 1820, when my family was living in East Earl, near Ephrata. Thank you for the informative column.

Patricia Z. MacDonald
Wildwood Crest, N.J.



The portrait on page 26 of “History and Community – Pennsylvania’s First Lady Makes the Connection: An Interview with Michele M. Ridge,” by Brent D. Glass, in the Winter 1998 issue should have been identified as the Major Howard and Margaret (Nagle) Moore family. The editor regrets the error.