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.

Brick-End Barns

Upon receiving the Winter 2002 edition of Pennsylvania Heritage, I was fascinated to see “Lost & Found,” showing a fanci­ful brick-end barn in Lancaster County that was, unfortunately, demolished for the building of an outlet mall. I have discovered a brick-end barn still standing in Antrim Township, Franklin County, that is similar to the one illustrated. In 1999, I began a project documenting the brick­-end barns in Franklin County and, to date, I have photographed approximately sixty-five examples. I am aware of a dozen more that I hope to record. I enjoy your magazine.

Phillip Schaff
Chambersburg, Pa.


Hired on the Spot

I have been a faithful subscriber to Penn­sylvania Heritage for many years. I found Mark A. Noon’s article “Martin Ritt Takes on the Molly Maguires” in the Fall 2001 issue to be very informative and enjoyable. However, there is an important Pennsylvania connection to Ritt’s film that was overlooked in the article – ­the photography of the great George Harvan. Known as the last of the noted photographers of Pennsylvania’s anthracite industry, Mr. Harvan walked onto the movie set and offered his services to Paramount Studios, the production company. Based on the superb quality of his previous work, Mr. Harvan was hired on the spot as the still photographer for the movie shoot. He produced a wonderful series of striking photographs, many of which were later used to promote the film The Molly Maguires. Mr. Harvan also created a series of character sketches of the stars and extras that is both poignant and unique. These images have often been exhibited at the National Canal Museum in Easton. George Harvan is a lifelong resident of Lansford, Carbon County, in Pennsylva­nia’s Panther Valley.

Lance E Metz
Allentown, Pa.

Lance E. Metz is historian for the National Canal Museum, Easton.


Losing a Landmark

By now I’m sure that most Pennsylvani­ans have heard the most unpleasant news that the Lincoln Highway has lost a unique landmark. The S.S. Grand View Ship Hotel in Bedford County burned to the ground on Friday morning, October 26, 2001 [see “Lost & Found,” Spring 2002]. As I happened to drive by it Thursday evening on my way from Greensburg to Gettysburg and sadly noted its deterioration, little did I foresee that it would be gone in just a matter of hours. The Bedford Gazette reported that when fireman arrived at the scene at 2:15 A.M., the building was fully engulfed in flames. By daylight it was gone. I drove past the site on my way home from Gettysburg on Saturday. All that remained was a pile of twisted beams and girders along the roadside. It was grotesque. The S.S. Grand View Ship Hotel was completed by “Captain” Herbert Paulson in 1932. For the past fifteen years it has been vacant. Olga Her­bert, director of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, said her organization attempted to purchase the building several years ago in order to preserve it, but the owner demanded nine hundred thousand dollars, far in excess of its appraised value, so an agreement could not be reached. Driving over the crest of the Allegheny Mountains will never be quite the same again, but we can – and should – continue to appreciate the beauty of our mountains, and the heritage of many other attractions that still survive along the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania.

John P. Harman
Greensburg, Pa.

John P. Harman is a director of the Lincoln Highway Association, established to preserve and interpret the famous coast-to-coast route and the buildings, structures, and sites associated with it.


Creating Memorials

I just wanted to pass along my compli­ments on your “Executive Director’s Message” appearing in the Winter 2002 issue. Brent D. Glass’s commentary on the challenges of creating memorials for the United Flight 93 crash site in Somerset County was accurate. The myriad opinions on proposed memorials for the World Trade Center site is a good exam­ple of the potential problems of establishing memorials too soon after an event. Often, the gift of time allows much-needed healing before a rush to brick-and-block. I hope the political forces allow historians, and all others, the time to establish the proper perspective for these events and come up with meaningful tributes to both heroes and victims. In his closing, Dr. Glass notes, “The impact of events on our imaginations may be the most enduring memorial of all.” If we consider what we find moving about our greatest memorials, such as the battlefield at Gettysburg and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, much of the impact is from within our own mind and soul, rather than from the emotionless facts of the day. Thank you for the insight.

Matt Twomey
Harrisburg, Pa.