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.

Architect and Artist

Congratulations on the piece by John C. Van Horne about Benjamin Henry Latrobe. As always, the selection of illus­trations was good but, as always, I seem to want more. As a high school history teacher and native Pennsylva­nian, I am proud that we claimed Latrobe as another “first”: America’s first architect and engineer!

W. B. Goodling, Jr.
Reading, Pa.

While the article on Benjamin H. Latrobe named him as artist, architect and engineer, I’d go a step further. Why not genius?

Sally Anne Campbell
Hellertown, Pa.


A Treasure Trove

Barbara E. Deibler’s article on Pennsylvania’s rare book col­lection was excellently written and beautifully illustrated. As a rare book collector, I am happy to know that the state government is preserving these great treasures. As I am a former Pennsylvania resi­dent and frequent visitor to Harrisburg, would it be possi­ble to visit the rare book col­lection? It is accessible on weekends?

Charles E. Norton
Annapolis, Md.

The Commonwealth’s rare book collection is located on the second floor of the Forum Building, which houses the State Library of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the rare book section is closed on weekends; appointments are suggested for researchers wishing to use the resources during the week. Individuals desiring more information about the collection may write directly to the author: Barbara E. Deibler, Curator, Rare Book Section, The State Library of Pennsylvania, 204 Forum Build­ing, Harrisburg, PA 17120; or telephone (717) 783-5982.


Bedford County

I thought William H. Clark presented the history of Bed­ford County very well. Al­though it would have been impossible to cover, I wished there was more information about the region’s great min­eral springs resorts and spas in the article. Pennsylvania was lucky to have these and other early attractions and an entire article – even a book­ – could be devoted to the large hotels and the people who stayed here.

D. Edmund Lauck
New Castle, Pa.

The story of Eagles Mere, a once fashionable summer colony in Sullivan County, is featured in this issue. Eagles Mere in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries enjoyed the touch marks characterizing the summer re­sorts: grand hotels, sweeping vistas, recreational areas and, of course, the fascinating sojourners who summered there. The edito­rial staff hopes you enjoy “Eagles Mere: Of Cottages and Kings” written by Laura Sickel Mumma.


The Greatest Thing

Until I read Mary Ellen Ro­meo’s article (“The Greatest Thing That Ever Happened to Us Country People“) in the spring edition, I thought my grandmother’s tales were exaggerated accounts by a big city girl that went to the coun­try. I heard her versions of “life on the farm” in the 1920s, but I thought the tales were rather tall. After reading about the era before the REA, I understand exactly what my grandmother encountered. To think that only fifty years ago farmers were still reading and doing their chores by candle light!

Chester L. Brendel
Philadelphia, Pa.


Schenley Park

I drive near Schenley Park every day but never really noticed the beauty of the buildings and the sculpture. I want to thank you for the article on the park (“Pitts­burgh’s Park of a Century” by Christina Schmidlapp) which appeared in the spring issue. To help celebrate the park’s anniversary in my own little way, I plan to take my children there for picnics and outings as much as I can this summer. I want them to know and appreciate the park in ways I never had. I hope the restora­tion project mentioned in the article is a great success.

Joan Deemer Black
Pittsburgh, Pa.

To celebrate Schenley Park’s one hundredth anniversary in 1989, Pittsburgh History and Land­marks Foundation has initiated.a Centennial Restoration Project which will fund future mainte­nance of the urban park. Individ­uals interested in learning about the centennial observances and fundraising campaign may write: Pittsburgh History and Land­marks Foundation, 450 The Landmarks Building, One Station Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15219; or telephone (412) 471-5808.