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.

Coke and Coal

A Jewel in the Crown of Old King Coal: Eckley Miners’ Village,” an article by Tony Wesolowsky in the winter 1996 edition, prominently mentions John Leisenring. In 1880, Leisenring, as head of the Connellsville Coke and Iron Company, began construction of Leisenring Number 1 Works, followed by Leisenring Number 2 (Bute), and Leisenring Number 3 (Monarch) on eighty-five hundred acres of bituminous coal, the largest tract in Fayette County. In 1890, these coke works, each of which had a larger “patch” than Eckley, were acquired by Henry Clay Frick. They were last mined in 1960, essentially ending such activity in Connellsville’s coke region.

John A. Enman
Danville, Pa.


Recapturing Heritage

For a number of years I have been receiving Pennsylvania Heritage and I have enjoyed every single issue. It is one magazine that recaptures our Commonwealth’s heritage – and tells the stories of the men and women who by their efforts to make a better life for themselves and their families also contributed to making Pennsylvania a state with strong neighborhoods and traditions. My thanks and appreciation to you and your staff for making this publication outstanding.

Paul I. Clymer
Perkasie, Pa.

A member of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, Paul I. Clymer represents the 145th Legislative District.


A Not-So-Secret Garden

I enjoyed the article “Like Father, Like Son: The Extraordinary Bartrams” by L. Wilbur Zimmerman in the summer 1995 issue. While it was not the thrust of the article to discuss it, I did the master restoration plan for Historic Bartram’s Garden in the early seventies. I take great pride in having convinced the administrators of this historic site to acquire what is now a meadow, pictured on page 35. I am now working on a master plan for the Joseph Priestley House, Northumberland County, and for Mill Grove, the first American home of artist and naturalist John James Audubon, located in Montgomery County. Many thanks for such a fine publication. My wife, a native Pennsylvanian, also appreciates it!

Rudy J. Favretti, FASLA
Storrs, Conn.

Rudy J. Favretti, a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA), is a widely known writer, lecturer, consultant, professor, and authority on landscape history. He has restored or re-created many important gardens in the United States. With his wife, Joy Putnam Favretti, a botanist and researcher, he has written a number of books, including For Every House A Garden: A Guide for Reproducing Period Gardens, Colonial Gardens, and Landscapes and Gardens for Historic Buildings.


Larger Than Life

A native Pennsylvanian, I first want you to know that I enjoy Pennsylvania Heritage very, very much. The summer 1995 issue [“Larger Than Life Along the Lincoln Highway” by Brian A. Butko] particularly held my interest as T remember so well the eye-catching structures as I drove, at the age of nineteen, along the old Lincoln Highway, from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. Coinciding with the release of your summer edition, the Tuesday, June 13, 1995, issue of The Wall Street Journal carried a news item about the sale of the Shoe House! The building housing The State Museum of Pennsylvania recently marked its twenty-fifth anniversary, and I am proud to relate that my brother John Kucera, also a native of Pennsylvania, executed the natural history exhibits and the Native American village on the museum’s third floor. John is now in his eighties and resides with a son in Wake, Virginia. Keep up the quality of your outstanding magazine. I look forward to it each season.

Mildred Behrens
South Hamilton, Mass.