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.

Quite a Rau

I was intrigued by John C. Van Horne’s article on William Herman Rau in the Fall 1996 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage [see “‘The Greatest Highway to the West’: Photographer William H. Rau Documents the Pennsylvania Railroad“]. I edit a similar magazine in Alabama, and we have exchanged copies with your magazine for years. I always enjoy seeing what our friends in Pennsylvania are doing, but nothing has stopped me in my tracks quite like this article. My father was named William Herman Rau. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1902 and died in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1976. In recent years I have become interested in genealogy, but I have done little research on my father’s side of the family because so little information is available from the few relatives I have. I know who my grandparents and great-grandparents were because they are all buried in one crypt in Metairie Lawn Cemetery in New Orleans, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge. Is it possible that my father and your photographer have a common ancestor? How many William Herman Raus can there be?

Suzanne Rau Wolfe
Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Suzanne Rau Wolfe is editor of Alabama Heritage, a quarterly magazine published by the University of Alabama.


Main Memories

I was so pleased to see the photograph and commentary about Old Main at West Chester University (see “Lost & Found” in the Winter 1997 issue). What fond memories it brought back! As a student at the High Street Elementary School, which also is gone, I traveled the halls of Old Main, visiting with my student teachers. I worked on the non-instructional staff at the university for twenty years and saw many changes before I retired a decade ago. I earned a bachelor’s of science degree in elementary education while there, and cherish memories of those years as well I enjoy Pennsylvania Heritage very much and pass it on to other family members to enjoy. Thank you for an exciting magazine.

Constance Karr
Zephyrhills, Fla.


Image of Inspiration

I really enjoyed the comprehensive article on Crystal Bird Fauset which appeared in the Winter 1997 edition [see “Crystal Bird Fauset Raises Her Voice for Human Rights” by Eric Ledell Smith]. Several years ago the Philadelphia Tribune published a brief piece on Fauset (for Women’s History Month), which I photocopied, framed, and hung on my living room wall. I read it over and over – and urge visitors to read it too – as Crystal Bird Fauset is an inspiration for black women and, although I dislike the term “role model,” I suppose in our modern vernacular that is exactly what she was. I have shared this piece with quite a few other individuals who I believe would benefit from the knowledge.

Cindie L. Watkins
Harrisburg, Pa.