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.


I enjoy your magazine and the articles you publish. However, I am not an elitist and for Pennsylvania Heritage to devote six pages to such a group as the United Bowmen of Philadelphia (see “No Feather­weight in the Annals of Archery: The United Bowmen of Philadelphia” by Joseph F. Pino in the winter 1993 issue) is uncalled for. But then maybe you are getting to the end of things to write about. My reaction is “Shame.”

H. C. Randolph, Sr.
Lansdale, Pa.

Your article about the United Bowmen of Philadelphia was of great interest to me as a former president of the organization and an active member for more than thirty years. Through the kindness of Price and Hecksher Wetherill we shot as their guests at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Essington. We paid one dollar per year for the privilege and had almost “complete run of the place,” you might say. This, combined with a beauti­ful and well-groomed lawn for our eighty yard tournament, delicious meals served by the steward, Elwood Showell, and a well-stocked bar made this an ideal facility for our shoots throughout the summer. The invitational shoots hosted by several members were fabulous as well. The author is certainly correct in his state­ment that “the United Bowmen has remained unknown to many and a mystery to some.” I have missed shooting with the Bowmen and this is solely because I can no longer hold and pull a thirty-five pound bow. My prized Toxhorn bow now hangs in the den, and I frequently look at it and recall the wonderful association with the United Bowmen of Philadelphia.

Robert W. Tunis, Jr.
Kennett Square, Pa.


Dobson Mills

We were especially interested in the “Executive Director’s Message” which appeared in the winter 1992 edition of Pennsylvania Heritage because our mother had told us about visits to the Dobson estate when she was a young girl. Our mother’s maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Hutchinson and she lived in the Wissahickon section of Philadelphia. Her grand­mother was Mary Dobson, whose husband, Samuel Hutchinson, also owned a plush mill along the Schuylkill River in Manayunk. When the economy was good, the Dobson Mills employed more than five thousand men, women, and children. They worked five and a half to six days a week, usually begin­ning at dawn and ending at dusk. The Dobson estate was located on Allegheny Avenue, and our mother and her sister, Sara Dobson Hutchinson, spent many weekends and vacations there. One of the pleasant memories recounted for us was about the wonder­ful breakfasts, which included fresh cream from the Dobsons’ cows and the many kinds of berries that grew on the estate grounds. On summer evenings they would take a carriage ride along the east bank of the Schuylkill River. One can still see the gatehouse of the mansion on Allegheny Avenue. Many of the well-to­-do mill owners, including the Dobsons and the Hutchinsons, were buried in the churchyard of St. James the Less Episcopal Church (where our grandfa­ther served as organist).

Mrs. George E. Cain
Drexel Hill, Pa.

Kathryn C. Benneti
Cape May, N. J.



I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with filmmaker Ronald F. Maxwell, “Gettysburg: The Killer Angels Comes to the Screen,” by Bruce Henrickson in the spring 1993 edition. It was well­-written and beautifully illustrated. Thanks so much to the author and Pennsylvania Heritage.

Misty Skedgell
Atlanta, Ga.

Misty Skedgell is senior unit publicist for Turner Network Television (TNT).

Ronald F. Maxwell’s epic motion picture, Gettysburg, made its debut in fall 1993. The Turner Pictures production is based on Michael Shaara’s 1974 novel The Killer Angels and stars Martin Sheen as Gen. Robert E. Lee, Richard Jordan as Brig. Gen. Lewis Armistead, Jeff Daniels as Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamber­lain, C. Thomas Howell as Lieut. Torn Chamberlain, Stephen Lang as Maj. Gen. George Pickett, and Tom Berenger as Gen. James Longstreet. Segments of the motion picture were filmed at Gettysburg National Military Park in summer 1992.