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.

A Refreshing Read

The article on fountains in Philadelphia (“A City of Fountains” by Jim McClel­land, Summer 2005) was a refreshing read-especially as the temperatures reached nearly one hundred degrees several days this summer. Fountains are scattered all throughout of City of Brotherly Love, and I just wonder how many Philadelphians walk (or drive) right past these works of art and don’t notice them. Your magazine certainly made me stop and take notice! Thank you.

Bill Delias
Philadelphia, Pa.

Great article on Philadelphia’s fountains! I particularly enjoyed the antique print of the fountain on Franklin Square. Your article was timed perfectly – plans are in the work to restore the fountain as part of the general cleaning up of Franklin Square.

Keith Miles Jr.
Ambler, Pa.


Heading North

Pennsylvania Heritage is a “must read” for my family and me. Articles such as the in-depth look at the oil region (“Survival of an American Boom Town” by Gregory DL Morris, Summer 2005] make me realize how vast and deep Pennsylvania’s history is. As a child, I learned that Colonel Drake sunk the first successful oil well in the world, but somehow my teachers failed to discuss its impact on this part of the state. Reading about the great fortunes acquired (and, in some cases, lost) and the communities they built makes me want to know even more. You can be sure I’ll be heading north later this year to visit the Drake Well Museum and Park and the surrounding attractions.

Gloria M. Heffner
Pittsburgh, Pa.

I enjoy the magazine very much and am appreciative that your writers avoid superlatives and hyperbole when discussing our history. The story of the oil boom town in the Spring 2005 edition is a perfect example of solid writing; the facts are fascinating in themselves and don’t need any additional gilding.

James B. Smith
York, Pa.


Mount Peace

Thank you for the enjoyable article on Pennsylvania gardens (“Old World Influences on Pennsylvania Gardens” by Myra K. Jacobsohn, Spring 2005]. Here’s more Philadelphia gardening history: My great-great-grandfather William Blair was a gardener. He did his apprentice­ship and journeymanship in Scotland on various estates, including Dunkeld, the summer home of the Duke of Atholl. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1853 and was the gardener for Robert Ralston at his estate, Mount Peace. Like the Woodlands estate of William Hamilton, Mount Peace is now a cemetery.

Ginny Blair
West Chester, Pa.