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.

Fiery Beginnings

Thank you for the article entitled “Cremation’s Fiery Beginnings” by Gretchen Dykstra in the Winter 2012 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage. It is exciting to see this footnote of history featured in your publication.

As one of the researchers who prepared the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the LeMoyne Crematory in 1995 I noticed a few minor points that I want to clarify for readers. First, the crematory is not located behind Dr. [Francis Julius] LeMoyne’s house at 49 East Maiden St. in Washington, which the article implied. Rather, the crematory stands on a separate parcel LeMoyne owned approximately one mile to the southeast on Gallows Hill in North Franklin Township. Second, the crematory is not a National Historic Landmark like the LeMoyne House, but is listed individu ally in the National Register of Historic Places.

Finally, the article indicates forty-two cremations on page 22 and then notes forty-one on page 23. I recall forty-one from the research I conducted for the nomination.

Clinton Piper
Latrobe, Pa.

In the first paragraph of her article, Gretchen Dykstra located Washington, Pa. (known to locals as “Little Washington”) “on one of the many streams that feed into the Monongahela River.” No! Washington is near Chartiers Creek which flows north to the Ohio River at McKees Rocks, about five miles south of Pittsburgh. Also, there’s a typo (as we used to term it) on page 18; the word assassinated in misspelled.

J. K. Folmar I, Ph.D.
California, Pa.


Couldn’t Put It Down

Although I am not a Pennsylvania resident I frequently visit family and have come to enjoy reading your magazine. When I picked up the Winter 2012 issue, I figured I would enjoy the cover story [“The Mills Brothers Trace Roots to Bellefonte” by Daniel R. Clemson], which I did.

And then came “Cremation’s Fiery Beginnings” by Gretchen Dykstra! I couldn’t put it down. Who knew the movement had such an interesting set of proponents, including abolitionists? Very well written — thank you!

Mary Jo Mullan
Cold Spring, N.Y.


Remembering a Legend

When I heard that Dick Clark had died, I felt as if I had lost a piece of my youth since he was not only my idol but an icon while I was growing up in Philadelphia. I watched a number of television programs about the beloved prince of pop, and then remembered the fantastic article your magazine published [“Sparking a Rock’n’Roll Revolution: An Interview with Dick Clark” by William C. Kashatus, Summer 1998].

I went to my local library and re-read the article and it brought back many wonderful memories. Dick Clark was normal, intelligent, and articulate. The photographs that accompanied the story are priceless.

Thank you, Pennsylvania Heritage, for helping me in remembering a legend.

Norm Shafer
Philadelphia, Pa.