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.

Could Be a Model

During a recent trip to Pennsylvania, my niece introduced me to your very fine publication, and I am duly impressed. The range of articles is impressive.

The writing is lively, the layout is handsome, and the pictures are — well, the pictures are truly priceless. I travel throughout the country to visit family and friends and I am not exaggerating when I write that Pennsylvania Heritage could be a model for other state periodicals, whether they’re devoted to history, tourism, arts and culture, or travel.

I was particularly enamored by the food-related stories published to observe the [Pennsylvania Historical and Museum] Commission’s 2012 commemoration [“The Land of Penn and Plenty: Bringing History to the Table”]. The articles about the northeastern Pennsylvania brewing company [“Stegmaier Brewed Beer and a Regional History” by William C. Kashatus, Fall 2012] and the snack food industry [“Snackin’ — Pennsylvania Style” by Kyle R. Weaver, Summer 2012] were delightful because your writers showed how they affected not only local residents, but consumers throughout the country.

Ruth Myers
St. Augustine, Fla.


Preserving a Precious Commodity

When you announced that culinary history was to be the focus of last year’s theme, I was highly dubious but you certainly made me a believer. The article devoted to the PA Preferred families, “Building a Brand for Pennsylvania Products,” by Jean H. Kummer and Nicole L. C. Bucher in the Fall 2012 edition was a highly visual celebration of individuals devoted to tradition, hard work, family identity, personal history and, especially, the land. How comforting it is to know that there still exist stalwart guardians of farmland, preserving a precious commodity that most of us take for granted.

Bill Evans
Pittsburgh, Pa.

PA Preferred® is a program of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture that aggressively markets food grown, produced, or processed in the Keystone State.


Our Hope for Tomorrow!

Wow! I just discovered your magazine in my neighborhood library, which is a great survey of local, regional, and state history. Thank you!

As a former teacher who retired five years ago, I am proud to note that Pennsylvania Heritage recognized one of the winners of the 2012 National History Day in Pennsylvania competition. National History Day is among the finest programs for junior and senior high school students as it introduces them to historical themes and subjects and engages them in thorough research, interpretation, and presentation. The year-long program also teaches students the importance of resources — not the erroneous junk often found on substandard and misleading websites. (Don’t get me wrong, however; websites are useful and invaluable tools but students and their teachers need to carefully vet them to make sure the information is accurate.)

Your editorial staff should take great pride in sharing this student’s achievement with readers. Young historians are our hope for tomorrow!

Francis P. Murphy Jr.
Philadelphia, Pa.

Isabelle Schroeder of New Kensington, Westmoreland County, won the Pennsylvania Heritage Award in the junior division of papers for the 2012 National History Day (NHD) theme “Revolution, Reaction, and Reform in History” with her insightful paper entitled “All Creatures Great and Small: The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society’s Revolution of Kindness Reformed Society and Improved Lives.” Isabelle is only the second NHD award winner to have her work published in the magazine. She is an eighth-grader at Mary Queen of Apostles School in her hometown. Visit the National History Day website to learn about the 2013 NHD competition theme, “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.”



I was born in Hanover and when I read your article about foods this morning I noticed this sentence in a caption in “From the Editor” in the Summer 2012 edition: “The Revonah Pretzel Bakery in Hanover, Adams County, has been rolling and twisting its popular sourdough pretzels by hand since 1935.” Are you not sure this bakery is in Hanover, York County? Maybe I am incorrect.

Carla Yost Hausmann
East Greenville, Pa.

Reader Carla Yost Hausmann is absolutely correct. The Revonah (Hanover spelled backwards) Pretzel Bakery is located in York County, touted as the Snack Food Capital of the World with Hanover recognized as its heart. The editor is solely responsible for this error.


Our Sincerest Apologies

Pennsylvania Heritage failed to properly credit Craig A. Benner of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg, Lancaster County, for the photograph gracing the cover of the Summer 2012 edition. The photograph is one of Craig’s favorite shots of one of his favorite places, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum in Lancaster. The magazine regularly publishes Craig’s images as illustrations for features and regular departments, and this particular photograph was his sixth cover shot! Our sincerest apologies — as well as our many thanks for his outstanding photography — go to Craig for this egregious oversight.