Features appear in each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage showcasing a variety of subjects from various periods and geographic locations in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Heritage is a unique benefit for the members of the Pennsylvania Heritage Society (PHS). The magazine has won prestigious design and editorial awards and is widely read throughout the Keystone State in libraries, schools, historical societies, and, of course, by PHS members. Many, after enjoying each issue, pass it on to relatives, friends, and neighbors.

In addition to enjoying the quarterly magazine — which offers detailed and expertly researched features — PHS members can take advantage of a wide array of interesting activities and seasonal events at historic sites and museums throughout the Commonwealth administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). PHS members often take advantage of special trips or invitations that expand their up-front and personal encounter with Pennsylvania’s rich history.

Pennsylvania Heritage is interested in feedback, evidenced by “Letters” appearing in each issue. Whether it’s praise, criticism, or additional information, the editorial staff values input in order to know when they and writers are doing things right and, just as important, when sharp-eyed readers have spotted errors in research, suggest topics that may have been neglected, or generally tell us what they enjoyed (and, in some cases, didn’t). In short, the magazine staff pays close attention to the opinions of our readers, often the source of ideas for articles.

Several active, longtime members of the PHS — Marty A. Cline, Ann and Boyce Heilman, and Jan Winemiller — graciously took time out from their busy schedules to talk about PHS and Pennsylvania Heritage.


Marty A. Cline

Marty A. Cline, a resident of Hanover, York County, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. Like many Americans across the country, he traces his ancestral roots to Pennsylvania. Nearly four years ago, he moved to Hanover and immediately became interested in exploring the Commonwealth’s history, which led him become a PHS member.

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Marty recalls spending sweltering summer while stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi. The Air Force assigned him to Minot, North Carolina, where he endured a frigid winter, and then to Montana. His changes in residence eventually took him to Connecticut where he could spend time with his father who, at the time, was ninety-seven years old. Before he retired, Marty operated a business where he and twenty employees had the challenging task of servicing and keeping law libraries current in and around Atlanta, Georgia, for more than twenty-five years. “One law firm had one hundred thousand volumes and we had to keep them updated,” Marty explains.

“After I retired, I wanted to make history fun. History in school was so textbook boring,” he says. Now he enjoys reading, writing, collecting historical items, and traveling to historic sites. He has been a member of historical organizations in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia, but, he says, “The [Pennsylvania] Heritage Society covers it better than any other organization I belong to. There’s something for everyone. I think they approach diversity better than any of them.”

Marty praises PHS Membership Coordinator Kelly M. VanSickle and PHS Development Director Beth A. Hager. “I just love and respect Kelly and Beth. They’re really focused on their jobs,” he notes. “They’re the best in the business.”

One of his early contacts with the PHMC was attending a workshop the agency sponsored on barn preservation. Since moving to Hanover and becoming a PHS member, he participated in the organization’s trips to see Lancaster County’s covered bridges and the historic Oley Valley in Berks County, as well as a visit to the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Avella, Washington County, which he says is especially memorable. He was delighted to learn about the October 7 trip to visit several U.S. Post Offices to see, firsthand, murals and sculptures that were originally created and installed in eighty-eight postal buildings in Pennsylvania as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. “Whoever came up with that . . . it was absolutely brilliant!” (A copiously illustrated article, “Rediscovering the People’s Art: New Deal Murals in Pennsylvania’s Post Offices” by David Lembeck, with photographs by Michael Mutmansky, appeared in the Summer 2008 issue.)

A favorite benefit of membership in the PHS for Marty is receiving Pennsylvania Heritage. “I especially like the magazine,” Marty says. “It reflects tremendous diversity for Pennsylvania. I think they do it well.” He also notes that every time he picks up a new issue, it inevitably contains articles that greatly interest him.

One of the magazine’s feature stories that “jumps out” at him was the article about the brownstone quarried in Hummelstown, Dauphin County (“Hummelstown Brownstone: A Victorian Era Treasure” by Ben F. Olena, Spring 2007). In addition to the feature-length articles, he also enjoys the regular departments. One of his favorite departments is “Wish You Were Here!,” which showcases colorful reproductions of vintage postcards culled from the Pennsylvania State Archives’ extensive postcard collection. He also enjoys “Lost and Found,” in which two architectural treasures or historic sites are shown in photographs — one lost forever to destruction or neglect and the other reported as “rediscovered” or preserved.

Marty made one comparison with Southern historians and related publications. “They spend too much time on Civil War and Reconstruction topics,” he explains. He believes, however, that with the approaching sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, which will be observed from 2011 through 2015, it presents a great opportunity for Pennsylvania to focus on the topic. He enjoys taking advantage of special trips planned by the PHS as well as visiting historic sites and museums along PHMC’s Pennsylvania Trails of History. Three of his favorite places to visit are the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg, Drake Well Museum, Titusville, and Landis Valley Museum, Lancaster.


Boyce and Ann Heilman

Boyce and Ann Heilman of New Cumberland, Cumberland County, enjoy exploring Pennsylvania’s history together. Families, of course, may take advantage of special family membership rates that offer savings over individual memberships. Boyce, originally from York, has lived in the Harrisburg area for about forty years, and Ann has lived in the capital city area her entire life. Before he retired, Boyce was employed by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry.

“I grew up in Harrisburg,” Ann says. “I lived on Penn Street near the Governor’s Mansion. We used to walk to the old museum when it was in the [renamed] Ryan Building. It was a big thing.” That fascination with Pennsylvania’s history has continued with their active participation in the Pennsylvania Heritage Society.

Boyce was originally a member of the Friends of The State Museum. When the Pennsylvania Heritage Society was formed in order to expand the scope of services offered by PHMC, each Friends member was offered a membership in PHS. “I’ve always been a museumgoer and interested in history,” Boyce adds.

The Heilmans especially enjoy visiting PHMC’s historic sites and museums. One of their favorite destinations is Pennsbury Manor, the reconstructed country house of William Penn overlooking the Delaware River, in Bucks County. They’ve also enjoyed Cornwall Iron Furnace in Lebanon County, the Joseph Priestley House in Northumberland County, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Potter County, and the Daniel Boone Homestead, birthplace of the legendary frontiersman, in Berks County. Boyce notes his favorite period of history is the colonial era and the lives of the people, although he adds, “not so much the [Revolutionary] war interests.”

“We toured the dome of the State Capitol [with the PHS in 2006]. That was quite exciting,” he says. “My goal is to visit as many [PHMC] sites as possible. I would like to get to Erie to see the U.S. Brig Niagara and travel along the entire length of Route 6.” Route 6, described by National Geographic as one of the nation’s most scenic highways, is a popular and historic route that runs east and west along the Commonwealth’s northern tier. The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, administered by PHMC, and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon are among its outstanding attractions.

The Heilmans find the time to enjoy other activities, including camping, visiting some of Pennsylvania’s many state parks, or just getting out to take road trips. They enjoy plays and have traveled to Ontario, Canada, for two classic theatre festivals. The couple enjoyed several of the trips sponsored by the PHS and describes them as “excellent.” Boyce says he has also enjoyed PHS and PHMC lectures on such topics as William Penn, the Charter presented to Penn by King Charles II in 1681, and Gettysburg. Boyce adds that they have influenced their adult son, Daniel Dodson, to join the PHS. “He attends lectures when he can and he would like to do more.” Boyce also finds the time — and patience — to enjoy the 2,000-year-old Japanese art of cultivating bonsai. He and Ann have planted bonsai on their property.

Ann names the lectures, trips, and the quality of Pennsylvania Heritage as reasons for continuing to enjoy membership in the PHS. Like Marty Cline, Ann enjoyed the article about Hummelstown brownstone and the feature devoted to the Barrymore family (“The Barrymores of Philadelphia: America’s Royal Family of the Theatre” by Jim McClelland, Summer 2008). “It’s a beautiful magazine I always pass it on to friends,” says Boyce, who savors the articles on architecture. “I enjoy the magazine’s quality and contents.


Jan Winemiller

Jan Winemiller, who resides in the Carlisle area of Cumberland County and whose family hails from Harford, in Susquehanna County, says she joined the Pennsylvania Heritage Society the very same day she received a notice about it from personal friend and PHS’s development director, Beth A. Hager. She credits her interest in Pennsylvania’s history to her family. “I’ve always been interested in history,” Jan explains. “My father is a railroad buff and the family has also been very interested in the history of Gettysburg and Philadelphia.” She says history became especially meaningful after she and her husband, Jeff Winemiller, purchased her ancestral family homestead in her native Harford, insuring that the property will be kept in the family for a ninth generation. “We finished the property’s restoration several years ago,” she adds.

Jan especially enjoys one of the important benefits of membership in the PHS, Pennsylvania Heritage. She appreciates its high production values and likens its quality to a “coffee table” book. “But the magazines don’t stay on the coffee table,” she says. “They get passed on to other people. If Pennsylvania Heritage published a book compiled from several editions of the magazine, I would buy fifty copies and send them to friends. It would make a wonderful book about Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Heritage is a very appropriate part of your mission. It’s one of the reasons I’m happy to support the Pennsylvania Heritage Society. You’re well researched and you do it well. The magazine is equal in every way to Smithsonian magazine or American Spirit.”

One of the recent Pennsylvania Heritage articles that Jan considers to be fascinating is the one about the New Deal murals that were painted during the Great Depression inside post office buildings (see “Rediscovering the People’s Art: New Deal Murals in Pennsylvania’s Post Offices” by David Lembeck, with photographs by Michael Mutmansky, Summer 2008). “The choices of articles are wonderful, unique, and interesting,” she says. “The articles are meticulously researched and the writing style is a pleasure. The photographs are beautiful.” She adds, “There isn’t anything I would change.”

Jan encourages her two daughters, ages eleven and thirteen, to take an interest in Pennsylvania history. “I try to fill them with tidbits from the magazine,” she says.

She has a background in business, including seven years with the Office of Client Development at the Pennsylvania State University. She and her husband founded Winemiller Communications in 1997 where she served as chief executive officer. In 2003, the Winemillers sold the company and founded, in 2004, RF Central in Carlisle, a company that is renowned for its expertise and products in microwave communications, wireless camera systems, and other services for the broadcast industry. Jan sat on the company’s board of directors until the company accepted a buyout offer from Vitec Group in 2007. RF Central, which Jeff Winemiller continues to manage, is now part of Vitec, with worldwide customers in the broadcast, entertainment, and photographic industries. Jan and her husband have kept an eye on the future by constantly incorporating new technology in their business, but Jan has never lost sight of the importance of preserving and promoting Pennsylvania’s history.

In addition to her devotion to career, family, and history, she has enjoyed creating stained glass art for the past five years and kiln glass for the past four years, which she says has increased her appreciation of Pennsylvania Heritage art features and the PHMC’s efforts to include art history preservation among the protection of other priceless treasures and historic sites. “When I was in college, I took courses in history, art history, and architecture,” she says. During a recent stop in Harrisburg to visit the Pennsylvania Heritage Society, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania State Bookstore, Jan proudly displayed her lapel pins and regalia as an active member of the Montrose Chapter, Pennsylvania Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, further proof that history is an important part of her life.