News

News presents briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

State Awards Announced

One Award of Merit and seven Certificates of Commendation ­have been made to Pennsylvania persons and/or organizations.

State Awards Chairman Harry E. Whipkey, director of the Bureau of Archives and History, The Pennsylvania His­torical and Museum Commission, has announced the state awards, made by the American Association for State and Local History.

The Ephrata Cloister Associates won the Award of Merit “For sponsorship of an innovative program of living history.”

Certificates of Commendation were awarded to:

  1. The Starrucca Viaduct Chapter, Pennsylvania Federa­tion of Junior Historians – “For their programs to preserve the heritage of Susquehanna Depot”;
  2. The Lancaster County Historical Society – “For its concentrated effort to involve the youth of the community in the objectives of the society”;
  3. Ari Hoogenboom and Philip S. Klein – “For writing a book, A History of Pennsylvania“;
  4. The Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania – “For publishing a comprehensive series of leaflets on the greater Pittsburgh area”;
  5. The Historical Society of Cocalico Valley – “For its dedication and perseverance in publishing The History of Ephrata”; and
  6. The Haverford Township Historical Society – “For its educational program – ‘Colonial Living Experience.'”

Ephrata Cloister Associates received the Award of for outstanding support during 1974-75 of the Commonwealth’s Junior Historian Program. The two objectives of the Cloister’s Junior Historian program were: (1) to move the student’s activity beyond the Cloister property into the community, hopefully encouraging the residents of Ephrata and Lancaster County to appreciate the nature of and value of the communal living experiment and of colonial patterns in general; and (2) to open the property to intensive use by community adults and students. The Associates in­tend to expand their commitment in these two directions in the future.

To these stated ends, a “Live-In” on the Cloister property was held during the year enabling junior historians and other students to research and to learn much about the economic and religious patterns of the Ephrata Cloister, an eighteenth­-century communal living society of the Seventh Day Bap­tists. Students lived on the property for three days in June, 1974, thus not only seeing their own lives as problematic but also appreciating the value of aesthetic meditation and the ability to live alone.

In another effort to interest the community and the region in the history of the Cloisters, the associates and the junior historians taped three shows with KEW-TV in Phila­delphia on the historical background of Ephrata Cloister, its people and its crafts.

The Cloisters’ junior historian chapter prepared an his­toric embroidery kit, modeled after the Seventh Day Bap­tists’ Julius Sachse’s Collection, Plainfield, New Jersey.

Another rewarding experience was the year’s junior his­torian project of preparing “A Walking Tour Booklet of His­toric Ephrata.” According to the PHMC, the booklet “is definitive, well-researched and, most importantly, func­tionally useful for visitors and citizens alike. The book is a prototype of the kind needed for a successful and meaning­ful community celebration of the Bicentennial.”

A History of Pennsylvania, whose authors received a Certificate of Commendation, is a one-volume survey, based on sound scholarship, which carries the history of the state up to the present gubernatorial administration. Dr. Klein, a member of the PHMC, is professor emeritus at The Pennsyl­vania State University while Dr. Hoogenboom is professor of history and chairman of the History Department of Brook­lyn College of the City University of New York.

 

Samuel Slaymaker Dies

Samuel G. Slaymaker, 79, a long-time friend and bene­factor of statewide and local historical activities, died Sep­tember 9, 1975, in Lancaster after an extended illness. On the state level, Mr. Slaymaker served as president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies, and later as president and president emeritus of the Historical Founda­tion of Pennsylvania.

He also served on the boards of directors of the James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland, the Lancaster County Historical Society, the Rock Ford Foundation, and the Presbyterian Historical Society. He was former president of the Donegal Society.

Well known in historical circles for his friendly interest, “Sam” Slaymaker was once a familiar figure at the annual Institute for Pennsylvania Rural Life and Culture and will be remembered by Pennsylvania’s Junior Historians for his encouragement of their work.

 

Search Begins for Century Farms

Do you have a Century Farm? The Century Farm pro­ gram is a joint venture of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Bicentennial Commission. Altho􀀗 initially linked to the Bicentennial observance, the program will be a continuing effort and not limited to 1976.

The search for farms that have been in the same family for 100 years or more will focus attention on the state’s rich agricultural heritage and traditional farm life in Pennsylvania.

To qualify as a Century Farm, the property must consist of ten acres or more or gross at least $1,000 from the sale of farm produce. At the time the application is filed, ownership must have been in the same family for 100 or more consecutive years and the property currently occupied by a member of that family.

After records are authenticated, owners of qualified farms will be presented with a certificate. A publication will be issued later listing Century Farms in Pennsylvania.
Application forms can be obtained through subordinate Grange offices or from the State Grange Office, Box 1084, 1604 North Second Street, Harrisburg 17108.

Applications also are being distributed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in Harrisburg or any one of their seven regional offices, the State Grange, the Pennsyl­vania Farmer’s Association, and County Agricultural Extension Offices.

 

Whiteman Publishes Book

Maxwell Whiteman, a member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, has published a new book. Gentlemen in Crisis: The First Century of the Union League of Philadelphia, 1862-1962.

The illustrated book, 386 pages in length, was published this year by the Union League of Philadelphia.

Mr. Whiteman began his career in the antiquarian book trade and soon found himself involved in the study of old books, archival and library work. Two diverse areas attracted his interest – ethnic and minority history and early American trade, manufacture and economics.

Mr. Whiteman came to The Union League in 1964 as result of his chairmanship of the Philadelphia Civil War Centennial Commission to accept the position of archival and historical consultant to the League.

His most recent book is Copper for America: The Hendricks Family and a National Industry. He also is the author of A Century of Fiction by American Negroes (1955), Mankind and Medicine (1960), a Union League publication, and other works. He has co-authored with Edwin Wolf, II, A History of the Jews of Philadelphia from Colonial Times to the Age of Jackson (1957). In addition to serving on the PHMC, he is a juror on the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.

 

Archives Receives Copies

In honor of James B. Rhoads, archivist of the United States, an exhibition of highlights from the collections of the War Liberty and Museum of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, 1805 Pine Street, Philadelphia, was opened on September 29 [1975]. The event featured the presentation to Rhoads of microfilm copy (81 reels) of a major collection held in the archives of the War Liberty and Museum.

The collection embraces 81 volumes of records pertaining to more than 3,000 commissioned offices of the Union Army. It includes, among other unique items, personal narratives of the campaigns in which the individual officers fought. Included as well are records of the officers’ post-Civil War military and civilian careers. With initiative pro­vided by Gen. William Buchanan Gold, Jr., president of the Loyal Legion, and Maxwell Whiteman, member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the microfilm copy was made possible by funds totaling $15,000, provided by the PHMC.

The positive copy of the film presented to Rhoads by the PHMC and the MOLL will be placed at the National Archives. The negative copy and a positive copy are available to researchers at the Pennsylvania State Archives (administered by the PHMC), Harrisburg.

 

Sharpsburg Sesquicentennial

The town of Sharpsburg will be 150 years old in 19 Plans are underway for a combined celebration next year the borough’s sesquicentennial and the nation’s Bicentennial. Sharpsburg’s Mayor Marion Gerardi is heading a volunteer planning group formed to prepare for the observance.

 

Winterthur Fellowships

Applications for the Winterthur Program in Early Ameri­can Culture should be filed by February 1, 1976. This two­-year course of study leads to a master of arts degree awarded by the University of Delaware. The program seeks an under­standing of American decorative arts and material culture to the end of the nineteenth century.

Only applicants who are appointed Winterthur Fellows are admitted to the program. Between five and ten fellow­ships are assigned each year. Applications and further infor­mation can be obtained by writing to: The Coordinator, Winterthur Program, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19711.

 

Towns Renamed

Braddock Hills and North Braddock, Allegheny County, were named for Gen. Edward Braddock, whose army was defeated nearby by the French and their Indian allies in 1755.

Carnegie, Allegheny County, originally known as Mansfield after an early resident, was renamed in honor Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate.