News and Notes

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


“Let our hands not destroy that heritage – the mayhem of Historical Pennsylvania and pillage of its historical treasures must be curbed and stopped.” This was the keynote phrase of the late State Senator Israel Stiefel in a speech of May 2, 1956, supporting two bills for historic preservation in the State Senate. Senator Stiefel was one of the original legislative members of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, serving from 1951 to 1964.


Ethnic Studies Program Held

The Ethnic Studies Program of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission sponsored an exhibit booth at the fifty-ninth annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. The meeting was held in Philadelphia.

The ethnic exhibit featured photographs of blacks who have served in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, publications dealing with Pennsylvania’s ethnic minorities and details of the ethnic programs work in the oral history of Afro-Americans. John E. Bodnar heads the Ethnic Studies area for the Commission.


Federation News

President Ernest C. Miller of the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies announces the appointment of the Nominating Committee and the Resolutions Committee for the annual meeting, which is to be held on June 14, 1974. Harry Hoehler, of Wayne; Fred E. Long, of Altoona; and William Miller, of Philadelphia, will serve as the Nominating Committee. The Resolutions Committee will consist of Ray S. Bowman, Lebanon; Orvis Anderson, Mercer; Mrs. Robert H. Johnston, Havertown; Donald H. Kent, Camp Hill; Daniel R. Gilbert, Bethlehem; Mrs. Henry C. Patterson, Media; and Calvin E. Pollins, Greensburg.


Mercer Tile Exhibit

An exhibit of the Mercer Tiles and original molds from the Moravian Tile Works, Doylestown, was featured until Dec. 1 at the William Penn Memorial Museum.

The Tile Works were founded by Henry Mercer. Mercer’s original design of 400 mosaic tiles are in the Capitol corridor. The new state Capitol was dedicated Oct. 4, 1906.


Craft Exhibit

The William Penn Memorial Museum just completed Pennsylvania “74.” This was a statewide juried craft exhibit sponsored by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.


Ft. LeBoeuf Museum

Fort LeBoeuf Museum in Waterford is now open to the public on a year-round basis.

A new property head has been appointed; she is Patricia Leiphart, a history graduate of Edinboro State College.

Fort LeBoeuf is on the Pennsylvania Trail of History and is located in Erie County. The museum was built in 1970. Hours are 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Sundays. Group tours may be arranged by calling Miss Leiphart at 814-796-4113.


Fulton’s Birthday Noted

Pennsylvanians recently observed the 209th birthday anniversary of Robert Fulton, a native and talented son, at the Robert Fulton Birthplace. The location is twenty-two miles south of Lancaster and seven miles south of Quarryville on U.S. Route 322.

Fulton, the artist-inventor, was born Nov. 14, 1765, in the farm house. It has been restored by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Commission leases portions of the farm land of the historic property for farming purposes.

The Fulton Homestead, located on the “Pennsylvania Trail of History” near Goshen and the Maryland border in Lancaster County is open to visitors from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays except Mondays and from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Groups are asked to contact Robert Wimer, property head, at (717) 548-2679 prior to a visit.



Does your community – be it a village, borough or city – have a statesman, suffragette, inventor, artist? The American Association of State and Local History encourages that you dramatize the childhood or lifestyle of that person. Such a dramatization can make history come alive for the children and youth in your town.


William Penn Birthday Noted

Prevailing amidst the students, teachers and simply interested persons thronging the William Penn Memorial Museum for the celebration of William Penn’s 330th birthday were the dual themes – peace and justice.

A major goal of the day’s program was to instill participants with creative ideas on how to commemorate the Bicentennial in their local communities. The enthusiasm of the students participating was so natural, one could only wish that it could be captured and shared with all Pennsylvanians.

The event, held Oct. 24, drew over 1,000 high school students and teachers from throughout the state. Members of the Pennsylvania Federation of Junior Historians assisted in formulating the program. Coordinating the event were Miss Elizabeth Haller of the Division of Arts and Humanities, Department of Education, and Carl D. Oblinger, executive secretary of the Federation.

Officially commemorating the birthday anniversary of the Commonwealth’s founder and proprietor with salutations were Pennsylvania Secretary of Education John C. Pittenger and William J. Wewer, executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Secretary of State C. Delores Tucker read Gov. Milton Shapp’s proclamation designating the day as “William Penn Day” and the week of Oct. 19-26 as “Pennsylvania Week.”

A panel discussion on “Peace and Justice” also highlighted the morning’s activities. Panel participants included Junior Historians: James Kinter, III and James Baldwin, both of Penn Manor High School, Millersville; Jo Ellen Saylor of Hempfield High School, Landisville; and Cathy Dugus of Burgettstown Area High School. Ethnic community representatives were Jimmy Little Turtle of New Cumberland, representing native America; Margo Rodriquez Snyder of Reading, representing the Spanish-speaking community, and Vaughn Brooker of Harrisburg, representing the black community. Ethnic musical groups presented “A Medley of Music.” Participating were the Jazz Choir of Harrisburg Area Community College and “New Voices” of the Harrisburg School District.

Highlighting afternoon events were a continuous Colonial Arts and Crafts program in the Village Square. Students actually demonstrated such skills as quilting, making maple syrup, baking funnel cakes and others. Students participating were from Cornwall-Lebanon School District Somerset Historical Center and Haverford Twp. School District.

Student Live-in Experiences were demonstrated by groups from Ephrata Cloister (Eighteenth Century Commune), Old Economy (Nineteenth Century Farm), and Project 1776 (Havertown Pioneering).

School districts participating in the Local and Oral History sessions included Troy Area School District, Conestoga Valley, Lancaster Catholic High School and Athens Area High School.

Students from Lancaster Catholic and Lower Dauphin High Schools presented the Junior Historians’ Archeology Project in historic restoration.

Mrs. Ferne Smith Hetrick, Commission chairman, trans­ported participants back to the days when it was common­place for families to produce many of their own dinner staples. She demonstrated baking bread and churning butter.

William Penn’s 330th birthday party teemed with creativ­ity, both from the past and the present. The party was even replete with individual birthday cupcakes and Pennsylvania Red Delicious apples distributed to students. And last, but not least, Harrisburg’s Community Theatre director, Olan “Kit” Carson portrayed William Penn.


Pennsylvania Historical Group Meets

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to select the outstanding program at the forty-third annual Pennsylvania Historical Association’s meeting. The autumn splendor of Mercer County only added to a program that made one reluctant to see the conference draw to a conclusion.

George Swetnam of Pittsburgh, known to both professional and amateur historians, set the note for those gathered at the luncheon, first major program of the two­-day conference Oct. 25-26.

(Registration for the meeting had begun at 10:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge near Mercer. Friday’s programs were all held at the lodge. Saturday’s programs were held at Westminster College, New Wilmington, a short drive from the lodge.)

Swetnam, also a member of the PHA Council, made Carnegie come alive in his discussion of “The Carnegie Nobody Knows.” Swetnam is preparing a book on Carnegie.

Carnegie did a great deal, Swetnam said, to popularize writings about travel. One could envision Carnegie, pad on knee, with a stub of a pencil in hand. Swetnam noted that the “conservative” Carnegie was really a “liberal” man.

Concurrent sessions Friday afternoon were chaired by Jerome H. Wood, Jr., and Clary Settlemire. John E. Ferling, assistant professor of history at West Georgia College, and William T. Parsons, professor of history at Ursinus College, presented papers on “The Motives of a Pennsylvania Tory: Joseph Galloway as a Case Study” and “The Pennsylvania Dutch: Partners in the War for Independence” respectively. Dr. Wood’s session focused on “Divided Loyalties: Pennsylvania and the American Revolution.”

The theme permeating Ms. Settlemire’s session was “Women in Pennsylvania Life: Two Perspectives.” Robert Stinson and John W. Parlow, Jr. presented papers on “Ida Tarbell: The Emergence of an Anti-Feminist,” and “Cornelia Bryce Pinchot: Social Feminism in Pennsylvania in the 1920’s and 1930’s.” Stinson is at Moravian College while Furlow is with Wilkes College.

Long a Tarbell fan, this writer left Stinson’s session with mixed emotions. Tarbell was one of the journalists linked with other notable writers including Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, Upton Sinclair, and S. S. McClure. Of special significance to Pennsylvanians is the fact that Tarbell lived her girlhood years in Titusville. Stinson, obviously well-prepared on his subject, noted that Tarbell was portrayed in the play, “The Lion and the Mouse.” (One of Tarbell’s chief targets, of course, was Standard Oil.) Most Tarbell followers were familiar with her autobiography, All in a Day’s Work, but Stinson noted many other articles including a series she wrote in 1912 for American Magazine, “The Business of Being a Woman.” Stinson emphasized that Tarbell was not a “defector”; she merely lived out a “new phase of an old dichotomy.”

John M. Coleman, Lafayette College professor of history, presided at the opening session. Philip A. Lewis, dean of the hosting Westminster College also spoke briefly.

Donald H. Kent, PHA president and director, Bureau of Archives and History of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, presided at the dinner session. “A Look toward the Bicentennial” was the topic of Hobart Cawood, Independence National Park’s superintendent.

Results of Council and business meetings included the election of three new members to the Council: Francis Jennings, professor of history, Cedar Crest College, Allentown; Harry Whipkey, state archivist; and Ira Brown, history professor, Pennsylvania State University.

Cost of the publication Pennsylvania Oil Industry was set at $1.50. All other PHA publications were raised in price by 25 cents.

On motion made by Philip S. Klein, the Council appointed President Kent to be responsible for drafting a resolution or position paper to be disseminated to historical societies, PHA members, newspaper editors, etc. The resolution is to state the Council’s concern with the status of high school curricula regarding history.

Next year’s annual meeting will be held Oct. 10-11 at St. Francis, Loretto. Harold W. Aurand will chair the program committee.

Three viable themes permeated the morning sessions Saturday at Westminster College: “Ethnicity and Assimilation,” “Gettysburg Remembered” and “The Beginnings of Higher Education in Western Pennsylvania: Two Case Studies.”

John Bodnar of the Ethnic Studies Program, PHMC, chaired Session I. Participating were Stephanie Grauman Wolf of Philadelphia, whose paper was “Germantown Pennsylvania: A Case Study in Eighteenth Century Heterogeneity and Assimilation,” and Robert Asher of the University of Connecticut. Asher’s presentation was “The Steel Strike of 1919.”

Jay Luvaas of Allegheny College chaired “Gettysburg Remembered.” Papers were presented by Robert L. Bloom of Gettysburg College, and John S. Patterson of Capitol Campus of Penn State University. Bloom discussed “The Battle of Gettysburg in Fiction.” Patterson’s topic was “The Battlefield at Gettysburg: Reunions and Reactions.”

Delber McKee of Westminster College chaired the third concurrent session. Paul W. Gamble of Westminster discussed “Westminster College.” Samuel A. Farmerie, also of Westminster, spoke on “Clarion State College.”

The conference culminated with a luncheon speaker, Caroline Robbins of Rosemont. She discussed “Rights and Grievances at Carpenter’s Hall, First Continental Congress, 1774.” Robert E. Carlson of West Chester College presided at the final session.

John F. Coleman, PHA Council member, chaired the program committee. He was assisted by Harold W. Aurand, of the Hazleton Campus, Penn State University; Edwin B. Bronner; Stanley Brosky, member of the Commission of the PHMC; Robert D. Duncan of the PHA Council; and Wood.

Arthur L. Jensen, PHA Council member and history professor at Westminster College, chaired the local arrangements committee. Assisting were Farmerie, McKee and Harry Swanhart. A tour of the Mercer County Historical Society was made available following afternoon sessions.

The PHA, “in cooperation with local, county and regional historical associations and agencies, seeks to advance the study of Pennsylvania’s heritage. It is the only statewide historical society now active in the Commonwealth. By its annual meeting held successively in different parts of the state, by its publication of a quarterly journal, Pennsylvania History, and of a series of pamphlets entitled Pennsylvania History Studies, and by its cosponsorship of the Institute on Pennsylvania Life and Culture, the association endeavors not only to stimulate scholarly activity in Pennsylvania history, but also to arouse popular interest in all aspects of the subject.”

Any person wishing to join the PHA can write to Phillip E. Stebbins, business secretary, Department of History, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa. 16802.

H. Benjamin Powell of Bloomsburg State College is editor of Pennsylvania History. Michael Weber of Carnegie-­Mellon University is the new book review editor for Pennsylvania History.