From Temperance to Suffrage with WCTU in Bellefonte

  The Women’ Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) building, also known a Petrikm Hall, on High Street in the Bellefonte Historic District has a fasci­nating history and links to the women’s suffrage movement. Petrikin Hall, as depicted in this 1910 postcard, was completed in 1902 to serve the needs of WCTU’s Bellefonte chapter and was designed to house an auditorium, stage...
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Honeymooning in the Poconos

The beautiful Pocono Mountains in northeast Pennsylvania have been attracting visitors since the mid-19th century, but in the post-World War II years the area became known as the perfect place for honeymooners. The tourist tradition of the Poconos began with the establishment of summer resort hotels offering city residents from Philadelphia and New York City the opportunity to cool off in style...
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The Old Stone Arch Bridge over Jack’s Creek

The Old Stone Arch Bridge over Jack’s Creek in Derry Township, Mifflin County, captured in this c.1937 postcard, has been enhancing travelers’ journeys ever since 1813, when it was built as part of the first turnpike to connect Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Construction of this segment of the road began in Lewistown and was completed to Harrisburg in 1825. The single-span, semielliptical stone...
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Buhl Farm Park

This early 20th-century postcard offers a romantic view of Buhl Farm Park in Sharon, Mercer County, with its iconic Casino reflected on the water of Lake Julia. Love is an appropriate theme for this 300-acre public park, planned and created by wealthy steel industrialist Frank H. Buhl (1848–1918) and his wife Julia (1854–1936) as a gift to the people of Sharon. Frank Buhl was the president of...
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The Kinzua Bridge

Once the highest and longest viaduct in the world, the Kinzua Bridge in McKean County was built in 1882 for the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad. Designed to carry heavy railroad cars filled with coal, lumber and oil across the deep Kinzua Creek gorge, the bridge was created from more than 3 million pounds of wrought iron by the Phoenix Bridge Co., a subsidiary of the Phoenix Iron Co....
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Romani in Pennsylvania

This fascinating early 20th-century postcard of a scene from Williamsport, Lycoming County, provides a view of life in Pennsylvania that is seldom represented in formal historic records or in preservation efforts. Cultures that exist outside the mainstream and especially those not linked to specific places pose a special challenge to historians. The word “Gypsy,” which appears on...
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Training at Indiantown Gap

  At age 19, Waldo Preston Breeden Jr. sent a postcard to his father in Pittsburgh describing his seemingly pleasant experiences at Indiantown Gap, Lebanon County, in July 1938. He “found apples and berries on the range,” “shot the 37 mm. guns” (a common caliber of antitank gun at the time) and mentioned that he had a special ranking and higher pay because of his ability to drive. The...
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Shankweiler’s Hotel and Restaurant

  Shankweiler’s Hotel and Restaurant operated on Old U.S. 22 in the village of Fogelsville, Lehigh County, just west of Allentown. As this c. 1940 postcard notes, the restaurant was well known for its delicious chicken and waffles, a meal that reflects the Pennsylvania Dutch heritage of the area. This local landmark opened in June 1934 under the management of Wilson and Daisy Shankweiler,...
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Anthracite Mining and the Slavic Immigration

Those unfamiliar with Pennsylvania’s ethnic geography might be surprised to see a 1918 postcard penned in Russian like this one sent from Hazleton, Luzerne County, which translates as, “Tomorrow we are moving to a different place. Here is the address…. Greetings and kisses.” Following earlier immigration waves of primarily Northern and Western Europeans, the United States experienced an...
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Westminster College

  Founded in 1852, Westminster College in New Wilmington, Lawrence County, is one of the oldest coed colleges in the country. Its original academic quadrangle is made up of buildings dating from 1893 to 1952. Other well-preserved historic buildings remain on campus as well, most notably the 1884 Thompson House, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the nearby 1885 Hillside...
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