“Keeping with the Dignity of the Commonwealth”: 50 Years of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence

The stately Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence overlooking the Susquehanna River at 2035 North Front Street in the Uptown neighborhood of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, reaches its half-century mark in 2018, a milestone that is being observed with a variety of events and programs throughout the year. The Georgian Revival mansion was completed in 1968, during the term of Gov. Raymond P. Shafer, its...
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Hotel Lykens

For many years, anthracite coal mining was the main source of livelihood for the residents of Lykens, a borough in northern Dauphin County. By the early 1920s, the industry was in decline, causing the community’s population and economy to waver. Meanwhile across the country, as automobile ownership was increasing, community leaders noticed that hotels and other services associated with travel...
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The Dream of Security: Johnstown and Flood Control

They don’t take rain for granted in Johnstown anymore. Walking down Market Street or cruising Route 56, pedestrians may pause and drivers may slow as the first drops land. Anxious glances skyward reveal the unspoken thought: will it happen again? They are re­calling the terrible night in July 1977 when the rain fell and fell and the dream of a flood-free Johnstown shattered for­ever. That...
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“A New County to Be Called Snyder”

Snyder is a small rural county covering 327 square miles with a population exceeding thirty thou­sand. Situated near the center of the Commonwealth, it is bounded on the northwest by Jack’s Mountain, on the southeast by the Mahantango Creek and on the en­tire eastern end by the beautiful Susquehanna River. Most of the remaining boundaries are unrelated to natural features. Geologically,...
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Setting the Standard for Others

With a rich heritage rooted in colonial military formations – such as the forces furnished in 1740 for a disastrous English expe­dition against Cartagena, Spain’s principal seaport in South America, and Benjamin Franklin’s ten thousand mem­ber military Association, estab­lished in 1747 – the 28th Infantry (Keystone) Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, is the...
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The Romance of Pennsylvania Agriculture

When a small group of men met at Lancaster’s Leopard Hotel in August 1916 to organize the first Pennsylvania Farm Show, they did not have in mind mammoth displays of fifty thousand dollar tractors, mountains of steaming baked potatoes or presentations of grand champion livestock ribbons. They didn’t envision a state fair of the type that had become so popular in places like Iowa,...
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The Covered Bridges of Pennsylvania: A Guide

The Covered Bridges of Pennsylvania: A Guide by Susan M. Zacher Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1994 (134 pages, paper, $9.95) Pennsylvania has many types of historic structures scattered throughout its sixty-seven counties, but it’s doubtful if any are as cher­ished and admired as the covered bridge. No matter the season, enthusiasts­ – often joined by photogra­phers...
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Lost and Found

Lost The Smithton Bridge spanning the Youghiogheny River was fabricated in 1900 by the Pittsburgh Bridge Company and erected by Nelson and Buchanan, a Chambersburg, Franklin County, contracting firm which acted as an agent for the com­pany. An important engineering landmark, the Smithton Bridge was an example of a suspended cantilever truss, introduced in the United States about 1885. Such...
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Executive Director’s Message

The history we carry with us­ – our personal history – is perhaps the most significant way we establish meaning and value in our lives. In recognition of the dawn of a new millennium, we are inviting readers to share their personal memories in a new feature, “Pennsylvania Memories For A New Millennium,” that will begin with our next edition of Pennsylvania Heritage and...
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Born to Organize

For nearly two decades, from 1944 to 1963, in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley, a center of anthracite mining, Min L. Matheson (1909-1992) and the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) were synonymous with notions of “community.” A charitable event? Count on the ILGWU to provide volunteers and raise money. Patients at an area veterans’...
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