A Lifetime of Learning

Springtime brings new life to the Pennsylvania Trails of History® with the birth of farm animals, fresh green leaves sprouting on trees and shrubs and new shoots poking up in garden beds. At many of our historic sites, nothing says spring like the arrival of thousands of school-age students with teachers, parents and chaperones in tow. They come to explore history through tours, scavenger hunts,...
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Crawford County: Welcoming the 21st Century

We passed over some good land since we eft Venango, and through several extensive and very rich meadows, one of which, I believe, was nearly four miles in length, and consid­erably wide in some places. Twenty-one year old George Washington, who would in time become a major landholder and land specula­tor, described Crawford County in 1753 as he carried a dispatch demanding the com­mander of the...
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Pennsylvania Woman as Journalist: The Ida Tarbell Nobody Knew

In the summer of 1905, as Ida M. Tarbell’s muckraking History of the Standard Oil Company had completed its long serial run in McClure’s Magazine and been published as a book, Miss Tarbell received an envelope addressed to: Miss Ida M. Tarbell Rockefeller Station Hades Inside was a caustic letter from a reader who was furious with her attack on Standard Oil, but since such...
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Pennsylvania Gridiron: Washington and Jefferson College’s First Century of Football

Gentlemen, you are now going to play football against Harvard. Never again in your whole life will you do anything so important. Yale’s noted football coach T.A.D. Jones delivered his message just as his team was going out to defend Yale Bowl against its ancient rival. But it’s not only coaches whose pas­sion for football is ardent­ – millions play the game on high school,...
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The Lady and the Titan

Before the creation of the Pulitzer Prize, long before Woodward and Bernstein, there was Pennsylvania’s own Ida M. Tarbell (1857-1944). Best known as the muckraking journalist who single-handedly took on the mighty John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), she was among the most feared and admired women of her time. Writing during the Progressive Era, an age of hope and reform running roughly from...
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Can It Already Be Fall?

New Exhibits An exciting new long-term exhibit recently opened at Drake Well Museum and Park at Titusville, Venango County. In the Summer 2011 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage, I profiled the building renovation project at Drake Well, including plans for a geothermal climate control system and a new comprehensive exhibit. There’s a Drop of Oil and Gas in Your Life Every Day, which made its...
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From Erie to Antarctica

For nineteen-year-old Eagle Scout Paul Allman Siple (1908–1968) of Erie, wintering over in Antarctica was perhaps the ultimate, yet seemingly unlikely, merit badge. He had completed his first year at Allegheny College, founded in 1815 in Meadville, Crawford County, when a fellow Boy Scout asked him if he was entering the contest to be the Scout who would accompany Commander Richard E. Byrd...
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Bookshelf

Wonders of Work and Labor: The Steidle Collection of American Industrial Art by Betsy Fahlman and Eric Schruers published by Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery, 2009; 176 pages, cloth, $50.00 Mention Penn State and a few names immediately come to mind: Pattee Library, Happy Valley, the Blue Band, Berkey Creamery and, naturally, Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions. What the average...
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Marking Pennsylvania’s African American History

Charged with collecting, preserving, and interpreting more than three centuries of the Keystone State’s history and culture — as well as millions of years of its prehistory — the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has launched a number of widely acclaimed, innovative, and popular public history programs over the years. One of its most popular is the state historical marker...
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