Historical Sketch of Greene County

Greene County lies in the southwestern corner of the state. Its many hills, the distinguishing feature of the countryside, grow more pronounced as one travels from the eastern to the western areas. The old Washington Waynes­burg Railroad, traveling through the hills, was famous for its 178 sharp turns, each of which jolted the passengers. There were some who took the trip just for the roller...
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Historical Sketch of Luzerne County

The Proclamation Line of 1763 was a stopgap devised to give England a chance to gather her forces and to adopt a policy for further expansion of the American colonies along the Atlantic seaboard. The Treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1768 resulted in a pre-revolutionary division of Indian land to establish a boundary between the Indian hunting grounds and the white settlements. The treaty was the last...
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Rural Bust and Boom: Snyder County, 1880-1920

Between 1880 and 1920 a dialectic of sorts operated in Snyder County. These were years of decline. This decline was both absolute, in population and the generation of wealth, and relative, when compared to the growth in numbers, wealth and cultural richness occuring elsewhere. The area did not have easily tilled fertile soil; its minerals were neither accessible nor rich; its population was...
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Lycoming County: Many Call It Romantic

Its heritage is so rich that it’s hard to adequately­ – and accurately – portray the roles Lycoming County has played in the Commonwealth’s history. Since its settlement in the mid­-eighteenth century, it has had, according to Sylvester K. Stevens, author of the 1946 guide to the Keystone State’s sixty-seven counties, My Penn­sylvania, “one of the most...
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Firm Foundations in Philadelphia: The Lewis and Clark Expedition’s Ties to Pennsylvania

For a century and a half, from 1807 until the early 1960s, the celebrated expedition undertaken by Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) between 1803 and 1806 was generally perceived to be strictly a western United States phenomenon. Historians and educators who discussed it in their writings or in their teaching usually described the twenty-eight month ordeal as beginning...
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Circles and Cycles – Working the Monongahela River Towboats: A Personal Portrait

A river is not defined by its banks. If it were, a simple line drawing would suffice to delineate it. People who work on it and live along its banks tell us what the Monongahela River is: it is about the people as much as the geography. This was a valley of steel and is still a valley of coal. The river defines the char­acter of the valley and affects people in ways they always aren’t...
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