Trailheads

History never truly sleeps on the Pennsylvania Trails of History, but winter is generally a slower season with reduced schedules and fewer programs and events. Charter Day, the celebration of Pennsylvania’s founding (the second Sunday in March), is the traditional start to our spring season. As the weather warms, activity increases at the sites and museums. The landscape loses its dull winter...
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Editor’s Letter

America is experiencing a beer renaissance that began three decades ago, and Pennsylvania has been at its forefront from the start. New craft breweries have flooded the market with an amazing variety of styles, diversifying the taste buds of beer drinkers nationwide. The Brewers Association (BA) defines a craft brewer as independent, small (6 million barrels or less a year) and traditional...
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Craft Brewing: Another Revolution in Pennsylvania

The history of brewing beer in Pennsylvania has seen heights of success and pits of disaster. The commonwealth grew from colonial home-brewing roots to become a recognized industrial center, home to some of the most notable brewers in America before the disaster of Prohibition. After bouncing back with Repeal, Pennsylvania clung to its established favorites longer than any other state, savoring...
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Henry F. Ortlieb Company Bottling House

The Henry F. Ortlieb Company was once one of the largest beer brewers in Philadelphia. Founded by the Ortlieb family in 1869, the brewery grew considerably in the early 20th century as their market expanded. In 1948 the company’s final major building – the Bottling House – was completed to incorporate state-of-the-art bottling technology into the facility. Although most of the...
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America’s Oldest Brewery: A Pictorial History

Touted as “America’s Oldest Brewery” by the family which originated and still owns the Pottsville brewing company, D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. is an unusual collection of mid-nineteenth century buildings which seem to cling pre­cariously to the steep northern slope of the Sharp Mountain above this Schuylkill County seat. The brewery was founded by David G. Yuengling, a...
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Fayette at the Crossroads

Fayette County has always been at the crossroads, both literally and figuratively, its destiny shaped by its location, the incredible riches of its natural resources and the vi­tality of a people descended from al­most every nation of Europe. It has a son of dual personality, geo­graphically divided between mountains and lowlands, historically divided into two almost equal eras of economic...
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Okie Speaks For Pennsbury, Part II

In its attempt during the 1930s to re-create William Penn’s 1683 manor house in Bucks County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in­advertently unleashed a storm of con­troversy over the way in which the site, its archeological evidence and its ar­chitecture should be interpreted. Long before reconstruction of the manor house was completed in 1938 (landscap­ing and furnishing occurred...
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Life in an Industrial Boom Town: Monessen, 1898-1923

In reading about our nation’s past, we often forget how different life was for our ancestors. We read about historical figures and movements, but rarely – except in excellent historical novels – do we gain a glimpse into the living environment. We also tend to for­get that there are many past environ­ments, each producing its own style and pace of living. During the late...
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A Tradition Brewing

Perhaps not considered as noble as spirits­ – the clear, silvery gins, the South’s prized bourbons – nor as trendy as wines – particularly Califor­nia’s pale, refreshing whites – ­beer, nevertheless, has been a staple of the American lifestyle for more than three centuries. Pennsylvania’s earliest brewing traditions eventually emerged as an influential...
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“I Would Have… A Brew House”

The quality of the beer in his new colony was important enough to William Penn for him to include it in his descrip­tion of Pennsylvania to entice prospective settlers. “Our Drink has been Beer and Punch, made of Rum and Water. Our Beer was mostly made of Molasses, which well boyld, with Sassafras or Pine infused into it, makes very tolerable drink; but now they make Mault, and Mault Drink...
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