The Hunt for Pennsylvania’s Timber Rattlesnakes

In the early 19th century, pioneer adventurer Philip Tome recalled that it was common to see 30 or 40 timber rattlesnakes at a time near his home along the Susquehanna River. “The snakes were so numerous that we used to clear the yard and build fires to keep them away,” he recalled in his 1854 memoir, Pioneer Life; or, Thirty Years a Hunter. “On leaving the house we always put on a pair of...
read more

Pepper Hill Fire of 1938

In 1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as a New Deal program, and several camps were located in Pennsylvania. The CCC was charged with various types of projects including structural improvements, transportation enhancement, wildlife preservation, flood control and fire protection. When several forest fires broke out in the vicinity of...
read more

Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Disaster Planning for Historic Properties

In October 2012 Hurricane Sandy made landfall along the northeastern coast of the United States, leaving in its wake a path of destruction. To streamline aid to historic properties in areas hardest hit by the superstorm, the National Park Service (NPS) awarded more than $7.6 million to eight states to help repair and stabilize the damage. Of those states, Pennsylvania received the most funds in...
read more

McKean County: Where the Gold is Green

The great gold and silver rushes of the late nineteenth century to places such as the Black Hills, Colorado, Arizona, California and Alaska have long been hailed in story and song for their excite­ment, riches and heartbreak. But, the rush for “green gold” to McKean County during the same century was equally or more exciting. First, there were the forests – immense forests of...
read more

Cameron County: Where Legends are Legion

Tucked high away in Pennsylvania’s once foreboding northern tier, the little county called Cameron was a segment of the vast wilderness known for many years as the Com­monwealth’s last frontier. In fact, the county was not for­mally established until 1860, the sixty-sixth of the sixty­-seven counties apportioned and organized by the state legislature. Actual settlement of Ca­meron...
read more

Historical Sketch of Elk County

Elk County is named for that noble animal that once abounded in the region in great numbers. The last native elk, however, was shot in 1867 in Elk County by an Indian, Jim Jacobs. Today, Pennsylvania’s only Elk herd roams freely over the area bounded by Elk and Cam­eron Counties. It is descended from the Elk herd imported into Pennsylvania in 1913 from Montana and Wyoming. The history of...
read more

That Was the Week That Was: The First Battle of Harrisburg

It is widely conceded that the major military event of summer 1861 was the First Battle of Bull Run on Sun­day, July 21. The battle lasted only one day, but it caused great humiliation and forced important changes in the North’s subsequent approach to conducting the war. The creation of the Military District of the Potomac under Gen. George B. McClellan several days later signaled a reform...
read more

Bookshelf

Amish Houses and Barns by Stephen Scott Good Books, 1992 (158 pages, paper, $5.95) Home is the center of Amish life, and most – if not all – major life events occur within its walls: birth, mar­riage, visiting, worship, recreation, and death. Amish Houses and Barns is a carefully researched “behind-the­-scenes” look at these events on three farms in particular, as well as...
read more

Tom Mix (1880-1940)

Even before Hollywood producers glamorized the silver screen image of the American cowboy, huge audiences were mesmerized by touring cowboy shows, the most popular of which was William F. (“Buffalo Bill”) Cody (1846-1917) and his Wild West Show, which traveled the country for more than thirty years, from 1883 to 1916. With authentic Native Americans, skilled riders, sharpshooters,...
read more

Year in Review 2008: The New Deal in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Heritage, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and the Pennsylvania Heritage Society celebrate the 75th anniversary of the New Deal.   Winter An Activist Government in Harrisburg: Governor George H. Earle III and Pennsylvania’s “Little New Deal” Forty Fort Meeting House: The Architecture of a Union From the Ashes at Boyertown—Safety Legislation for All Hands on...
read more