From Temperance to Suffrage with WCTU in Bellefonte

  The Women’ Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) building, also known a Petrikm Hall, on High Street in the Bellefonte Historic District has a fasci­nating history and links to the women’s suffrage movement. Petrikin Hall, as depicted in this 1910 postcard, was completed in 1902 to serve the needs of WCTU’s Bellefonte chapter and was designed to house an auditorium, stage...
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Beaver’s Diary, Document and Lifesaver

The Pennsylvania State Archives has in its collection numerous diaries recording the personal experiences of prominent people in the state’s history. One of those diaries not only documented its owner’s life but also possibly saved it. James Addams Beaver (1837–1914), born in Millerstown, Perry County, was an attorney in Bellefonte, Centre County, who would serve as the 20th governor of...
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Backcast: Pennsylvania’s Legacy of Split Cane Fly Rods

  It’s important not to rush this. A mistake will obliterate a month of work. I take care to make sure that my workbench is uncluttered, the lighting is adequate to the task, and the tools I’ll need are handy but not in the way. Before me is a tapered hexagonal shaft composed of Tonkin cane (Arundinaria amabilis McClure), a type of extraordinarily tough bamboo found mostly in southeastern...
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Trails to the 28th Infantry Division National Shrine

The year 2018 marks the centennial of the last year of World War I and the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, that ended the war’s active combat. (The Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended the war between Germany and the Allies, was signed in June of the following year.) Memorializing those lost in the war was an important step in putting the Great War in the past....
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Anna Wagner Keichline: Architect, Inventor, Suffragist and World War I Special Agent

The Pennsylvania Historical Marker for Anna Wagner Keichline (1889–1943) is prominent among a growing number of markers related to women’s history in the state. Keichline is known as one of the first women to practice architecture professionally in the United States, but she had multifaceted interests and achieved distinction in several fields. Born and raised in Bellefonte, she exhibited...
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World War I Centennial Trails

As part of PHMC’s Pennsylvania at War initiative, sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History have planned programs and events to commemorate the centennial of America’s entry into World War I. Check the websites listed below or the weekly Trailheads blog and its monthly program pages for updates and additions to events and activities.   Erie Maritime Museum On April 6, 1917,...
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World War I Ambulances

The face of warfare had changed by the time America entered World War I. For better or worse, the conflict was characterized by advances in technology, including air combat, chemical weaponry, and more effective firearms such as machine guns and automatic rifles. Automobiles also began supplementing horse-drawn wagons for a number of uses on the battlefront, including ambulatory medical care. In...
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2016 Trails

In 2015 the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Galeton, Potter County, officially opened its expanded visitor center to the public. The museum also debuted Challenges and Choices in Pennsylvania’s Forests, an artifact-rich exhibit exploring the history of the lumber industry, the rise of the conservation movement and professional forestry, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and current best practices...
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The Pennsy Guns at the Pennsylvania Military Museum

State Museum curator Robert D. Hill’s article about the USS Pennsylvania (see “Keystone Flagship: USS Pennsylvania Leading the Navy through Two World Wars”) mentions that the ship underwent a significant refit in 1945. The ship’s wartime armament included a dozen 14-inch guns, arrayed in four 3-gun turrets (“14-inch” refers to the diameter of the projectile). Among other work, the...
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Letters

Warm and Special Memories Upon seeing the cover of the most recent edition of the Pennsylvania Heritage, Spring 2014, I immediately recognized the Harry Whittier Frees photograph. The sight of two cats donned in clothing and perched on a swing evoked warm and special memories. You see, my mother received the book Toodles and Her Friends in 1936 for her first birthday. She had several books from...
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