Pine Grove Furnace POW Interrogation Camp

Located near Pine Grove Furnace within the state park of the same name in Cooke Township, Cumberland County, a 200-acre plot of land was the site of a unique sequence of historical events over the past 225 years. In the mid-18th century, iron ore was discovered along nearby Mountain Creek, which led to the development of Pine Grove Iron Works, a large-scale iron mining and pig iron production...
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Huntingdon County: Molding Character and Countians

When Philadelphia land speculator William Smith laid out the town of Huntingdon in 1767, it is possible that even then he saw its potential as a county seat. On the one hand, the idea seems preposterous: the area surrounding his prospective town was a wilderness accessi­ble only by a scanty network of undeveloped Indian paths. This unsettled part of Pennsyl­vania had been included in a vast...
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Centre County

Centre County, as its name implies, geographically is Pennsylvania’s central county. The first known residents to inhabit its lands were the Munsee and Shawnee Indians from the Delaware River. Before 1725 these Indians began to move westward, first to the Susquehanna, later to the Ohio. The Iroquois, who claimed the Susquehanna country, assigned one of their chiefs – a man best known...
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A Historical Sketch of Indiana County

Indiana County was named for the native Indians. During historic times the two principal tribes were the Delawares and Shawnees. Being reluctant to give up their lands, the Indians struggled desperately to keep out the tide of European settlers. Perhaps the first white settler to enter Indiana County was James LeTort, an Indian trader, about 1726-27. A place called “Letart’s...
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How to Uncover Black Family History

Genealogy has replaced astrology as America’s favorite topic at social gatherings. Several factors are responsible in sparking the present upsurge in Black genealogy. The civil rights movement of the 1960’s encouraged a feeling of Black solidarity that had not existed before. Marches, demonstrations, and mass jailings brought together diverse elements of the Black community and made...
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A Blast from the Past: Cornwall Iron Furnace

Driving on narrow sinuous back roads through lush, verdant forests – just a half dozen miles north of the busy Pennsylvania Turnpike – unsuspecting travelers can’t help being struck by an odd-looking complex of Gothic Revival-style buildings and structures. This place, this curious collection of buildings, both large and small, appears to have been literally plucked from a far...
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Shorts

Offering a comprehensive view of the emergence and influence of French impressionism on American artists of the late nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, “American Impressionism from the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery” will be on view at the Southern Alleghe­nies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley from Friday, March 2, through Sunday, April 22, 2001. For more information,...
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To Forge History for the Future

Not infrequently, the history of how an object, artifact, or even building or structure has been preserved for the future is every bit at least as interesting as the reasons for which it was saved. Historical organizations and cultural institutions – from large city museums to county historical societies – brim with compelling “behind-the-scenes” stories that provide...
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Strolling Through History at Hopewell Village

For more than a century, Hopewell Furnace in southeastern Pennsylvania had exemplified the technological growing pains of a nation initially built on agriculture but destined to become the industrial titan of the western hemisphere. Between 1771, when Mark Bird (1739-1816) established his furnace at the headwaters of French Creek in Berks County, and 1883, when the­ fires finally cooled,...
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