250 Years on the Pennsylvania Trails of History

Two historic battles being commemorated late this summer bookend a fifty-year period that started with American colonists fighting to defend British interests and ended with the new United States defending its own interests and sovereignty against British attacks. Battle of Bushy Run 250th Anniversary In July 1763 during Pontiac’s War, British forces commanded by Col. Henry Bouquet marched west...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Summer 2013 Newsletter: Stories from the Homefront: Pennsylvania in the Civil War Opens in September New PaHeritage.org Website Trailheads: 250 Years on the Pennsylvania Trails of History Welcome New PHF Members Welcome New State Museum Affiliate Members PHF Board Harrisburg SciTech High School Docents Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center Pennsylvania Lumber Museum...
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Looking Back at the Year: 2013

As 2013 draws to a close it’s time to look back at several of the highlights we covered in the Trailheads blog this year. As always, the historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History faced challenges with patience and perseverance, as paid and volunteer staff worked to provide engaging programs, tours and exhibits for visitors and for their local communities. The ongoing...
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A Good Day’s Catch: Commercial Fishing in Erie

The view from the crest of Erie’s lower State Street is a powerful one. Framed by the tall masts and spars of Oliver Hazard Per­ry’s restored War of 1812 flagship, the Niagara, are the waters of Presque Isle Bay. In the distance, the Presque Isle Peninsula is visible as it curves around and shelters the bay, and beyond that looms the ocean-like expanse of Lake Erie. The bayfront area...
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The Battle of Lake Erie: A Victory for Commodore Perry

During the War of 1812, the United States and Britain desperately dueled for control of the Great Lakes. Since Canada was the princi­pal land base for British forces in North America, and virtu­ally all of the north country was covered with vast tracts of virgin forest and intermittently submerged bottom lands, Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron and the rivers that connected them – the St....
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Perry County: A Sportsman’s Paradise

Despite its proximity to Pennsylvania’s bustling and heavily urbanized capital city, Perry County remains a sportsman’s placid paradise with its thickly forested moun­tains and lushly verdant val­leys. Much like its neighboring counties – Franklin, Cumber­land, Juniata and Dauphin­ – Perry County claims a topogra­phy that is neither unique nor unusual: its mountains give...
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Mifflin County: The Crossroads of the Commonwealth

Mifflin County will celebrate its two hundredth birth­day on September 19, during a customarily beau­tiful month when glowing foliage sweeps over four hun­dred and thirty-one square miles of farms, small towns and wooded mountains. Ex­tending from Bear Gap to Kistler Borough through rug­ged and scenic valleys to the banks of the Juniata River, it’s just fifteen miles from the Seven...
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U.S.S. Niagara Spans Over 160 Years

Erie’s claim to maritime fame came early in its history. And this was due mainly to its geographic location. War was declared by the United States against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. The British were much better prepared for the war. Along the Great Lakes they had military posts from Niagara to Sault Ste. Marie and, equally important, had a fresh water navy. The summer campaign of 1812...
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Erie County: Where Geography Has Shaped History

Erie County forms the northwest corner of the state, bounded by Lake Erie on the northwest, the states of Ohio and New York on the west and east respectively and parts of Warren and Crawford counties on the east and south. Historically the county was divided into two sections. The sou them region of 259 ,000 acres fell within the original land grant to William Penn. The northern portion of...
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U.S. Brig Niagara

Commissioned as the Commonwealth’s official flagship in 1990, the United States Brig Niagara is a re-creation of the sailing warship commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry during the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813. Today, the vessel – crewed by professionals and volunteers – gives visitors a rare opportunity to see, firsthand, the workings of a nineteenth century...
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