The Beauty and Bounty of Penn’s Wood

Pennsylvania’s beauty – the gently sweeping valleys, the broad rivers, the rugged mountains and the rolling hillsides – is the bounty which lured waves of settlers to the New World more than three centuries ago. Founder William Penn, entrepreneur and seventeenth century land promoter, heavily advertised his province as “the land good, the air clean and sweet, the springs...
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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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Commemorating a Centennial by Revising a Vision

The American museum was and is an idea. The European museum was a fact. Almost without exception the European museum was first a collection. With few exceptions most American museums were first an ideal,” Philadelphian Nathaniel Burt wrote in his 1977 history of the American museum, Palaces for People. Unlike their European counterparts, which were usually created to house the great...
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A Century of Conservation: The Story of Pennsylvania’s State Parks

Pennsylvania’s state park system is celebrating its centennial as one of the country’s largest and most popular recreational attractions. Each year, thirty-six million people visit one (or more) of the Keystone State’s one hundred and fourteen parks to picnic, hike, swim, boat, camp, ski, snowmobile, fish, hunt, or raft white water rapids. This sprawling collec­tion of open...
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Bookshelf

Our Priceless Heritage: Pennsylvania State Parks, 1893-1993 by Dan Cupper Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1993 (70 pages, paper, $12.95) “Priceless” is a word that best defines the Keystone State’s natural history, and Our Priceless Heritage: Pennsylvania State Parks, 1893-1993, is a copiously...
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Maurice K. Goddard: The Commonwealth’s Conservation Czar

There is a point in crossing the top of the Allegheny Mountains between Pittsburgh and Harris­burg at which a traveler sees, at every turn, only trees. It is one of the most spectacular views on the North American Continent. The scene lacks the frenetic energy of Niagara Falls, or the awe-filling majesty of the Grand Canyon, but this several­-hundred-square-mile panorama of second-growth forest...
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Reviving – and Revising – the Reputation of Ralph Elwood Brock

On May 31, 1966, D. S. Nace of the state Department of Forests and Waters, now the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), scrawled a note to Joe Hill of the Mont Alto Nursery, in Franklin County, and attached it to a stack of documents. “Might find something of interest in these. Don’t Destroy,” he cautioned. Those nine words ultimately proved to be an invaluable...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Recommends

A Glorious Enterprise: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and the Making of American Science The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, founded in 1812, is the oldest natural history museum in the Western Hemisphere. Early expeditions organized by the academy were of central importance to the exploration of America’s vast western wilderness, and the plant and animal specimens...
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From the Editor

It is with great excitement that the staff of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) prepares to launch the agency’s annual theme for 2010, “Black History in Pennsylvania: Communites in Common.” This theme enables PHMC to partner with local and regional organizations to rediscover – and, in many cases, uncover – Black history in communities...
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“With a Woman’s Instinct”: Mira Lloyd Dock, The Mother of Forestry in Pennsylvania

On a frosty December night in 1900, Mira Lloyd Dock (1853–1945) presented an illustrated lecture to the Harrisburg Board of Trade entitled “The City Beautiful.” Using vivid descriptions and dramatic images, Dock contrasted the “roughness, slime and filth” of the state capital and the Susquehanna River with the well-kept cities and rivers of other American states and European nations. She...
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