Mystery of the Monongahela Culture: Archaeology at Foley Farm

In 1939, anthropologist Mary Butler identified and formally named the Monongahela Woodland Culture, a prehistoric Indian way of life centered in the Monongahela Valley of south­western Pennsylvania, west­ern Maryland and parts of northern West Virginia. Dr. Butler’s reasons for naming this prehistoric Indian culture were, in part, based on ar­chaeological investigations sponsored by the...
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The Swedes and Dutch in the Land of the Lenape

More than half a century before the Eng­lish and German migrations brought large numbers of people into William Penn’s colony on the Dela­ware, three distinct populations had entered into this ancient land of the Lenape. By 1630 Susquehannock invaders as well as Swedish and Dutch traders had established themselves in the Delaware Valley. Very little has been written about the Susquehannock...
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Life in an Industrial Boom Town: Monessen, 1898-1923

In reading about our nation’s past, we often forget how different life was for our ancestors. We read about historical figures and movements, but rarely – except in excellent historical novels – do we gain a glimpse into the living environment. We also tend to for­get that there are many past environ­ments, each producing its own style and pace of living. During the late...
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William Penn’s Colony of Cave People

Of all the stories and accounts relating to the significant role Quakers played in the settlement of the New World, none better illustrates their extraordinary determina­tion and capacity to endure and live for freedom than the way they approached the housing shortage in Philadel­phia in the 1680s. They simply resolved the problem by living in caves along the banks of the Delaware and Schuylkill...
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History is Alive and Well in Beaver County

On June 6, 1824, the steamboat Ploughboy with the first contingent of Harmony Society members came around the bend in the river at Legionville; the skipper gave a cannon salute. After dropping anchor, the passengers disembarked and made camp. The following day, Father Rapp, leader of the Harmonists, wrote to the remaining members at New Harmony: “I consider this place the most healthful in...
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Steel on the Susquehanna

Endless miles of steel track emerge from the gaping jaws of the roaring rail mill. Oper­ators in the cab above the line manipulate levers, as if pains­takingly choreographed, while red-hot rails shoot off the line, destined for the railroads of the world. What makes this scene unusual, is that it is occurs today. Far from the rusting hulks of the giant steel works of Pittsburgh, the Beth­lehem...
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Cricket, Anyone?

Today, the grand old cricket clubs of Germantown, Merion, and Philadelphia, with their handsome clubhouses and carefully groomed grounds, recall the enthusiasm for the game of cricket that many wealthy families dis­played in the nineteenth cen­tury. If the stately, ivy-covered walls of these venerable club­houses could speak, they would tell the proud and re­markable story of cricket in...
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Berks County: Diamond of the Schuylkill Valley

Since 1811, when Schuylkill County was created to include part of what had been northern Berks County, Berks has been distinguishable by its diamond shape. It approxi­mates a geometric diamond or lozenge – an equilateral paral­lelogram without right angles. Its history also seems diamond-like, as it has com­bined a very hard, cutting, and persistently pragmatic charac­teristic with a...
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Independence Hall, The Birthplace of a Nation

September 1824 was a busy month for Phila­delphians. The Mar­quis de Lafayette returned to America for the first time since the Revolution­ary War, and it was rumored that the high point of his tra­vels would be a visit to Penn­sylvania’s venerable State House. Naturally, much of the preparation for his visit cen­tered on the old red brick building where the events of the Revolution had...
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With Dash and Spirit: Haverford College Plays Soccer!

A strong, blistering wind cut across the playing field as the young athletes ran through their pre-game drills. It was April 1, 1905, and spring, as usual, seemed to introduce itself to Boston with a lion’s roar rather than the meekness of a lamb. Eager to begin the match, Harvard’s players abbreviated their warm-up exercises to huddle on the sidelines of Soldiers’ Field and...
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