Trailheads

History never truly sleeps on the Pennsylvania Trails of History, but winter is generally a slower season with reduced schedules and fewer programs and events. Charter Day, the celebration of Pennsylvania’s founding (the second Sunday in March), is the traditional start to our spring season. As the weather warms, activity increases at the sites and museums. The landscape loses its dull winter...
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Miniature Lord’s Prayer

Why would a calligrapher print the words to the Lord’s Prayer on a 1-inch-square piece of paper in letters so small that one would need a magnifying glass to read it? Even more puzzling: Why would someone fold such a small document to a quarter of its actual size? The answers may have more to do with the spiritual beliefs of some German-speaking Pennsylvanians in the 18th century rather than any...
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Ephrata’s Comet Book

  In the late winter of 1744 a bright comet with six tails that spread out like a fan was visible in the sky. It was so brilliant at its perihelion – its point closest to the sun – that it could be seen even in the daytime. Known as the Great Comet of 1744, the astronomical object mystified the world and led to speculation about its meaning in both scientific and religious...
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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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Historian of Pennsylvania Exceptionalism: Samuel W. Pennypacker

Reflecting on “the play of forces” that propelled him to Pennsylvania’s governor’s office in 1903, Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker (1843–1916) confidently declared, “there is no such thing as an accident” (a notion popularized by Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis). This was not to say chance plays no part in history because he pronounced with equal certitude: “To every man certain...
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The Sacred and the Secular: Immigrant Values in Pennsylvania History

Since its founding, the history of Pennsylvania has sprung from the successive waves of immigrants who have settled within its boundaries. Colonial Pennsylvania was peopled by English, Scotch-Irish, German, Swe­dish, and Welsh arrivals. Germans continued to come after 1800 but were joined by thousands from Ireland and Wales. With industrial expansion after 1870, Hungarians, Lithu­anians, Poles...
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The New Taste in Pennsylvania

Like the nation itself during the so-called “Federal” period, the arts in Pennsylvania reached a crescendo in their development that had an unexpected unity, a strong purpose, and a national style. Despite great varia­tions in the Germanic and English traditions, Pennsylvania emerged from the revolutionary period reasonably cohesive. City and country perspectives, naive and...
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Heritage Highlights

Brandywine Battlefield Park, Chadds Ford George Washington’s Birthday Celebration, Feb. 14, 1993 Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata Ephrata Cloister Chorus Concerts, March 14, 1993 Landis Valley Museum, Lancaster Susquehanna River Valley Fish Fry, Feb. 13, 1993 Living History and Crafts Demonstrations, March 14, 1993 Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton Exhibit: “Illustrating an...
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Heritage Highlights

Bushy Run Battlefield, Jeanette Spring Nature Walk, May 8, 1993 Lecture: “Trade Muskets: Fact or Fiction?”, June 19, 1993 230th Battle Anniversary Commemoration, August 7-8, 1993 Cornwall Iron Furnace, Cornwall Cornwall Furnace Country Fair, July 17, 1993 Eckley Miners’ Village, Weatherly Patch Town Day, June 27, 1993 Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata Discovery Days: Indians of the...
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