Bookshelf

Pennsylvania Architecture: The Historic American Buildings Survey, 1933-1990 By Deborah Stephens Bums and Richard J. Web­ster, with Candace Reed Stem Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2000 (629 pages; cloth, $85.00; paper, $65.00) This hefty volume befits its subject: it is a landmark book devoted to landmark buildings. Copiously illustrated, Pennsylvania Architecture: The Historic...
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Cook Forest

I was about four years old when the first cabins were rented out at Cook Forest, only one to a family, because there were only four or five. My parents decided to rent one of the cabins and a tent for a week for our family of six. My memories of this cabin are that it was very small and dark and that I was afraid to go to sleep at night, although I knew my parents were right outside the cabin....
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Old State Line

The modern-day map of Pennsylvania reveals an anomaly most puzzling – a triangular appendage of land extending to the City of Erie and providing the Commonwealth with access to Lake Erie. Early maps show that the original border of Pennsylvania ran south of its present boundary of Lake Erie. Originally, Pennsylvania was fundamentally rectangular, with an undulating eastern border defined...
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McKinney 1812 Medal at Erie Maritime Museum

An exceptionally rare medal – one of only thirty-nine believed to have been awarded to Pennsylvania Militiamen who served in the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813 – was recently donated to the Erie Maritime Museum by descendants of Private Samuel McKinney (1786-1871), who received it for his service onboard the Flagship Niagara. The medals, designed by Moritz Fuerst and...
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Can It Already Be Fall?

New Exhibits An exciting new long-term exhibit recently opened at Drake Well Museum and Park at Titusville, Venango County. In the Summer 2011 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage, I profiled the building renovation project at Drake Well, including plans for a geothermal climate control system and a new comprehensive exhibit. There’s a Drop of Oil and Gas in Your Life Every Day, which made its...
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From the Editor

With this issue, the staff and I are pleased to present the third feature in our series devoted to commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the New Deal in Pennsylvania, PHMC’s annual theme for 2008. For more than a decade, author David Lembeck — whose enthusiasm for the murals created for post offices during the New Deal is nothing less than infectious — has researched these works...
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A Flag Bears Witness – Don’t Give Up The Ship

A mere five words stitched on a flag in 1813 in a tiny frontier village produced one of the most enduring symbols in United States history. Two hundred years later those few words – Don’t Give Up The Ship – have become a stirring, unofficial motto of the U.S. Navy; a rallying cry; and a flag flown from masts of sailboats, yachts, tall ships, and more. The details of the War of...
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Celebrating Volunteers on the Pennsylvania Trails of History

Every spring we honor those who contribute their experience and expertise to support the mission and work of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). In 2011–2012 volunteers donated approximately 117,000 hours at historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History®. This impressive collective donation is valued at nearly $2.5 million, based on data provided by...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Winter 2013 Newsletter: PHMC’s Strategic Plan PHF’s Critical Path Annual Giving Pennsylvania Civil War 150 Roadshow at the Battle of Antietam Anniversary Calendar for January – March 2013 Moon Mammoth Welcome New Civil War Enlistments Welcome New PHF Members Welcome New State Museum Affiliate Members Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Board  ...
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Joshua M. Merrill

Nearly a century and a half ago, on August 27, 1859, Edwin L. Drake struck oil near Titusville, Venango County, recognized as the world’s first commercially drilled oil well. Shortly afterwards, Joshua M. Merrill (1828–1904), a chemist in Corry, Erie County, made important discoveries in the refining of oil. Merrill pioneered the redistillation of oil, a process known as “cracking,” to produce...
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