Pine Grove Furnace POW Interrogation Camp

Located near Pine Grove Furnace within the state park of the same name in Cooke Township, Cumberland County, a 200-acre plot of land was the site of a unique sequence of historical events over the past 225 years. In the mid-18th century, iron ore was discovered along nearby Mountain Creek, which led to the development of Pine Grove Iron Works, a large-scale iron mining and pig iron production...
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Looking Back at 2018

This past year marked the centennials of the end of World War I and the start of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Of special significance to Pennsylvania was the 300th anniversary of the death of founder William Penn. What follows is a brief glimpse of 2018 on the Pennsylvania Trails of History, a few highlights among many.   William Penn’s Legacy To commemorate the 300th anniversary of...
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Loleta Recreation Area

Upon his inauguration on March 4, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set about combating the economic crisis of the Great Depression with his New Deal program of economic reforms and public work projects. One of the most popular programs established that year was “Roosevelt’s Tree Army,” the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was part of the Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) Act....
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Pepper Hill Fire of 1938

In 1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as a New Deal program, and several camps were located in Pennsylvania. The CCC was charged with various types of projects including structural improvements, transportation enhancement, wildlife preservation, flood control and fire protection. When several forest fires broke out in the vicinity of...
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Castanea … From Blight to Backcross Breeding

Not far from my home at the base of the South Mountain in Cumberland County, there is a wide spot in the road where you can park a couple cars at the edge of a block of public land. From that place, the visible but overgrown bed of a Colonial-era haul road ascends the mountain. Scattered along the road are the small, flat and circular remains of 18th- and 19th-century charcoal kilns that...
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Other Recent Releases

Gifford Pinchot Selected Writings edited by Char Miller Penn State University Press, 264 pp., cloth $74.95, paper $24.95 Pinchot (1865–1946) was a key figure in the conservation movement of the early 20th century, the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, and two-time governor of Pennsylvania. Environmental historian Miller, author of two previous books on Pinchot, has gathered and annotated a...
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CCC Worker Statue, Pennsylvania Lumber Museum

America’s woodlands were still in recovery from deforestation when the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established in 1933 as one of several work relief programs initiated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The program achieved two ends with a single effort by giving young men the opportunity to work to provide income for their unemployed families while simultaneously...
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2016 Trails

In 2015 the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Galeton, Potter County, officially opened its expanded visitor center to the public. The museum also debuted Challenges and Choices in Pennsylvania’s Forests, an artifact-rich exhibit exploring the history of the lumber industry, the rise of the conservation movement and professional forestry, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and current best practices...
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The Craighead Family

The Craighead family’s love of the outdoors was fostered at their summer home on the Yellow Breeches Creek outside of Boiling Springs, Cumberland County. Frank “Rattlesnake” Craighead (1890–1982), his brother Eugene (1893–1959) and the family’s next generation of naturalists discovered the wonders of nature in the nearby fields, streams, meadows and mountains. Frank earned his nickname by...
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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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