Old Economy Village

Step back into another era – and a vastly different place – by visiting Old Economy Village in Ambridge, Beaver County. Founded in 1824 by visionary George Rapp (1757-1847), the village was the third and final settlement of the Harmony Society, one of the country’s most successful religious communal societies. The Harmonists were well known for their industriousness, piety, and...
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Shorts

Continuing at the Library Company of Philadelphia through Thursday, November 25 [1999], is “Ardent Sprits: The Origins of the American Temperance Movement,” featuring books, prints, broadsides, sheet music, and manuscripts spanning the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The American Temperance Movement called for moderation and even abstention in the use of alcohol. The longest and...
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Currents

Quilting Time Lancaster County is associated with many things, among them the “Pennsylvania Dutch,” barn raising, the horse and buggy, Amish and Mennonite farmsteads, shoo fly pie, and, of course, quilts. Quilts made in Lancaster County reflect the diversity of cultures and way of life in the region called – because of its verdant beauty and highly productive agricultural...
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Garden Temple at Old Economy Village

One of the earliest gardens in the United States, the garden at Old Economy Village in Ambridge, Beaver County, symbolized the Garden of Eden for the Harmony Society, which occupied the complex from 1824 until it was dissolved in 1905. The nineteenth-century Christian community, best known for its piety and industrial prosperity, was founded by George Rapp (1757-1847) who believed that the...
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Old World Influences on Pennsylvania Gardens

Quaker merchants who followed founder William Penn (1644-1718) to his beloved colony planted formal, English-style gardens amidst the native forest landscape. An ornamental garden suitable for a family of means in Great Britain in the seventeenth century consisted of a residence with a series of three terraces descending from the rear elevation. The upper terrace, often used as an extension of...
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An Impressive Legacy: A Half-Century of Historic Preservation in Pennsylvania, 1955-2005

A quarter-century ago, James Biddle (1929-2005), president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, from 1968 to 1980, was named chairman of Pennsylvania’s first State Historic Preservation Board. Jimmy, as the scion of one of the Commonwealth’s most notable families was known – especially to fellow preservationists, many of them working at the grassroots level –...
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Harmony Society Silk Letter Book, 1842-1852

According to a letter penned by Charles Norris dated April 19, 1759 a pair of silk stockings made by Su­sanna Wright of Lancaster from the first eggs hatched and silk processed in the Province of Pennsylvania were pre­sented to General Jeffrey Amherst, commander of Britain’s forces in North America. In 1771, Susanna Wright won a £10 prize from the Philadelphia Silk Society for the largest...
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Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pa.

In the peaceful community of Beaver Falls in Beaver County, the 2000 census reported fewer than ten thousand people, two thousand less than when this postcard was mailed in 1910. The demise of the region’s steel industry and close prox­imity to Pittsburgh cannot diminish Beaver County’s scenic beauty and historic significance. Originally named Brighton, Beaver Falls was incorporated...
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If Looms Could Speak: The Story of Pennsylvania’s Silk Industry

On Friday March 3, 1989, the Catoir Silk Company Inc. in the Lehigh County seat of Allentown, ceased operation for the final time. The silence of the looms signaled the end of an industry the once dominated eastern Pennsylvania’s industrial landscape and economy. The closing captured a front-page story in Allentown’s daily newspaper, The Morning Call, which duly recorded the demise...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Society Newsletter

Topics in the Spring 2006 Newsletter: Pennsylvania Heritage Society Launches Special Events Series Upcoming Signature Series Events Calendar for April – June 2006 Major Grant Goes to Old Economy Village Thank You! Renew or Join Now and Save  ...
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