The Call for the Constitution

Ratification of the United States Consti­tution came about quickly in Pennsylva­nia. In less than three months the state was able to call a ratifying convention, conduct a special election, assemble delegates in Philadelphia and, ultimately, ratify the proposed frame of government. At a time when travel between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh could consume as much as two difficult weeks, the speed...
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Franklin County

Our forefathers never could have envisioned the Franklin County we live in today. The hardships and struggles to merely survive while trying to establish new homes in a new land on a new frontier created memories that will live as long as man cares to remember. Modern major highways, a wide diversification of indus- try, fertile farm lands and persons who still care help make Franklin County,...
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Historical Sketch of Greene County

Greene County lies in the southwestern corner of the state. Its many hills, the distinguishing feature of the countryside, grow more pronounced as one travels from the eastern to the western areas. The old Washington Waynes­burg Railroad, traveling through the hills, was famous for its 178 sharp turns, each of which jolted the passengers. There were some who took the trip just for the roller...
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The Whiskey Boys Versus the Watermelon Army

When the issue of balancing the budget by raising taxes reared its ugly head recently, the nation once again saw the contro­versy and bitterness the sub­ject ignites. On Capitol Hill familiar questions were fiercely debated. Who should close the revenue gap, the wealthy or the working class? Should taxes be increased on ciga­rettes, gasoline, or liquor? Nearly two hundred years ago the Congress...
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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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A Capital Idea! A Brief and Bumpy History of Pennsylvania’s Capitols

A mere one hundred or so miles separate Philadelphia’s Chestnut and Harrisburg’s Third streets. But the path­ – metaphorically, at least­ – between the Keystone State’s first and final capitol build­ings seems far longer and rockier than geography suggests. From the Commonwealth’s earliest days, when the government met in Philadelphia’s elegant State...
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Shorts

Offering a comprehensive view of the emergence and influence of French impressionism on American artists of the late nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, “American Impressionism from the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery” will be on view at the Southern Alleghe­nies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley from Friday, March 2, through Sunday, April 22, 2001. For more information,...
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Map of the Public Ground Around the State Capitol (1827)

“Draught of Sundry levellings and gradings of the public ground around the State Capitol,” dated 1827, offers a firsthand look at a proposal for sculpting the land surrounding the building in Harrisburg, which had been dedicated five years earlier. The plan bears notations giving detailed instructions for the work, including the volume of earth to be removed. The document also...
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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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This Is a Beautiful, Bountiful Earth: Joseph Trimble Rothrock and the Preservation of Penn’s Woods

The lush, verdant woodlands characteristic of Pennsylvania’s landscape are almost entirely second-growth forests, in existence roughly for less than a century. Had it not been for the groundbreaking work of many conservationists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Keystone State’s present terrain would be dramatically different. One of the most important of those...
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