Black Cultural Development in Pennsylvania Since 1900

The cultural history of Blacks in America is varied and diverse. At the same time, it is deeply inter­woven into the whole of America’s cultural fabric. Yet, the significant cultural contributions of Black Amer­icans have been overlooked. Because of this omission, it was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that the art of Afro-Americans began to receive the recognition it so...
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Blair County: Center of Transportation

Blair County was among the last counties created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. One factor which delayed the establishment of an additional county in the southern portion of central Pennsylvania was geography. The rugged, eastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, in which Blair County was eventually located, diverted settlers to other areas. Only after the discovery of iron ore...
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Executive Director’s Message

This year’s observance of Pennsylvania Archaeology Week, October 9-17, calls attention to the rich and diverse heritage of Native Americans. It also gives us an opportunity to recognize the unique research and invaluable preservation efforts undertaken by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). The PHMC has earned a national reputation for its pioneering efforts in...
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Portrait of Valentine Blanchard

Upon graduating from Lancaster’s Franklin and Marshall College in 1900, Worth B. Stottlemyer settled in Arling­ton, Virginia, where he prospered in the insurance and real estate businesses. An insatiable collector, he amassed a cache of antiques and works of art, intending to open an antiques shop in Frederick, Maryland, upon retiring. While building his enormous collection, Stottle­myer...
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Sinking Valley Family Tree Project

Beginner family historians are counseled that going beyond their own direct line to find information about siblings of their ancestors­ – called “whole-family genealogy” – can help avoid and reduce errors, as well as add a rich dimension to their pedigree quests. More and more genealo­gists are ratcheting up the “whole-family genealogy” con­cept a few more...
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Lost and Found

Lost Sheep Rock Shelter in Juniata Township, Huntingdon County — one of the most significant archaeological sites in eastern North America — was discovered in 1957 by a boater on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River. Excavations at the shelter yielded evidence of nine thousand years of human habitation, more or less continuously from 7000 BC to about AD 1500. The shelter’s rock overhang...
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Rural Electrification

While urban Pennsylvanians benefited from alternating current electricity as early as 1883, more than a half century later, in 1936, seventy-five percent of Pennsylvania’s farmsteads lacked electric service. There had been some enterprising attempts to establish “light plants” powered by windmills, steam engines, and batteries, but the equipment was bulky, costly to purchase and maintain, and...
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The Union’s Forgotten First Defenders

Throughout the four years of the American Civil War, more than two million men served the Union, some for months, others for years. The vast majority were volunteers, young boys and aging men who willingly left home behind to fight for the preservation of the Union and the eradication of slavery.1 Historians have documented the stories of countless citizens-turned-soldiers, recalling the...
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When the Susquehanna River Was Pennsylvania’s Flour Highway

The flour trade industry in the Susquehanna River watershed is one of the lesser known stories in Pennsylvania’s history, but it is among its most significant sagas. Millers were among the first tradesmen to arrive in the New World to sustain the settlers. The Keystone State’s rich farmlands produced abundant flour for local and regional markets with a consistent surplus for export to foreign...
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Bookshelf

Wonders of Work and Labor: The Steidle Collection of American Industrial Art by Betsy Fahlman and Eric Schruers published by Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery, 2009; 176 pages, cloth, $50.00 Mention Penn State and a few names immediately come to mind: Pattee Library, Happy Valley, the Blue Band, Berkey Creamery and, naturally, Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions. What the average...
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