A Historical Sketch of Indiana County

Indiana County was named for the native Indians. During historic times the two principal tribes were the Delawares and Shawnees. Being reluctant to give up their lands, the Indians struggled desperately to keep out the tide of European settlers. Perhaps the first white settler to enter Indiana County was James LeTort, an Indian trader, about 1726-27. A place called “Letart’s...
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Mailbox

For continuing research, as well as a forthcoming article in Pennsylvania Heritage, on Philadelphia’s historic Fairmount Water Works, information and ephemera relating to the Fairmount Park Aquarium are being collected. The attraction, one of the first aquariums in the United States, opened to the public in 1911 in the engine house, began deteriorating after World War II, and finally dosed...
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Soft Coal’s Soft-Spoken Diplomat

Wearing a straw boater, he rode in the passenger seat of the Cadillac, and forlornly surveyed the pick­eting miners who blocked the lane leading into the village of St. Benedict in Cambria County. He sig­naled his manservant – serving now as bodyguard and chauffeur as well – to proceed through the human blockade. Angry strikers taunted them, shouting obscenities, as they drove up the...
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Letters to the Editor

From Here to Hollywood I am so glad that you featured an article about Jimmy Stewart before he died [see “Keystone Born, Hollywood Bred: ‘Movie Buff’ David Mallery Reviews the Acting Careers of James Stewart and Grace Kelly” by William C. Kashatus in the Winter 1997 edition]. In his inter­view, Mr. Mallery touched on so many things that later appeared in the actor’s...
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Letters to the Editor

A Joyous Occasion The article “Soft Coal’s Soft-Spoken Diplomat” [by Barry P. Michrina, Spring 1997] covered the subject well, but with one exception-the now nonexistent town of Peale. My husband, William C. Lovell, was born there in 1899, as were his three younger sisters. Author Kyle Crichton was also born in Peale, and in his book Total Recoil, published by Doubleday and...
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Edward Abbey

No Comment. In 1989, this pithy epitaph was chiseled in stone somewhere in Arizona’s vast Cabeza Prieta wilderness. It marks the end of a life full of “comment” – the life of environmental advocate and Pennsylvania native Edward Abbey (1927-1989). Edward Abbey was born in Indiana, Indiana County, but claimed the village of Home, ten miles to the north, as his birth­place,...
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Attending a One-Room School in the 1930s

In the midst of the economic depression of the 1930s, my father, Hal Cornell, was a “furloughed” railroad locomo­tive foreman living with his wife and five school-aged children in a ten-dollar-a-month rented house in Burrell Town­ship, adjacent to Blairsville, in Indiana County. During two school years, my three brothers, a sister, and I attended the one­-room...
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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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Pictures From Roads Less Traveled

Fred Maurice Yenerall (1907–1983) wasn’t a professional photographer; photography was a therapeutic hobby he took up as a way to cope after the death of his son at the age of fourteen. Wayne Theodore Yenerall, born in 1937, rode his bicycle into a parked milk delivery truck in mid-August 1951. Fred Yenerall was the son of immigrant Theodore Antonio Yenerall (1869– 1948), from Colliano, Italy;...
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Dan Desmond, Eyewitness to Energy History

Pennsylvania news writers have crowned him Pennsylvania’s Energy Czar and legions of admirers look to him as the Keystone State’s energy guru. And it’s little wonder why. Daniel J. Desmond served the Commonwealth for nearly two decades and helped guide the growth of Pennsylvania’s renewable energy industry. He joined the Pennsylvania Energy Office in 1983 and served as...
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