A Music Student Bridges the World

Ralph Modjeski seemed destined­ – even at the age of seven – for an accom­plished, if not celebrated, career as a concert pianist. After years of intense training and practice as a music student, he dramatically changed his course of studies at the age of twenty in favor, oddly enough, of a career in civil engineering. He did not, however, abandon his talent and practiced several...
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Warren County Spans History

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted in parts with permission of the author. It originally appeared in Stepping Stones, September, 1974, published by the Warren County Historical Society. The Warren Democratic Advocate reported on November 4, 1839: “Bridge over the Allegheny progressing fast. The pier and a­butments completed.” Then … trouble! On November 18,...
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The ‘State’ of Allegheny

One of the first centers of the organization of the Re­publican party and scene of its first national conven­tion in February, 1856, Allegheny County was strongly for Lincoln in the presidential election of 1860. As the vote count proceeded, one of the leaders kept sending telegrams to Lincoln’s home in Illinois, keeping him up on the news that “Allegheny gives a majority of …...
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A Salute to the Bicentennial of the Keystone State

The current Bicentennial celebration commemorates not the birth of the United States, but the proclama­tion of thirteen British-American colonies that were “free and independent states” as of July 4, 17.76. When they formed a loose compact in 1761, their articles of confederation declared that “each state retains its sover­eignty, freedom and independence.” The...
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Pike County: A Peak of Natural Perfection

“I went through a constant succession of scenery that would have been famous had it existed anywhere in Europe.” – Washington Irving   Shaped roughly like a diamond, Pike County is situated in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, bordering the Delaware River on the cast across from the states of New York and New Jersey. The northwestern side of the diamond lies in Lake...
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Butler County: A Story in Diversity

The story of Butler County is one of many stories. It is the story of an unusual religious commune. Of an engineer whose invention made the Brooklyn Bridge a reality. Of a European baron who con­structed a German castle he named Bassenheim. Of an oil boom town which sprang up­ – and crashed nearly overnight. Of the birthplace of that be­loved American automotive institution, the jeep. Of...
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Homeward Bound: An Interview with David McCullough

David McCullough is a familiar name – and face. Known to millions as the author of bestselling books, including The Great Bridge, The Path Between the Seas, Truman, Mornings on Horseback, and Brave Companions, and as host of the popular PBS television series “Smithsonian World” and “The American Experience,” he is noted for his remarkable gift of writing richly...
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Bridging the Past for the Future

Because Pennsylvania was one of the first settled areas of the United States, it should come as little surprise that it possesses one of the most interesting collections of historic bridges of any state. Its ever-expanding population and consequent transportation requirements made the Keystone State a pioneer in transportation innovation, particularly in the design of bridges. Following the...
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