Uncle Jerry and the Great Allentown Fair

Described as an “enterprising Pennsylvania Dutchman” by Governor Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker, the Honorable Jeremiah Roth (1833–1907) was best known as the father of the Great Allentown Fair. Though he was not a founding member of the fair, “Uncle Jerry,” as most people affectionately called him, worked tirelessly during the 23 years he was at its helm to ensure its success and promote its...
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Bringing History Out of the Closet

Joe Burns looks over hundreds of documents laid out in piles on the large dining room table in his sister’s central Pennsylvania home. He is carefully examining, organizing, cataloging and recording them in a timeline highlighting some of the key historical developments in the early lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) civil rights movement in small cities throughout...
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The Anthracite Iron Furnaces of Alburtis

As it stands today, the ruin of Lock Ridge Furnace at Alburtis, in Lehigh County, looks more akin to a misplaced Norman fortress than a nine­teenth century anthracite iron furnace. The partially re­stored walls, reinforced by heavy metal bolts, give the venerable Pennsylvania structure a false touch of the medieval. The productive history of the anthracite iron furnaces began in December 1866...
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Stability and Change: Culture During Three Periods

“Religion, … the best bond of human society, provided man did not err in the meaning of that excellent word.” – William Penn   Culture, broadly de­fined, is the way of life of a group of people; it includes all their behavioral patterns, beliefs and ar­tistic expressions. Culture is not static; it varies over time and place. Culture does not arise in a vacuum; it...
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Historical Sketch of Luzerne County

The Proclamation Line of 1763 was a stopgap devised to give England a chance to gather her forces and to adopt a policy for further expansion of the American colonies along the Atlantic seaboard. The Treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1768 resulted in a pre-revolutionary division of Indian land to establish a boundary between the Indian hunting grounds and the white settlements. The treaty was the last...
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Lehigh County: The Land and Its People

Lehigh County encompasses the western half of the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania. Bounded on the east by the Lehigh River, the main geographical feature of the larger valley, and on the north by the Blue Mountain range, the land is a mosaic of lime­stone plain, sinks and rolling hills. While the southern region of the county lies astride the so-called South Moun­tain and the hills of the...
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Allentown’s Boom Decade

Allentown underwent rapid development in the 1850’s. Population grew at the rate of 116 percent from 3,779 in 1850 to 8,025 in 1860. This expansion in population was matched by territorial growth in 1852 as a sizable section of land to the east of the original borough – the land lying between the Jordan and Lehigh rivers – was annexed. The economic basis for this development...
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Currents

The Gift A spectacular collection of nearly three hundred and fifty colorful feathered objects is featured in an unusual exhibi­tion at The University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropol­ogy, Philadelphia. Designed to invite the museum visitor “to be an anthropologist” and explore culture as it is experi­enced by diverse South American natives, “The Gift of Birds: Featherwork...
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Shorts

Opening Saturday, October 30 [1993], at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is an exhibi­tion of one hundred and twenty-five old master drawings selected from both public and private collections in the United States and Europe, many of which have never before been exhibited in this country. Entitled “Visions of Antiquity: Neoclassical Figure Drawings,” the exhibition features works by a...
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Letters to the Editor

Horace Pippin Judith E. Stein’s article, “Pippin,” in the spring 1994 edition prompted me to visit the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ exhibition, which I truly enjoyed. Since I really enjoyed the arti­cle, I have passed around my copy and cannot remember when this traveling exhibit returns to the East Coast. How timely (and clever) for Pennsylvania Heritage to...
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