Editor’s Letter

Historical research is often motivated by a personal connection to a subject. Two articles in this issue of Pennsylvania Heritage come from authors who have investigated individuals significant to their own lives and found links to broader themes in Pennsylvania history. David D. Hursh became intrigued by his maternal great-grandfather, Rudolph M. Hunter, after years of hearing family lore about...
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Tough and Determined: Pioneering Newspaper Editor Rebecca F. Gross

On a night in the winter of 1947-48, Rebecca F. Gross, 42 years old and the editor of a 10,000-circulation daily newspaper in the small town of Lock Haven, Clinton County, was scheduled to have dinner with two luminaries of the time: Robert Capa, the internationally famous war photographer, and John Steinbeck, the novelist and future Nobel laureate. The dinner was an event set up for members of...
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Piper J-3 Cub

Even before the William Penn Memorial Museum was under construction in the early 1960s, PHMC Executive Director S.K. Stevens had initiated an ambitious plan to acquire objects for a massive Pennsylvania “transportation exhibit.” The gallery was to be arranged chronologically, starting with a pair of Indian moccasins, on to wagons and carriages, then to locomotives and automobiles, and ending...
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Clinton County: Still Part of Penn’s Woods

Clinton County, one of the sixth-class counties of Pennsyl­vania, occupies 900 square miles of river valley and mountain land near the geographical center of the state. Nearly two-thirds of the area re­mains forested, al though most of the trees are second growth after a near denuding of the land by a booming lumber industry in the second half of the last century. It was in the wood­lands of...
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Centre County

Centre County, as its name implies, geographically is Pennsylvania’s central county. The first known residents to inhabit its lands were the Munsee and Shawnee Indians from the Delaware River. Before 1725 these Indians began to move westward, first to the Susquehanna, later to the Ohio. The Iroquois, who claimed the Susquehanna country, assigned one of their chiefs – a man best known...
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Lycoming County: Many Call It Romantic

Its heritage is so rich that it’s hard to adequately­ – and accurately – portray the roles Lycoming County has played in the Commonwealth’s history. Since its settlement in the mid­-eighteenth century, it has had, according to Sylvester K. Stevens, author of the 1946 guide to the Keystone State’s sixty-seven counties, My Penn­sylvania, “one of the most...
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The Little Cub That Roared

The Piper Cub is a very small airplane, especially by today’s standards. When parked on an airport tarmac, a person of average height standing beside it can easily see over its wing, which forms the roof of the cockpit. It accommodates a pilot and one passenger. No space is wasted. The forward, or pilot’s seat, is narrow and cramped. The passenger seat directly behind 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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Shorts

“A Portrait of an American City: 200 Years of New Castle History,” chronicling the founding and settlement of the first community laid out in present-day Lawrence County, is on exhibit at the Lawrence County Historical Society through May 1999. Laid out by John Carlysle Stewart in 1798, New Castle was incorporated as a borough in 1825 and recognized as a city in 1869. “A...
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Current and Coming

Steel Poetry Inspired by the various aspects of the steel industry in Bethlehem, Mildred T. Johnstone (1900-1988) created unusual canvas embroideries in the late 1940s and early 1950s. As the wife of Bethlehem Steel Corporation executive William H. Johnstone, she had the singular honor of being the first woman to tour the compa­ny’s steel mills. Although the mills have grown silent,...
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