A Century of Marking History: One Hundred Years of the Pennsylvania Historical Marker Program

It’s a safe bet that when Susan Richard of Grantville, Dauphin County, comes across a historical marker for the first time, she’s going to stop her car, get out and read it, and then take a picture for her collection. Richard, a former museum docent, loves everything about historical markers. “Historical markers are so much fun!” she says. “This is history you will...
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Letters to the Editor

Left Hanging It’s always interesting to see articles in a statewide publication regarding the Wilkes-Barre area. As the new executive director of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, now known as the Luzerne County Historical Society, it was a treat to read “Joe Palooka: Wilkes-Barre Boxing Legend with a National Punch” by William C. Kashatus in the Spring 2000 issue....
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The Pennsylvania Archives Turns 100! An Interview with State Archivist Frank M. Suran

2003 marks the centennial of the Pennsylvania State Archives, the oldest component of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), the Commonwealth’s official history agency, and State Archivist Frank M. Suran knows its history bet­ter than anyone else. An archivist’s responsibilities include a multitude of tasks. Suran discusses his beginnings at the State Archives,...
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Executive Director’s Message

This edition of Pennsylvania Heritage pays tribute to The State Museum of Pennsylvania on its centennial. The museum was developed as one of the first comprehensive state museums in the nation. Sylvester K. Stevens (1904-1974), the legendary executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), brought the agency to new, unparalleled levels of professionalism. Under his...
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Letters

Centennial Legacy “1876 Centennial Craze Sweeps into Philadelphia!” [by James McClelland, Spring 2006] was a grand review of that enormous extravaganza, with marvelous pictures to bring the grounds and the exhibits to life for today’s readers. Hordes of visitors to Philadelphia in 1876 were dazzled, as well, by the flamboyant, wildly eclectic Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,...
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“In Immortal Splendor”: Wilkes-Barre’s Fugitive Slave Case of 1853

On Saturday morning, September 3, 1853, U.S. Federal Marshal George Wynkoop of Philadelphia and two deputies, John Jenkins and James Crossen, sat down to breakfast in the dining room of the Phoenix Hotel on River Street in the Luzerne County seat of Wilkes-Barre. At the far end of the room was a handsome, powerfully built mulatto named Bill (or, according to various newspaper accounts, known as...
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Letters

From China to the Civil War I very much enjoyed the article by Willis L. Shirk Jr. in the Winter 2013 issue [“Woo Hong Neok: A Chinese American Soldier in the Civil War”]. What a fascinating story of one Chinese person in Lancaster and Pennsylvania history and his association with the Episcopal Church. As a lay person of the Episcopal Church, I served for forty-two years as a...
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Exploring the Pennsylvania Energy Trail of History

Pennsylvania’s vast natural resources helped fuel the growth and development of both state and nation, spawning innumerable advances in transportation, industry, technology, and science. These resources propelled an economy that supported generations of men and women. The Pennsylvania Trails of History, a network of historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and...
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Executive Director’s Letter

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is pleased to announce Governor Tom Corbett’s appointment of Andrew E. Masich as Commission chair. He is well-known in the museum field and is president and CEO of the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. Since 1998, he has provided leadership for the 275,000-square foot History Center and its staff of 125, as well as the...
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