Piecing Together Pandenarium: Archaeology at the Site of a Free Black Community in Western Pennsylvania

In 1854 newly freed African American men, women and children hailing from a plantation in Ablemarle County, Virginia, arrived at a dusty country crossroads in northwestern Pennsylvania’s Mercer County. Estimates vary, but approximately 63 free people settled together on 100 acres of their own land. Local abolitionists prepared for the arrival by building houses along the hill, digging wells, and...
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Buhl Farm Park

This early 20th-century postcard offers a romantic view of Buhl Farm Park in Sharon, Mercer County, with its iconic Casino reflected on the water of Lake Julia. Love is an appropriate theme for this 300-acre public park, planned and created by wealthy steel industrialist Frank H. Buhl (1848–1918) and his wife Julia (1854–1936) as a gift to the people of Sharon. Frank Buhl was the president of...
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A Glimpse of Mercer County

Mercer County, situated on the western edge of the state about midway between Erie and Pittsburgh. takes its name from Hugh Mercer, who emi­grated to Pennsylvania from Scotland. Mercer settled in Franklin County where he established a medical prac­tice, but he achieved prominence as a military man fighting in the French and Indian War and serving with Gen­eral Washington in the early campaigns...
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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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The French and Indian War and the Revolution

If in spite of all the Bicentennial reminders the Revolutionary War seems somewhat far away, the French and Indian War must seem so much more remote as to be irrelevant. The familiar Pennsylvania events of the Revolution – the battles of Brandywine and German­town, the Valley Forge encampment, the Declaration of Independence – took place in the settled parts of the State, the battles...
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Lawrence County

Bart Richards, the unofficial historian of Lawrence County, indicates that little of historical significance has occurred in the county. He points out that it has had no wars, Indian uprisings, or great discoveries to its credit. Very few of its citizens have qualified for the pages of Who’s Who. Therefore, this history is the story of average, ordinary people striving to make a better...
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The Proud Romanians of Pennsylvania

Search through the smoky steel towns nestled in the hills of central and western Pennsylvania and you will find the scattered descendants of once-numerous communities of Romanian immigrants. While Romanians settled throughout the state wherever mining and ‘industrial work was present, the largest concentrations remaining to­day are in Erie, Mercer. Lawrence, Beaver, Allegheny, Cambria and...
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Shorts

“From Ft. Wagner to Verdun: African Americans in the U.S. Military, 1863-1918,” is on view at the Civil War Library and Museum in Philadelphia. The exhibition, continuing through August 30, 1998, showcases artifacts, objects, and documents chronicling the experience of African Americans in mili­tary service from the Civil War through World War I. The Civil War Library and Museum is...
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Letters to the Editor

Bridge It I noticed what appears to be an error in a photo caption in the article on Pennsylva­nia’s bridges [“Bridging the Past for the Future” by Eric DeLony, Winter 2000]. On page 14, in reference to the third picture in the center of the page, the caption indicates “Sharon Bridge, Mercer County, submerged by flood waters in March 1913.” The Sharon bridge in this...
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Life on Wheels: Camping in Pennsylvania

Does father crave to fish for trout and bass and pike and musky? Take him auto-touring. Does sister want to dip in the surf, or study art, or see the world? Toke her automobile vacationing. Has grand-dad the “hoof and mouth disease” so that he craves the green of far-away courses? Auto-comp him to a dozen golf courses. Does mother sigh for a rest from doily routines? Take her...
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