Looking Back at 2018

This past year marked the centennials of the end of World War I and the start of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Of special significance to Pennsylvania was the 300th anniversary of the death of founder William Penn. What follows is a brief glimpse of 2018 on the Pennsylvania Trails of History, a few highlights among many.   William Penn’s Legacy To commemorate the 300th anniversary of...
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Coal Patch, Take Two: The Preservation of Eckley Miners’ Village

“A ghost town surrounded by strip mines.” That was how Eckley was described in the 1960s, a far cry from its heyday in the late 1800s when the coal-mining “patch town” had boasted a population of 1,500. At Eckley’s peak, more than 350 men and boys were engaged in mining nearly 144,000 tons of anthracite coal a year from local seams. By the 1960s, however, mining...
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Industrial Heritage Trails

America’s first significant industries date back to the 18th century with the iron plantations in Pennsylvania and the development of the factory system in New England textile mills. Preservation of our industrial heritage, however, is a fairly recent phenomenon, beginning for the most part after World War II. Prior to the war, federal programs and even private initiatives were designated...
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The Year That Was

2014 was a good year on the Pennsylvania Trails of History, with more than half a million visitors to sites spread across the Commonwealth. Long-standing programs continued to draw crowds, and many sites branched out in new directions as well. Trying new things can present challenges, but our staff and volunteers are committed to expanding audiences and generating new resources to keep sites...
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Bookshelf

Harrisburg Industrializes by Gerald G. Eggert The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993 (412 pages, cloth, $35.00) In 1850, Harrisburg-state capital and county seat-was a community not unlike many others in the United States, employing most of its citizens in trade and commerce. Unlike its larger neighbors, Pittsburgh to the west and Philadelphia in the east, Harrisburg had not yet...
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A Jewel in the Crown of Old King Coal: Eckley Miners’ Village

It survives – somewhat miraculously – as a vestige of Pennsylvania’s coal mining heritage, a link in what was once a chain of little coal communities, or patch towns, that dotted the anthracite region. “Eckley is part of the puzzle, but not a unique part. There were numerous, almost identical, mining patch towns like Eckley,” explains Vance Packard, site...
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PHMC Highlights

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg, will host “Railway Heritage in the Heart of Penn­sylvania Dutch Country,” the forty-fifth annual conference of the Association of Railway Museums from Wednesday through Sunday, October 5-9. Conference topics include steel car preservation, oral history programs, historical writing, and linking railroading and the public school...
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