Good Road Followed … From Metro Philly to Rock Hall: An Interview with John Oates

John Oates is one half of the best-selling rock duo Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist. Singing from the time he could talk and playing the guitar since the age of 5, John Oates was destined to be a musician. He was born in 1948 in New York City, but his family relocated to North Wales, Montgomery County, in the early 1950s, a move that would change the course of his life....
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Pennsylvania Governors Residences Open to the Public

Pennypacker Mills Pennypacker Mills possesses a lengthy history dating to about 1720 when Hans Jost Hite built the fieldstone house and a gristmill near the Perkiomen Creek, Schwenksville, Montgomery County. Purchased in 1747 by Peter Pennypacker (1710-1770), the house was enlarged and a saw mill and a fulling mill were constructed. The property acquired its name for the three mills. Peter...
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Introducing Harry Whittier Frees, World-Famous Animal Photographer

Long before William Wegman (born 1943) began photographing dogs – primarily his own Weimaraners, beginning with his first, Man Ray, whom he acquired in 1970 – wearing clothing and costumes, Pennsylvania native Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) became famous for his unusual photographs of young cats, dogs, rabbits and chickens wearing all sorts of garments and engaged in a variety of activities....
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Historian of Pennsylvania Exceptionalism: Samuel W. Pennypacker

Reflecting on “the play of forces” that propelled him to Pennsylvania’s governor’s office in 1903, Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker (1843–1916) confidently declared, “there is no such thing as an accident” (a notion popularized by Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis). This was not to say chance plays no part in history because he pronounced with equal certitude: “To every man certain...
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Montgomery County: The Second Hundred Years

County histories, written in most cases during the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, serve as the starting point for most research in local history. Montgomery Coun­ty’s classic county history, by Theodore W. Bean, is no exception. History, however, did not stop as the final pages of that volume were written. Much has happened since. Just as the Centennial of our nation spurred...
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Montgomery County: Cultural Microcosm of the Commonwealth

The third most populous county in Pennsylvania, with ap­proximately 480 square miles of rolling hills criss-crossed by rivers, streams and superhighways, Montgom­ery County is a microcosm of the Com­monwealth, a reflection of its cultural development. Pan of Philadelphia County until 1784, Montgomery Coun­ty served as a sanctuary for numerous ethnic and religious groups seeking the freedom...
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Bryn Athyn Cathedral: Where Man May Forget the World

Bryn Athyn Cathedral, tucked well back from Second Street Pike in Montgomery County, is not immediately visible to the passerby. One is intro­duced to the finely chiseled spires, granite towers and sparkling glass in rapid, stop­-frame glimpses through a dense stand of trees. As the full view unfolds, one is at once compelled by the loom­ing one hundred and fifty foot central tower and beckoned...
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The Merry-Go-Round Kings

Murmuring voices and laughter, mingling with the strains of band organ music and the rustling of long white skirts and crisply starched shirts, filled the sum­mer air of 1904 at Philadel­phia’s Woodside Park. A new carousel, one of the finest in America, had just introduced a kaleidoscope of festive color and design to the familiar old amusement grounds. It was, especially, the onset of...
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What Love Can Do: William Penn’s Holy Experiment in Education

The founder of Pennsyl­vania stands atop Philadelphia’s City Hall, seemingly sur­veying a “Holy Experiment” he nurtured out of the ideals of his Quaker faith. William Penn, the political theorist, is still remembered for his daring experiment in establishing a colony dedicated to pacifism, civil liberty and religious free­dom in a seventeenth century world conditioned by...
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Bucks County

As one of the three original counties of Pennsylvania created shortly after William Penn arrived in his nascent colony in 1682, Bucks County has a heritage that reaches back to the very beginnings of the Commonwealth. Long before Penn’s arrival, the intrepid settlers of the Dutch and Swedish colonies farther down the Delaware River had ex­plored the wooded banks of the river as far as the...
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