Preserving Bartram’s Garden: Recent Restoration of the House, Garden and Riverfront

Sitting on 45 acres of pastoral landscape, the Colonial-era house at Bartram’s Garden has long been recognized as a Philadelphia architectural landmark and one of the first historic buildings preserved as a public park in Pennsylvania. John Bartram (1699-1777), the first American-born botanist, began construction shortly after he purchased the farm of 102 acres in the fall of 1728 in what...
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Before and After the Act: Historic Preservation in Pennsylvania

In 1816 the City of Philadelphia purchased Independence Hall to save it from demolition. This was the first historic preservation effort in the United States. One hundred and fifty years later, the historic preservation movement found its footing as a national priority when President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Historic Preservation Act into law on October 16, 1966. The act codified the...
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Old Economy Village: The Centennial of the First Site on the Pennsylvania Trails of History

One hundred years ago, on February 3, 1916, the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas, in an escheat case, awarded the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 6 acres of land that had been part of the town of Economy. World War I was raging in Europe, and with the United States’ entrance in the war the following year, the state had little time or money to deal with a newly acquired historic site. In 1919 the...
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Lightfoot Mill (Mill at Anselma)

Originally built circa 1747, this working mill in Chester Springs, Chester County, is a rare example of a small 18th-century custom grain mill with its power transmission system completely intact. The basic technology of Lightfoot Mill was adapted over the years to improve efficiency, although much of the original mechanism has been retained. Today, these subsequent limited upgrades illustrate...
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Luna Park, Scranton

Luna Park appears to be a magical place in this postcard. In the brief decade it existed from 1906 to 1916 in Scranton, Lackawanna County, it offered entry into another world for the admission price of only 10 cents. Located across a footbridge east of Nay Aug Park along the Roaring Brook, Luna Park was the creation of Pittsburgh entrepreneur Frederick Ingersoll (1876–1927). Ingersoll opened his...
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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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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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Kennywood in the Space Age: How a Traditional Amusement Park Raced into the Future

Every year, at any amusement park, the first thaw of spring brings excitement for the new season. As the days got longer in 1990 Kennywood Park began tearing off the bright blue front of its Racer roller coaster. The goal was to rebuild it in the style of the 1927 original, with lattice work around an archway fronting a curved roof that extended back over the loading platform. For three decades...
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Executive Director’s Message

This year’s observance of Pennsylvania Archaeology Week, October 9-17, calls attention to the rich and diverse heritage of Native Americans. It also gives us an opportunity to recognize the unique research and invaluable preservation efforts undertaken by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). The PHMC has earned a national reputation for its pioneering efforts in...
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Lost and Found

Lost Opened in July 1929, the Hershey Park Pool­ – actually a combination of four swimming pools, including one for toddlers – held nearly one and a quarter million gallons of filtered spring water and mea­sured thirty-five thousand square feet! Virtually an engi­neering feat, the main pool (photographed in the early 1930s) was built in two sections. The handsome bathhouse, with tile...
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