Delivery, Ritual and Discretion: Discovering the Past in an Early Pennsylvania Midwife’s Register

Hoofbeats on the dirt path announced the arrival of the midwife, who traveled on horseback from her home at Lower Salford in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County to attend a birth at the residence of the Haag family in nearby Franconia Township on August 1, 1770. Johannes Haag was the first delivery attended by Rosina (Krauss) Heydrich (1737–1828) when she began her Hebamme Büchlein, or midwife’s...
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From the Executive Director

Although PHMC does not actively install historical monuments across the commonwealth, our Pennsylvania Historical Markers serve a similar purpose. Begun in 1914 and “updated” in 1946 with the advent of the blue-and-yellow, pole-mounted roadside plates, the markers represent an extraordinary public historiography (see “A Century of Marking History,” Fall 2014). They teach us not only about what...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Fall 2020 Newsletter: PHF Broadens Range of Programs to Support Pennsylvania History PHF Welcomes New Board Members America250PA to Select Advisory Committee Members  ...
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Trailheads

Here we are again. As of mid-July, PHMC’s Trails of History sites and museums remain closed to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Special events and programs, including Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum’s Herb & Garden Faire, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum’s Bark Peelers’ Festival, and Somerset Historical Center’s Mountain Craft Days, have been canceled. Grounds reopened with...
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Gallantly Saving Railroad History: The Adventures of George M. Hart, Founding Director of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Four months before his retirement in 1983 as founding director of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, George Michener Hart (1919–2008) received high praise as the state’s premier railroad historian from the Smithsonian Institution’s curator of transportation, John H. White Jr. Addressed to Hart’s boss, Peter C. Welsh, director of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s Bureau of...
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From the Executive Director

Our country is experiencing significant growing pains right now. The challenge we thought we had been facing solely with the COVID-19 pandemic has been compounded by an economic downturn, civil unrest, and an overdue conversation about race. History, which had taken a back seat to a STEM-focused world, now finds itself at the center of these conversations. History offers lessons about the past...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Spring 2020 Newsletter: PHF Sponsors the State Archives’ Scholars in Residence Program PHF Introduces New Staff America250PA Announces Its E.P.I.C. Goals...
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Trailheads

In a normal year, this column would be devoted to a preview of summer events on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. This is not a normal year. As my deadline approaches, sites remain closed to the public, with events and activities canceled. We had to forego the Keystone Summer Internship program and postpone our annual Volunteer of the Year recognition event (although we did manage a virtual...
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House on a Hill: Connecting with the Past in Western Pennsylvania

“It is our family and local histories that are our most precious parts of culture, in my estimation. They put ‘meat on the bones’ of the artifacts we find. Of course, all family history is myth until we have the documentation that backs it up.” — Lynne Humphries-Russ   The narrow access road was hidden, and I almost missed the turnoff. I was anxious to see the...
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Editor’s Letter

This edition of Pennsylvania Heritage was produced mostly through teleworking, as all of us in the Keystone State — and the world — have been in the midst of what already has become one of the most momentous episodes in contemporary history. In the devasting weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, every realm of human existence has been profoundly affected. As we continue through the crisis, history has...
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