Mount Gretna’s Spirit Lives On

Mount Gretna in Lebanon County is an enduring gem of a historic village that offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience an unembellished, Victorian-era lifestyle that shuffles on in similar fashion today. Cloistered within a 16-mile slice of forested rocky hills surrounded by a patchwork expanse of farmland between Lancaster and Hershey, Mount Gretna came to life in 1892 as a village (now...
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Lebanon County: Small in Size – Rich in Heritage

Lebanon County is located in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the center of the beautiful Lebanon Valley, which is formed by the Blue Ridge of the Kittatinny range of mountains to the north and the South Mountains, or Furnace Hills, to the south. Covering an area of 363 square miles, the county is inhabited by ap­proximately 100,000 people. Between the shale...
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A Dynasty Tumbles

The saga begins and ends with two com­monplace scenes: a teenaged immigrant alighting a ship in colonial Philadelphia with but two letters of introduction and three guineas to his name, and a gravesite ringed by a half­-dozen black-clothed mourn­ers. But during the century and a half that encapsulates these vignettes, a Pennsylva­nia dynasty rose and fell- and rose and fell again. From Robert...
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Historic Sites of the Revolution

Pennsylvania is unusually rich in historic sites associated with the American Struggle for nationhood two centuries ago. The Bicentennial observance under­scores the importance of this treasury of the state’s historic heritage. The deep involvement of Pennsylvania people and land in the Revolutionary War is reflected by these historic sites maintained by government as well as organizations...
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A Blast from the Past: Cornwall Iron Furnace

Driving on narrow sinuous back roads through lush, verdant forests – just a half dozen miles north of the busy Pennsylvania Turnpike – unsuspecting travelers can’t help being struck by an odd-looking complex of Gothic Revival-style buildings and structures. This place, this curious collection of buildings, both large and small, appears to have been literally plucked from a far...
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18th Century Cannon at Cornwall Iron Furnace

Iron was in great demand during the Revolutionary War, and brothers Curtis and Peter Grubb, proprietors of Cornwall Iron Furnace in Lebanon County, aided the American cause by casting cannon, shot, and various wares. (Because labor was in short supply, the Grubbs were permitted to use Hessian prisoners of war as workers.) Each cannon produced by Cornwall Iron Furnace was tested locally. If a...
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Discovering Religious Diversity Along the Pennsylvania Trails of History

William Penn (1644-1718) knew well the sting of discrimination and the misery of persecution for his religious beliefs. He suffered the consequences of breaking with the Church of England, leading to estrangement from his father, Admiral Sir William Penn (1621-1670). When imprisoned for attending meetings of the Society of Friends – commonly called Quakers and Friends – the younger...
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