Pennsylvania Stories – Well Told by William Ecenbarger

Pennsylvania Stories – Well Told by William Ecenbarger Temple University Press, 244 pp., cloth $25 Ecenbarger has earned well-deserved praise and admiration for his work as a newspaper staff writer and freelance writer over the course of a Pennsylvania-based career of nearly 50 years. His previous book, Kids for Cash (New Press, 2012), detailed the corrupt juvenile justice system in northeastern...
read more

Currents

It’s a Zoo! When the Zoological Society of Philadelphia was organized at the home of Dr. William Camac (its first presi­dent) on March 21, 1859, it was the first of its kind in North America. In spite of its auspicious beginnings, the early years of the Philadelphia Zoo – now touted as “America’s First Zoo”­ – were dampened by the Civil War, which not only...
read more

Letters to the Editor

From Here to Hollywood I am so glad that you featured an article about Jimmy Stewart before he died [see “Keystone Born, Hollywood Bred: ‘Movie Buff’ David Mallery Reviews the Acting Careers of James Stewart and Grace Kelly” by William C. Kashatus in the Winter 1997 edition]. In his inter­view, Mr. Mallery touched on so many things that later appeared in the actor’s...
read more

The Lincoln Train is Coming!

On Saturday morning, April 15, 1865, news of President Abraham Lincoln’s assas­sination reached Philadelphia. The treacher­ousness of the crime created a mix of feel­ings surging from fear and horror to inconsolable grief. A galvanized nation began mourning immediately. Printer cranked out broadside that were posted throughout Philadelphia lamenting the “Martyred Father.”...
read more

Remembering a Twentieth-Century Public Servant

They gathered at their Lake Ariel cottage in rural Wayne County on a warm summer weekend in 1985. For Bob and Ellen Casey, the house on the Jake was their favorite retreat, filled with many happy memories. Casey treasured being with family, as he later would reflect, “The overarching memory of the time when our children were young was the sheer fun we all had together.” While cooking...
read more

Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School Celebrates 100 Years of Magic

One hundred years ago, in 1908, two community-minded, socially-conscious single young women, Philadelphians Jeanette Selig (1886–1965) and Blanche Wolf (1886–1983), unwittingly created a school that’s become recognized as the largest community arts school in the United States, serving more than fifteen thousand students. In 1982, as the Settlement Music School observed its seventy-fifth...
read more

At the Gettysburg Battlefield with Traveling Photographers

  As Union and Confederate troops converged on the Adams County community of Gettysburg in mid-summer 1863 to wage what has been described the pivotal battle of the American Civil War, little did they know how long it would take for the rest of the world to discover the outcome. Of the five hundred journalists who covered the war, forty-five reported on the Battle of Gettysburg waged from...
read more

A Backward Glance at Thirty-Five Years Young

Over the past thirty-five years, Pennsylvania Heritage has brought to readers hundreds of stories about the famous and the not-so-famous, of historic preservation struggles won and lost, and interviews with individuals who either shaped history or interpret it. Our thirty-fifth anniversary, which we’re observing with this edition, gives us a moment to pause and reflect on where we’ve been, where...
read more

A Modest Fountain on the Square

The modest appearance of a squat granite fountain hunkered along the curb on the south side of Philadelphia’s Washington Square belies its noble history. The fountain, which began in a much grander form on the opposite side of the square in 1869, was the first project of a sweeping movement that would adorn the city’s streets and quench the thirst of its residents, both man and beast. It was the...
read more

General Meade’s Press Warfare!

Not all the skirmishes and engagements of the American Civil War were fought on the battlefield. Many were waged in popular publications of the day, pitting war correspondents against high-ranking officers in a war of words. One Union commander who waged his own intensely bitter war with the established press and held the Fourth Estate in contempt throughout the entire rebellion was Major...
read more