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

Craft Brewing: Another Revolution in Pennsylvania

The history of brewing beer in Pennsylvania has seen heights of success and pits of disaster. The commonwealth grew from colonial home-brewing roots to become a recognized industrial center, home to some of the most notable brewers in America before the disaster of Prohibition. After bouncing back with Repeal, Pennsylvania clung to its established favorites longer than any other state, savoring...
read more

Shop Pomeroy’s First by Michael J. Lisicky

Shop Pomeroy’s First by Michael J. Lisicky History Press, 160 pp, paper, $19.99 Entrepreneur George Pomeroy (1853-1925) and two partners opened their first department store in Reading, Berks County, in 1876, beginning a retailing enterprise that lasted more than 100 years. Pomeroy’s stores were not flashy, not exclusive, but always offered medium-priced goods for the average family. Until 1990...
read more

How They Served: Recovering the Experiences of Five Pennsylvanians in the American Civil War

Pennsylvania supplied approximately 362,000 soldiers to the Union effort in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. This was more than any other Northern state except New York. The Keystone State suffered the loss of 33,183 sons to death while in war service, and virtually every aspect of Pennsylvania society was affected by the pervasive nature of the great conflict and its staggering cost in terms of...
read more

America’s Oldest Brewery: A Pictorial History

Touted as “America’s Oldest Brewery” by the family which originated and still owns the Pottsville brewing company, D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. is an unusual collection of mid-nineteenth century buildings which seem to cling pre­cariously to the steep northern slope of the Sharp Mountain above this Schuylkill County seat. The brewery was founded by David G. Yuengling, a...
read more

L. V. Kupper: Dirt-Street Town Photographer

In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, northwestern Pennsylvania was predominantly a region of dirt-street towns, each serving a neighboring farm popula­tion. As such, these communities were home to blacksmiths, harness makers. and their like – practical mechanics whose utilitarian skills were very much a pan of the agricultural landscape. And among these champions of the useful...
read more

Schuylkill County: Built on Coal

The history of Schuylkill County is inextricably bound to the story – and drama – of the great anthracite industry in the United States. Despite nearly two centuries of active mining, the county’s 783 square miles still boast the largest accessible reserves of hard coal known in the world. Its lives and lifestyles have been quasi-fictionalized by two of the county’s best...
read more

The Molly Maguires: Fighting for Justice

Early on the morning of Wednesday. Septem­ber 1, 1875, a young English-born mine foreman started from his Schuylkill County residence to the Shenandoah coal colliery where he was employed. A gunshot pierced the air. Scrambling for cover behind a neighbor’s house, he was met by another assassin who drew his revolver and fired. Struck in the groin, the young man staggered blindly and fell to...
read more

Historic Preservation in Pennsylvania: A Primer

Depending on the individual, historic preser­vation evokes a myriad of interpretations. To the local historical society, it’s restoring the town’s oldest structure to a house-museum showcasing collections of period antiques. To community planners, it often results in a challenge of saving the best while destroying the rest. And to many, historic preservation means little more than a...
read more

Mailbox

The work of photographer José B. Alemany of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and Provincetown, Massachusetts, is cur­rently the subject of research. Alemany not only photographed landscapes and industrial scenes, but created modern and sen­sual images distinctive for the use of light and dramatic shadow, as well as for the fluidity of forms. He showed at the Gulf Gal­leries and the Kingsley House...
read more