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...
read more

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...
read more

The Magic of Mount Gretna: An Interview with Jack Bitner

Set in the picturesque Conewago Hills of central Pennsyl­vania, the village of Mount Gretna is a treasure of natu­ral beauty and quaint architecture. In 1882-1883, millionaire Robert H. Coleman built the Cornwall and Lebanon Railroad through these rolling hills to connect his vast ironmaking enterprises in Colebrook and Corn­wall to the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Lebanon. At the...
read more

Letters to the Editor

A Joyous Occasion The article “Soft Coal’s Soft-Spoken Diplomat” [by Barry P. Michrina, Spring 1997] covered the subject well, but with one exception-the now nonexistent town of Peale. My husband, William C. Lovell, was born there in 1899, as were his three younger sisters. Author Kyle Crichton was also born in Peale, and in his book Total Recoil, published by Doubleday and...
read more

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...
read more

Letters to the Editor

A Little Math In case no one else noticed, in “Letters to the Editor” appearing in the Winter 1999 edition, letter writer Jack Bitner of Mt. Gretna states that $68,000 in 1880 would be worth three to four million dollars today. The editorial response to Eric G. Blumenthal’s question about Asa Packer’s worth in the same column states it was valued at twenty million dollars...
read more