Digging Deep: 50 Years of Preservation Archaeology in Pennsylvania

On a lovely morning in early autumn, I arrive at an old farm along the Susquehanna River to find Dr. Frank Vento in his natural element. That is to say, he is squatting down at the bottom of a backhoe trench some 8 feet deep, carefully examining the many layers of flood-deposited sediment left behind by the great river. Frank, recently retired from the faculty at Clarion University, is a...
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News and Notes

York Inter-State Fair The York Inter-State Fair was honored on September 10 [1978] with the official historical marker. Dr. Homer T. Rosenberger, member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, presented the marker to fair president, Glenn E. Bailey, on behalf of the Commission. Robert J. Sugarman acted as President Carter’s representative at the dedication.   Visitors...
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Photographic View Companies: The Camera Leaves the Studio

Photography’s first half-century of development was ex­citing and eventful. The daguerreotype, an image printed directly on a polished metal surface, was per­fected in 1839. A decade later, millions of Americans posed for ambrotypes, tintypes, albumen plates – often re­plete with military uniforms, favored family pets or bagged game. To satisfy the nation’s craving for...
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One Should Not Overlook Union County

Union County on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River is one of Pennsylvania’s smaller counties, encompassing a bare 258 square miles, with a population of 30,000, including 3000 college stu­dents and 1900 inmates of two federal prisons. Few of its residents have held high political office and fewer of its names have appeared in Who’s Who in America. Yet the historical...
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“A New County to Be Called Snyder”

Snyder is a small rural county covering 327 square miles with a population exceeding thirty thou­sand. Situated near the center of the Commonwealth, it is bounded on the northwest by Jack’s Mountain, on the southeast by the Mahantango Creek and on the en­tire eastern end by the beautiful Susquehanna River. Most of the remaining boundaries are unrelated to natural features. Geologically,...
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Rural Bust and Boom: Snyder County, 1880-1920

Between 1880 and 1920 a dialectic of sorts operated in Snyder County. These were years of decline. This decline was both absolute, in population and the generation of wealth, and relative, when compared to the growth in numbers, wealth and cultural richness occuring elsewhere. The area did not have easily tilled fertile soil; its minerals were neither accessible nor rich; its population was...
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Central Pennsylvania’s Very Own Painted Ladies

The painted plank bottom chair, a sturdy survivor of Pennsyl­vania’s golden age of chairmaking, is at long last garnering the recognition it has long deserved – thanks to the nation’s seemingly insatiable appetite for what many call The Country Look. This hand-decorated chair, admired by many for its graceful stenciling and skilled workmanship, has weathered a century of heavy...
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Mailbox

For its fall conference, the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society (CHBTS) of the Hagley Museum and Library is issuing a call for papers. The theme of this year’s conference is “Significant Locales: Business, Labor, and Industry in the Mid-Atlantic Region.” Proposals are being sought for papers dealing with aspects of business, labor, and industrial...
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Letters to the Editor

Ecstatic with Esherick Wow! Your magazine is really on the ball. With the growing popularity of the crafts movement, you’re right on target with your feature story on Esherick [see Sharon Hernes Silverman’s “A Passion for Wood: The Life and Legacy of Wharton Esherick” in the Fall 1997 issue]. I’m ecstatic with your timely coverage. Thanks. Mimi Hake-Tripp...
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All in the Family: The Riches in Woolrich

John Rich II received a “warm” welcome when he visited winter logging camps in the dense forests of northern Pennsylvania in the early nineteenth century. Tough, hardened lumberjacks valued the one bit of comfort and protection from frostbite that Rich proffered from the back of his mule cart: a simple pair of woolen socks. From those humble beginnings, Rich engaged in a trade that...
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