The Whiskey Boys Versus the Watermelon Army

When the issue of balancing the budget by raising taxes reared its ugly head recently, the nation once again saw the contro­versy and bitterness the sub­ject ignites. On Capitol Hill familiar questions were fiercely debated. Who should close the revenue gap, the wealthy or the working class? Should taxes be increased on ciga­rettes, gasoline, or liquor? Nearly two hundred years ago the Congress...
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That Magnificent Fight for Unionism: The Somerset County Strike of 1922

During 1920 and 1921, western Pennsylvania’s coal mine operators campaigned vigorously to slash wages of the miners they employed. Because demand for coal declined after World War One the operators were forced to reduce production, resulting in stack, or in some cases, the complete shutdown of operations. Many miners drifted to factory jobs in nearby cities, or simply clung to hope -and...
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Shorts

The distinctively decorated furniture of Soap Hollow in Somerset County (see “Makers’ Marks and a Master’s Touch” by Edna V. Brendlinger and Robert B. Myers in the winter 1986 edition) is on view at the Southern Alleghenies Mu­seum of Art, Loretto, from Saturday, March 27, through Monday, May 31, 1993. Soap Hollow furniture, made during the second half of the nine­teenth...
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Bookshelf

The Genius Belt: The Story of the Arts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania edited by George S. Bush James A. Michener Art Museum in association with The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996 (174 pages, cloth, $40.00; paper, $29.95) Bucks County had known artists as neighbors for years, but in this handsome and richly illustrated book, novelist and native son James A. Michener writes that two...
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Archaeology in Black and White: Digging Somerset County’s Past During the Great Depression

In 1994, a small team of archaeologists drove south from temporary lodgings in Somerset, in southwestern Pennsylvania, on State Route (S.R.) 219, to a point just north of Meyersdale, turned left into Indian Dig Road, and then left again onto Pony Farm Road. The archaeologists traveled a short distance up hill along this unpaved dirt road, before pulling their battered – and much maligned...
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Somerset Historical Center: Portraying the Pioneer Spirit of Southwestern Pennsylvania

While there are many similar stories to be told on the subject of historical and social evolution in all regions of Pennsylvania, there are also many tales unique to every city, town, or county. Southwestern Pennsylvania has its share of unique stories, and no museum interprets the saga of this region so succinctly as the Somerset Historical Center. Adding to the effectiveness of docu­menting...
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1872 Morgan Coverlet at Somerset Historical Center

Objects and artifacts are crucial to telling the story of southwestern Pennsylvania’s pioneer life and the changes encountered by the region’s early settlers, ordinary people – farmers, millers, traders – who helped propel westward expansion. The Somerset Historical Center owns a collection of twenty-two coverlets made in Somerset County, including five bearing the...
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Executive Director’s Message

A crater in a reclaimed coal mine in Somerset County hardly seems a potential site for a national memorial. However, as everyone knows by now, a dramatic story of terror and courage took place in the airspace above western Pennsylvania and ended with the fatal crash of United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville during the terrible morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Since that tragic day,...
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Executive Director’s Message

September 11, 1777. On this date, two hundred and twenty­-five years ago, George Washington and his army suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Brandywine. A flanking action ordered by Sir William Howe, commander of British forces, nearly led to a complete rout. Surprised and mis­informed about his opponent’s plans, Washington man­aged an orderly but embarrassing retreat. The...
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Letters to the Editor

Brick-End Barns Upon receiving the Winter 2002 edition of Pennsylvania Heritage, I was fascinated to see “Lost & Found,” showing a fanci­ful brick-end barn in Lancaster County that was, unfortunately, demolished for the building of an outlet mall. I have discovered a brick-end barn still standing in Antrim Township, Franklin County, that is similar to the one illustrated. In...
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