Trailheads

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that resulted in airliner crashes into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Anyone old enough to remember 9/11 can recall the wall-to-wall news coverage and vivid sense of national grief about the destruction and lives lost. The...
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Trailheads

What is there left to say about 2020? In previous issues, we’ve chronicled the response of PHMC’s Trails of History sites to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of early October, it looked unlikely that sites would reopen by the end of the year. The uncertainty surrounding reopening sites and welcoming visitors in person has caused a great deal of frustration on all fronts. Nevertheless, our staff and...
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Trailheads

Here we are again. As of mid-July, PHMC’s Trails of History sites and museums remain closed to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Special events and programs, including Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum’s Herb & Garden Faire, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum’s Bark Peelers’ Festival, and Somerset Historical Center’s Mountain Craft Days, have been canceled. Grounds reopened with...
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Trailheads

In a normal year, this column would be devoted to a preview of summer events on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. This is not a normal year. As my deadline approaches, sites remain closed to the public, with events and activities canceled. We had to forego the Keystone Summer Internship program and postpone our annual Volunteer of the Year recognition event (although we did manage a virtual...
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From the Executive Director

With the arrival of fall, you can find festivals everywhere in Pennsylvania. Celebrations of harvest range from the National Apple Harvest Festival in Arendtsville, Adams County, and the Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, Chester County, to old-country inspired Oktoberfests from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Many are established traditions with local origins — Stahlstown in Westmoreland County...
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William Curtis Truxal’s Footlocker

William Curtis Truxal (1882–1960) was a 34-year-old attorney residing in Somerset when the Pennsylvania National Guard unit he commanded, Company C of the 10th Infantry Regiment, was mustered into federal service for World War I on July 15, 1917. A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, he had first enlisted in the guard as a private in February 1914, and by October of that...
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Editor’s Letter

Forty some years ago, when I was in elementary school, I took a field trip with my science class to The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg to see the dioramas of Pennsylvania’s wildlife in Mammal Hall. Walking around the dark, circular gallery, I peered through windows into the fascinating, realistic habitats of 13 mammals, from the common to the locally extinct, and was transported to...
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2017 Trails

Another year has passed on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. Exhibits, special events, thousands of visiting schoolchildren, more than a few beer and wine festivals, and several battle reenactments are now recorded in the books. As a way of wrapping up the year, we look back at a few milestones along the way. But before we turn our attention to the World War I centennial and an overview of...
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American Revolution Trails

If you are interested in the American Revolution, you may have visited related sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History, such as Washington Crossing Historic Park and Brandywine Battlefield Park. You may have attended a Revolution-themed program, such as the Whitemarsh Encampment at Hope Lodge or the Then & Now Military History Timeline at the Pennsylvania Military Museum. You may know...
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Preservation Trails

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, it’s natural to look back on the work undertaken by PHMC staff through the years. As an agency, PHMC has helped to shape the history profession and Pennsylvania’s landscape through a wide range of preservation projects at Pennsylvania Trails of History sites, as well as through its role as the State...
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