Holtwood Dam

  In October 1905 McCall’s Ferry Power Co. began construction in Martic Township, Lancaster County, on what would be the second of four hydroelectric dams built to harness the power of the Susquehanna River below Harrisburg, Dauphin County. Twenty miles from the tidewater of the Chesapeake Bay, it was then the third longest dam in the world, built of solid concrete, 55 feet high. The...
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Lenape Country by Jean R. Soderlund

Lenape Country Delaware Valley Society before William Penn by Jean R. Soderlund University of Pennsylvania Press, 272 pp., $39.95 In Lenape Country, Jean R. Soderlund, professor of history at Lehigh University and editor of William Penn and the Founding of Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania, 1983), masterfully recounts the story of the strong, proud and, at times, fierce people who once...
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War and Tranquility: From Gettysburg to Glen with Robert Bruce Ricketts

The order was clear. Capt. Robert Bruce Ricketts and his two companies of artillery were to hold the Union’s left flank on East Cemetery Hill just beyond the outskirts of Gettysburg. “In case you are charged here,” Ricketts’ commanding officer Col. C.S. Wainwright told him, “you will not limber up under any circumstances, but fight your battery as long as you can.” The reality facing Ricketts on...
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York County: A Most Treasured Land

Planted squarely above the Maryland border, the gigantic horse’s hoof, which is the out­ line of York County, covers an area of 914 square miles, supporting a popula­tion of 300,000. Its eastern contour is delineated by the “long, crooked” Sus­quehanna, its pastern cleanly cut off by Cumberland County on the north, its outer edge defined by Adams Coun­ty on the west. This...
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Lancaster County: Diversity of People, Ideas and Economy

When Lancaster County was established on May 10, 1729, it became the proto­type for the sixty-three counties to follow. The original three counties­Philadelphia, Bucks and Chester – were created as copies of typical English shires. The frontier conditions of Ches­ter County’s backwoods, from which Lancaster was formed, presented knot­ty problems to the civilized English­men....
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Preserving Pieces of Pennsylvania’s Past: An Inside Look at the Building of the Commonwealth’s Collections

Associations between butterflies and buttons, Conestoga wagons and cannon, sculpture and arrowheads, or fossils and founder William Penn’s original Charter may seem tenuous, even obscure and, perhaps, nonsensical. But a relationship does exist: they are among the one and a half million objects and thirty thousand cubic feet of manuscripts, records, maps and photographs in the custody and...
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Mystery of the Monongahela Culture: Archaeology at Foley Farm

In 1939, anthropologist Mary Butler identified and formally named the Monongahela Woodland Culture, a prehistoric Indian way of life centered in the Monongahela Valley of south­western Pennsylvania, west­ern Maryland and parts of northern West Virginia. Dr. Butler’s reasons for naming this prehistoric Indian culture were, in part, based on ar­chaeological investigations sponsored by the...
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The Swedes and Dutch in the Land of the Lenape

More than half a century before the Eng­lish and German migrations brought large numbers of people into William Penn’s colony on the Dela­ware, three distinct populations had entered into this ancient land of the Lenape. By 1630 Susquehannock invaders as well as Swedish and Dutch traders had established themselves in the Delaware Valley. Very little has been written about the Susquehannock...
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Eagles Mere: Of Cottages and Kings

No longer defending their fortifications from hostile Indi­ans nor protecting their territory from grasping foreign governments, late nineteenth century Americans – encouraged by the prosperity of the rampant Industrial Revolution, as well as improved transportation systems – were able to indulge in but one of the many advan­tages of peacetime prosperity: the pursuit of pleasure. And...
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Archeology Project Culminates

When you walk through the Hall of Anthropology in the William Penn Memorial Museum, you will almost be able to feel that you are an integral part of one or more of the many life ways portrayed there. For some persons that feeling will be even more intensified – for they actually participated in finding materials that will be there on display. The Anthropology Hall, scheduled to open...
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