PHMC Highlights

Art of the State 2014 Before Philadelphia artist Michael Pavol could start painting his award-winning Josie, the work needed a subject – and a small, plastic skull. Pavol’s inspiration came in the form of a young girl who had little interest in the artist, his camera or his vision for the canvas. Pavol struggled to occupy the girl’s attention long enough to allow his camera to capture the...
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If Only the Walls Could Talk: The Story of the Federal Barn

“There is no building that does nor develop some unexpected charm with age; but the early American barn, taking into consideration its reason for being, I’ve found to be an exceptional and impressive subject. The growth of moss, the dust of hay, the powdering of mortar in joints, the mellowing of cut stone, the aging of wood – all things thought to be unfortunate – are...
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Bookshelf

Pitts­burgh’s Bridges: Architecture and Engineering By Walter C. Kidney Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, 1999 (235 pages, cloth, $49.95) For many, it’s surprising to learn that Pittsburgh and surrounding Allegheny County are linked together by a vast network of sixteen hundred bridges. These spans make places accessible that would otherwise remain inaccessible and result,...
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Currents

Pennsylvania Germans Historians trace the origins of Pennsylvania German settlement to late seventeenth-century Philadelphia and the arrival of the earliest immigrants. These arrivals came from many regions in what are now the countries of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and the Alsace region of France. Lutheran, Reformed, Moravian, Catholic, Jewish, and Anabaptist (including...
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Life on Wheels: Camping in Pennsylvania

Does father crave to fish for trout and bass and pike and musky? Take him auto-touring. Does sister want to dip in the surf, or study art, or see the world? Toke her automobile vacationing. Has grand-dad the “hoof and mouth disease” so that he craves the green of far-away courses? Auto-comp him to a dozen golf courses. Does mother sigh for a rest from doily routines? Take her...
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Letters to the Editor

A Doc in the House Every Pennsylvania resident and visitor is indebted to “Doc” Goddard for his foresight and determination [see “Maurice K. Goddard, The Commonwealth’s Conservation Czar” by Ernest Morrison, Fall 2002]. No matter where you travel in this beautiful state, what you don’t see – polluted streams and rivers, desecrated scenic areas, and...
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Sowing a Wealth Uncommon

When Pennsylvania’s thirty-seven-year-old founder William Penn (1644-1718) drew plans for Philadelphia, he specified a central park of ten acres and four symmetrically placed squares of eight acres each “for the comfort and recreation of all forever.” In his September 30, 1681, instructions to his commissioners, he also mandated private space. “Let every House be placed,...
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Meet Don Yoder: Dean of Folklife Scholars

In 1710, Hans Joder, originally from Canton Bern in Switzerland, arrived in Pennsylvania and made a home in the fertile Oley Valley of southeastern Pennsylvania. Twenty-eight years later, Johannes Cronister of Franconia in northern Bavaria, whose grandfather had been a Protestant fugitive from Lower Austria, came to the province and settled in the region that would later become Adams County....
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Mt. Pisgah Plane

In 1827, the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company opened the Mauch Chunk Railroad — later known as the Switchback Gravity Railroad — in Carbon County to efficiently transport anthracite over a precipitous distance of nine miles from mining operations on the top of Sharp Mountain at Summit Hill to the Lehigh River below at Mauch Chunk (renamed Jim Thorpe in 1953). The nation’s second oldest...
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“With a Woman’s Instinct”: Mira Lloyd Dock, The Mother of Forestry in Pennsylvania

On a frosty December night in 1900, Mira Lloyd Dock (1853–1945) presented an illustrated lecture to the Harrisburg Board of Trade entitled “The City Beautiful.” Using vivid descriptions and dramatic images, Dock contrasted the “roughness, slime and filth” of the state capital and the Susquehanna River with the well-kept cities and rivers of other American states and European nations. She...
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