“Remember Paoli!”

Two centuries ago, in September 1817, local War of 1812 veterans gathered in a Chester County field with Revolutionary War veterans and citizens to place a marble monument on the grave of soldiers killed in the Battle of Paoli, or “Paoli Massacre,” four decades earlier. Today, it remains the second oldest Revolutionary War monument in the nation, and the campaign to “Remember Paoli!” continues...
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Remembering the Fishing Creek Confederacy

During the summer of 1864 rumors began to circulate that Columbia County had become a place of refuge for hundreds of deserters from the Union army. The federal government promised a reward of $30 for every deserter captured. So on the night of July 31, 1864, eight men left neighboring Luzerne County hoping to track down some deserters around Benton. They cornered a house in Raven Creek Valley,...
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A Lifetime of Learning

Springtime brings new life to the Pennsylvania Trails of History® with the birth of farm animals, fresh green leaves sprouting on trees and shrubs and new shoots poking up in garden beds. At many of our historic sites, nothing says spring like the arrival of thousands of school-age students with teachers, parents and chaperones in tow. They come to explore history through tours, scavenger hunts,...
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Looking Back at the Year: 2013

As 2013 draws to a close it’s time to look back at several of the highlights we covered in the Trailheads blog this year. As always, the historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History faced challenges with patience and perseverance, as paid and volunteer staff worked to provide engaging programs, tours and exhibits for visitors and for their local communities. The ongoing...
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Fayette at the Crossroads

Fayette County has always been at the crossroads, both literally and figuratively, its destiny shaped by its location, the incredible riches of its natural resources and the vi­tality of a people descended from al­most every nation of Europe. It has a son of dual personality, geo­graphically divided between mountains and lowlands, historically divided into two almost equal eras of economic...
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Montgomery County: Cultural Microcosm of the Commonwealth

The third most populous county in Pennsylvania, with ap­proximately 480 square miles of rolling hills criss-crossed by rivers, streams and superhighways, Montgom­ery County is a microcosm of the Com­monwealth, a reflection of its cultural development. Pan of Philadelphia County until 1784, Montgomery Coun­ty served as a sanctuary for numerous ethnic and religious groups seeking the freedom...
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Mifflin County: The Crossroads of the Commonwealth

Mifflin County will celebrate its two hundredth birth­day on September 19, during a customarily beau­tiful month when glowing foliage sweeps over four hun­dred and thirty-one square miles of farms, small towns and wooded mountains. Ex­tending from Bear Gap to Kistler Borough through rug­ged and scenic valleys to the banks of the Juniata River, it’s just fifteen miles from the Seven...
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Sullivan County: Picture Post Card Pretty

Named for Gen. John Sullivan, fearless leader of the leg­endary bloodbath, Sullivan’s March, mounted in 1779 to attack the hostile Iro­quois of northern Pennsylva­nia, Sullivan County is today – as it was throughout the nineteenth century – a bucolic, pastoral landscape, best known for the recreational opportunities it has offered generations of sportsmen and sojourners. For...
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U.S.S. Niagara Spans Over 160 Years

Erie’s claim to maritime fame came early in its history. And this was due mainly to its geographic location. War was declared by the United States against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. The British were much better prepared for the war. Along the Great Lakes they had military posts from Niagara to Sault Ste. Marie and, equally important, had a fresh water navy. The summer campaign of 1812...
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A Salute to the Bicentennial of the Keystone State

The current Bicentennial celebration commemorates not the birth of the United States, but the proclama­tion of thirteen British-American colonies that were “free and independent states” as of July 4, 17.76. When they formed a loose compact in 1761, their articles of confederation declared that “each state retains its sover­eignty, freedom and independence.” The...
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