Berks County: Diamond of the Schuylkill Valley

Since 1811, when Schuylkill County was created to include part of what had been northern Berks County, Berks has been distinguishable by its diamond shape. It approxi­mates a geometric diamond or lozenge – an equilateral paral­lelogram without right angles. Its history also seems diamond-like, as it has com­bined a very hard, cutting, and persistently pragmatic charac­teristic with a...
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To Forge History for the Future

Not infrequently, the history of how an object, artifact, or even building or structure has been preserved for the future is every bit at least as interesting as the reasons for which it was saved. Historical organizations and cultural institutions – from large city museums to county historical societies – brim with compelling “behind-the-scenes” stories that provide...
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Strolling Through History at Hopewell Village

For more than a century, Hopewell Furnace in southeastern Pennsylvania had exemplified the technological growing pains of a nation initially built on agriculture but destined to become the industrial titan of the western hemisphere. Between 1771, when Mark Bird (1739-1816) established his furnace at the headwaters of French Creek in Berks County, and 1883, when the­ fires finally cooled,...
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