Historical Societies: News and Highlights

Historical Societies: News and Highlights presents news and information about Pennsylvania's regional and county historical societies.

Federation: Report on the Annual Meeting

The Sheraton/Altoona Inn in Al­toona hosted the 74th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Federation of His­torical Societies on May 8 and 9 [1981] for representatives of the Commonwealth’s county and local history organiza­tions. The program began with Friday afternoon’s workshop, “Historic Site Surveys in Pennsylvania.” After dinner, participants enjoyed a bus tour which included the Baker Mansion and the Railroaders Memorial Museum. The day ended with a concert featuring the historical music of George Rosen­krans (1881-1954), Pennsylvania’s greatest band music composer.

Saturday’s program began with a workshop on “The Pennsylvania Ter­centenary.” Later in the morning the federation conducted its business meeting to hold elections of new of­ficers and discuss resolutions. The federation voted Carl Burkett, Secre­tary of the Crawford County Histori­cal Society, president for 198 I -82, and selected the other officers and members of the executive committee.

During lunch, various member or­ganizations were awarded for their exceptional programs. This year the fourth annual S. K. Stevens Award, honoring the memory of the late Dr. Stevens, long-time executive direc­tor of the PHMC, past-president of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and founder of the Historical Foundation of Penn­sylvania, was awarded to the Union County Historical Society. Dr. Philip S. Klein, a member of the board of the historical foundation, presented a certificate and $500 to the group for their work with the Oral Traditions Program. The society also was pre­sented an Award of Merit from the AASLH for their work, as were Thomas T. Taber, III; Benjamin F. G. Kline, Jr.; and Walter Case for their outs tan ding publication, The Logging Railroad Era of Lumbering in Penn­sylvania.

The Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies acknowledged other societies as award recipients, granting to the following organizations Awards of Merit: the Lehigh County Historical Society, Tioga County His­torical Society, Historical and Geneal­ogical Society of Somerset County, Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, Little Beaver Historical Soci­ety, Dowingtown Historical Society, Friends of the Grange Inc., Skippack Historical Society and Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley. Honorable mentions went to the Bradford Coun­ty Historical Society, the Tulpehocken Settlement Historical Society and Friends of Fort Hunter.

The federation’s annual meeting came to a close on Saturday after a luncheon address by Dr. Phillip Steb­bins, professor of history at the Penn­sylvania State University. Dr. Stebbins delivered an interesting and informa­tive speech entitled “A Meditation on Presidential Greatness.”


Historical Society Notes

The Erie Historical Museum has be­gun the renovation of its exhibit on the Battle of Lake Erie which will in­clude dioramas depicting important scenes from the battle. In addition, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, formerly the Public Committee for the Humanities in Pennsylvania, has awarded the museum $12,375 for a program on the history and present condition of commercial fishing in Erie. The program will include, among other things, a slide/tape presentation on the history of the area’s industry and taped oral history interviews with working fishermen. For further infor­mation, write the museum located at 356 West Sixth St., Erie 16507.

Attempting a new fund raising method, the Bucks County Historical Society arranged a tour of London and the English countryside designed with the interests of its members in mind. Taking place between May 13 and 24 [1981], this particular tour highlighted histori­cal sites associated with William Penn and the Quakers. The cost of the tour included a tax deductible $100 dona­tion to the society. For information on the success of this venture, write the Bucks County Historical Society, Pine St., Doylestown 18901.