Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

A Weiser World

Philip E. Pendleton’s article “Finding a Light in the Forest: Conrad Weiser Homestead” in the summer 1996 issue brought back many happy boyhood memories. One of the rays of that light, I think, was kindled by my grandfather, the Reverend P. C. Croll. He suggested to the Historical Society of Berks County in 1921 that the new owner of the Conrad Weiser Homestead, L. Roy Valentine, might be receptive to the idea of making it a permanent memorial to Weiser. Through Grandpa’s personal appeal, Mr. Valentine agreed to transfer the Homestead to a park association for one dollar if thirty thousand dollars could be raised for a park and building improvements. It took several years for that sum to be raised, four-fifths of it by my grandfather walking from farm to farm, store to store, friend to friend, with a young grandson often tagging along. One summer Grandmother said we had Conrad Weiser for breakfast, dinner, and supper! Earl Ibach, writing in the Tulpehocken Settlement Historical Society’s magazine in November 1987, goes so far as to say that “without Dr. Croll’s efforts there would be no Weiser Park today. Just one year following the park’s dedication on September 1, 1928, the stock market crashed. Then three years later Mr. Valentine died of a heart attack at the early age of 42.”

Philip D. Croll
Doylestown, Pa.


Dressed To Impress

I would enjoy seeing more photographs of appropriately dressed volunteers at work at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s historic sites and museums, as well as more coverage of special events held during the year at those properties.

Helen Beisel Newell
Lansdale, Pa.

The staff is making a concerted effort to feature illustrations of authentically costumed guides interpreting the fascinating historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trail of History, Special attention is always given to the featured PHMC historic site or museum in “Heritage Highlights,” which can be found on the inside back cover. Comments regarding the magazine’s content and style are always welcome.


Old Friends Found

“Lost & Found” in the summer 1996 edition is especially interesting to me. The Crestmont Inn in Eagles Mere and the Bedford Springs Hotel in Bedford are “old friends” visited over many years, while the Pennsy [see “Currents” in the summer 1996 issue] took us back and forth across the state countless times. Thank you!

Julia B. Tomlinson
Clarks Summit, Pa.


Ida Ella Jones

The article on my mother by Beverly Sheppard, “The World of Ida Ella Jones,” in the summer 1996 issue was wonderful. I have expressed hearty thanks to the author who came to my home and borrowed several paintings for recent exhibitions. From time to time, particularly in February to observe Black History Month, I have worked with school departments to exhibit my mother’s work. Exhibits have been held in middle and high schools, as well as organized for special groups. I also chartered a bus to take people from Virginia to the Afro¬≠-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia and to the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester for exhibitions of my mother’s paintings. l have a few friends who are in love with her work, and I sincerely thank you for featuring this article in your beautiful magazine.

Ida J. Williams
Eastville, Va.


Perfect Timing

Congratulations on your continuing streak of perfect timing. It’s fantastic that your article on Jim Thorpe, a medal winner at the 1912 Olympics, appeared in Pennsylvania Heritage recently [see “A King Crowns the World’s Greatest Athlete” by William C. Kashatus III in the fall 1996 edition]. What an excellent idea to publish this story on the heels of the Olympic games in Atlanta this summer! You always make history more interesting by timing the publication of articles to coincide with current events or issues. What more can I say? Your articles are great and the timing is perfect. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Joseph A. Rogers
Philadelphia, Pa.