Mailbox

Mailbox features classified advertisements related to Pennsylvania history.

The red brick building which served as the State Capitol from 1822 until its destruction by fire in 1897 was admired and com­memorated as a symbol of the vibrant Commonwealth during the progressive nineteenth century. Even after the great inferno, the structure continued to adorn a number of souvenir-type items – china dishes, silverplate letter openers, linen handker­chiefs and leather billfolds – produced by both American and European manufacturers. With such ephemera growing scarce, The State Museum of Pennsylvania has acquired examples of these commemorative pieces, but is interested in expanding its holdings and seeks additional items for its collections. Also sought are objects which celebrate the dedication of the present­-day Capitol Building in 1906. Individuals able to aid in the search are asked to write: Gail Getz, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, P.O. Box 1026, Harris­burg, PA 17108-1026; or telephone (717) 783-2641.

 

Music and family life of the pre-radio era in Pittsburgh is currently the subject of research and the topic of a future exhibi­tion. Photographs, as well as documentation, of music in the home between 1840 and 1920are needed. Correspondence should be directed to: Jean W. Thomas, 6114 Callery St., Pittsburgh, PA 15206; or telephone (4U) 661-0457.

 

Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Fayette County, was the residence of Albert Gallatin (1761-1849), who served in the administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. In 1789, he began building the house at Friendship Hill, in which he entertained the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825. The 35-room structure is currently being restored. The National Park Service, which acquired the estate in 1979, is seeking early and vintage photographs of Friendship Hill, as well as depictions of Gallatin. Please write: Del Barton, Park Ranger, Friendship Hill NHS, Box 149-A, R.D. 1, Point Marion, PA 15474; or telephone (412) 725-9190.

 

For continuing research, business records and personal corre­spondence of J. Ellwood Lee, Montgomery County entrepreneur (see “Lee of Conshohocken” by Kershaw Burbank in this issue), are wanted for study. Individuals and institutions holding patent papers, corporate documents, ledgers, products and related materials are asked to contact: Kershaw Burbank, 4475 North Ocean Blvd.-No. 409, Delray Beach, FL 33483; or telephone (407) 272-5128.

 

The Historical Society of Dauphin County is currently collect­ing information relating to John Harris (1691-1748) and his son, John Harris, Jr. (1726-1791). The elder Harris, also referred to as Harris, Sr., was born in Yorkshire, England, and settled in Phila­delphia about 1715. He founded the settlement of Harris’ Ferry, now Harrisburg, in 1720. Both father and son built and occupied portions of the historical society’s headquarters, the John Harris and Simon Cameron Mansion, overlooking the Susquehanna River. Information concerning the Harris family, particularly the erection of the mansion (in two stages, 1740 and 1766), will be used in a major reinterpretation of the historic site. Information may be shared with: Peter S. Seibert, Executive Director, Histori­cal Society of Dauphin County, 219 South Front St., Harrisburg, PA 17104; or telephone (717) 233-3462.