News presents briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

York Inter-State Fair

The York Inter-State Fair was honored on September 10 [1978] with the official historical marker. Dr. Homer T. Rosenberger, member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, presented the marker to fair president, Glenn E. Bailey, on behalf of the Commission. Robert J. Sugarman acted as President Carter’s representative at the dedication.


Visitors Center Open at Brandywine Battlefield

A new Visitors Center at Brandywine Battlefield State Park in Chadds Ford, Delaware County, was dedicated on September 10 [1978] in ceremonies marking the 201st anniversary of the Revolutionary War battle fought there. The new Visitors Center provides the park with its first facility for the orientation of visitors and for the interpretation of this historic event. Permanent exhibits are displayed and space is available for study and instruction. In addition to the new center, Washington’s Headquarters and Lafayette’s Quarters are also located in the park.

On the park site, American forces under General George Washington and British and Hessian forces under General William Howe clashed on September 11, 1777, in a crucial battle fought during the third year of the Revolution. Howe and his eighteen thousand men had landed at Elkton, Mary­land and marched northward toward Philadelphia with plans to capture the American capital. It was along the Brandywine Creek that he met resistance from Washington’s eleven thousand troops who unsuccessfully attempted to halt the invasion.

The Visitors Center and other historic buildings are open to the public from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday through Saturday, and from 1 to 5 P.M., Sunday. The park grounds, which cover approximately fifty acres located along U.S. Route 1, are open from 9 A.M. to dusk.


Black History Conference Scheduled

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is sponsoring its second conference on Blacks in Pennsylvania History on April 5 and 6, 1979 at the Allegheny Community College in Pittsburgh. The Commission would like to receive proposals for papers that highlight the contributions and strengths of black life in Pennsylvania and the surrounding region. Topics will span the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Papers should pertain to, for instance, black social institutions, literature and art, abolitionism, labor, urban life, blacks in politics and economics or business, and new methods or research fields.

Proposals for papers or requests for additional information should be mailed to: BLACK HISTORY CONFERENCE, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120.


Oral History Workshop Set

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, in cooperation with Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Re­gion (OHMAR), is sponsoring a workshop on oral history, March 17, 1979 at West Chester State College, West Chester. The theme of the workshop is “Exploring the Consciousness of the Unrecorded”; most emphatically the workers and less affluent people of Pennsylvania’s communities. Topics include the basic training of interviewers and project management, labor history, the urban neighborhood, small town and rural life, funding, and popular, mass interviewing (WPA style).

The tentative keynote speaker is Kathy Kahn, author of the widely acclaimed book Hillbilly Women.

Those interested in attending and desiring additional information should contact: Carl Oblinger, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120.


Annual Historic Preservation Conference Planned

Pennsylvania’s first annual state-wide conference on historic preservation will be held Friday, January 19, 1979, at the Penn Harris Motor Inn, Camp Hill.

The conference format is one of morning and afternoon seminar-type sessions separated by a luncheon at noon. Areas which will be addressed by speakers during these sessions include the benefits of the Tax Reform Act of 1976, a discussion of Pennsylvania’s architectural styles, small town historic districts, threats to preservation and historic buildings, adaptive reuse of old buildings and the economics of rehabilitation, and preservation techniques and resources. Many of the speakers will highlight projects in the state best typifying the respective areas. The staff of the Office of Historic Preservation will be available during the pre-conference registration period and following the final afternoon session to discuss specific programs and projects with interested individuals.

Persons interested in further information and registration material for the First Annual Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Conference should write Michael J. O’Malley, Office of Historic Preservation, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120.


A Correction

Dear Editor:
It has been brought to my attention that I made a mis­leading reference in my article on Lehigh County published in the June issue of Pennsylvania Heritage. The point in question is found on page three where I refer to the early Swiss settlers of the community of Egypt as “Mennonites.” There were, in fact, a few members of this religious group in that area. But the predominant affiliation of these early migrants from Switzerland to Egypt was with the Reformed Church.

For more information on this point see Robert’s History of Lehigh County, or Mahlon Hellerich’s more recent article, “The Churches of Lehigh County, 1732-1784,” The Pro­ceedings of the Lehigh County Historical Society, XXXI (1976), pp. 60-88.

Daniel R. Gilbert


Covered Bridge Survey Announced

America’s first covered bridge was erected across the Schuylkill River at Philadelphia by master carpenter Timothy Palmer in the early 1800’s. Since the first project, thousands of covered bridges were built – and, unfortun­ately, lost to fires, floods, neglect and vandalism through­out both the state and country.

In an effort to identify and record the surviving spans in Pennsylvania, the Office of Historic Preservation is conducting a survey of old historic covered bridges eli­gible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Prior to the floods of Hurricane Agnes in 1972, at least 271 covered bridges remained standing in. the state.

Information concerning old covered bridges and photographs of bridges still extant in Pennsylvania should be submitted to Susan M. Zacher, Office of Historic Preservation, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120.


Charter to Pottsgrove Mansion

An original charter granted to Colonel Joseph D. Potts and four associates from the Pennsylvania Railroad was re­cently given to the Pottsgrove Mansion in Pottstown. The charter was presented to the mansion by W. E. Moffett, Vice President, Public Affairs, Gulf Oil Corporation. Last year Gulf came into possession of the document when it merged with the company which had evolved from the business established under the charter granted to Potts and his associates. Pottsgrove was selected to receive the charter because Colonel Joseph Potts was a descendant of John Potts, the builder of the mansion.

The charter, granted by special Act of the Pennsylvania Legislature on May 26, 1871, created the DuQuesne Contract Company and permitted Potts and his partners to engage in any business in the Commonwealth, except banking. Within a month, the company’s name was changed to the Enterprise Transit Company. This business holds an interesting place in history in that the Enterprise Transit Company became one of the nation’s first companies to trans­port crude oil by pipeline.