News and Notes

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

Handicapped Youth Honored

A three-day Very Special Arts Festival was held in April at William Penn Memorial Museum. The event honored handicapped children and youth. The festival itself featured a visual arts show, arts demonstrations, arts workshops and art performances. Jean Kennedy Smith. sister of the late President John F. Kennedy, was present for the festival’s opening. Mrs. Smith appeared as secretary of the National Committee, Arts for the Handicapped, Washington, D.C. The actual fourth annual Statewide Art Show for the Men­tally Retarded opened April 10 [1977] with over 150 entries on ex­hibition. Contestants were vying for the $100 Governor’s Best of the Show Award. Additional cash awards of first, second, third, six smaller and 13 honorable mentions were made. The L. B. Smith Medical Foundation, Camp Hill, funded the awards program.

 

Valley Forge to Park Service

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania transferred Valley Forge State Park to the Federal government in public ceremonies at Memorial Arch March 30 [1977].

State officials formally turned over the administration of the 2,255 acre park to the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior. This transfer was a Bicentennial gift from Pennsylvanians to Americans.

Pennsylvania’s gift occurs in the 200th anniversary year of the historic encampment of Gen. George Washington and his Army.

In an 84-year stewardship through several administrative agencies, the Commonwealth has preserved the encampment site; has restored, reconstructed or built approxi­mately 76 buildings; erected a number of monuments and made other improvements.

The PHMC, during its brief tenure, beginning in 1971, has transformed the Park from mainly a recreational facility to its proper status as an historical site, retaining some recreational aspects.

 

PHA Research Conference

Problems in Religious History, the Records-Grants Pro­gram of the National Historical Publications Commission and Pop Culture were the areas covered at the Twelfth Annual Research Conference of the Pennsylvania Historical Association in cooperation with the PHMC.

John B. Frantz of The Pennsylvania State University chaired the opening session on “Problems in Religious History.” The session was held at the Historical Society of Dauphin County, Harrisburg. Panelists were Charles Glat­felter of Gettysburg College, Kenneth Rowe of Drew University, James R. Sperry of Bloomsburg State College and Bruce L. Weston of California State College.

Dr. and Mrs. George Miller of the University of Delaware presented “The Picture Post Card as a Source of Local History” after a dinner, hosted by the PHMC.

The morning sessions were held in the auditorium of the William Penn Memorial Museum. William J. Wewer. PHMC executive director, was chairman; speaking was William Fraley, assistant executive director for records at the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Irwin Richman of Capitol Campus, Penn State University, chaired the session. “Pop Culture: A legitimate Field of Historical Inquiry.” Panelists, both of Capitol Campus. were John Patterson and Mark Dorfman.

 

Lumbermen Donate Logloader To State Lumber Museum

PHMC Commissioner Philip Klein accepted a model of the Barnhart Log Loader, presented to the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum by the Penn-York Lumbermen’s Association. The event was hosted by the Lumber Museum Associ­ates at the Potato City Motor Inn near Coudersport in March.

A Barnhart Log Loader, introduced at the turn of the century, was a labor-saving device in the lumbering industry. Mrs. Delores Buchsen, Curator of the Lumber Museum, said that she hopes to have the gift fully restored and eventually placed in operation at the museum.

The actual presentation was made by Marshall Case, who was instrumental in getting the Lumber Museum started. Case is a past president of the Penn-York Lumbermen’s Association.

Commissioner Klein, PHMC Executive Director William J. Wewer and Bureau of Museums Director Peter C. Welsh represented the PHMC. Ronald Jones, president of Tri­State Hardwoods, Union City, and president of the lumbermen’s association, served as master of ceremonies. A model of the Log Loader, made by Frank Alden of Emporium, was presented to Wewer.

 

Season Ticket Offered

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has available a seasonal pass which admits the en­tire family to all the agency’s historic sites and museums.

Included with the unlimited Seasonal Family Pass is a year’s subscription to “Pennsylvania Heritage,” the Com­mission’s quarterly publication devoted exclusively to Penn­sylvania history and organizations concerned with the preservation of the Commonwealth’s historic heritage. The package costs $10. Orders can be sent to G. J. Lupp, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, P.O. Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120. For more details call (717) 787-3115.