Friday, August 18, 2006

New Biographies at Pennsylvania Biographies

New Biographies at Pennsylvania Biographies or the shorter, easier to remember address:

Aber, O. E.
Ackison, J. E.
Aggeman, John J.
Agnew, Daniel - Hon
Agnew, Franklin H. - Hon.
Allen, Festus
Allison, Edward James
Almy, Sanford
Altsman, George W.
Anderson, A. T.
Anderson, Alex. H.
Anderson, Joseph L.
Anderson, Samuel
Anderton, James
Andriessen, Hugo
Armstrong, John
Badders, William Perry
Baker, George
Balzer, John
Banks, Francis L.
Bannon, Jeremiah
Barker, Harry T.
Gaston, John
Gerber, George Henry
Goldsmith, Harry
Gormly, J. M.
Graebing, John
Graham, Alexander
Graham, William
Grim, William H.
Imbrie, James Milton
Imbrie, R. S.
Inman, John W.
Inman, Nelson
Irons, John D.

Early Public Schools in Franklin County, PA

History's Echoes: Early Schools in Greencastle and Antrim
At one time Franklin County hosted approximately 200 buildings operated under the one teacher system for the elementary grades. By 1952, that total was reduced to 25. The first county school superintendent was James McDowell of Greencastle. S.H. Eby Sr. of Greencastle, also served in that post for a number of years.

The first school building on record in Antrim was the Guitner one-room schoolhouse of the ill-fated Enoch Brown tragedy. July 26, 1764 an Indian massacre took the life of Schoolmaster Enoch Brown and 10 of his pupils. The raid was conducted by a group of renegades who were part of the Pontiac Rebellion during the French & Indian War. Archie McCullough was the 11th pupil, he survived but did not truly recover the ordeal or the wounds received. Following the massacre teaching returned, for a time, to the former system of teachers visiting the homes of children as a "circuit" education was offered.
Read the full story from the Greencastle-Antrim Echo Pilot

Photo of Greencastle School early 1900s from Pennsylvania Old Photos

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Oil City High School, Oil City, PA Varsity Basketball Team 1929

View the photo

Team roster: Russell Carll, Harold Conrad, ___ Fitzgerald, John Hadley, ___ Haumesser, Jacob Heyison, Maynard Hipwell - captain, ___ Kane, ___ Lilly, Eugene MacFarlane, Howard Rose, Edward York (Yorke), Coach R. E. Brown

Over 500 more Venango County old photographs on line at Venango County Old Photos

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Northampton County: 150 Candles for Freemansburg

Freemansburg Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Thursday is the start of a four-day celebration to mark Freemansburg's 150th anniversary, when many of the newcomers will get their first glimpse of old-time borough traditions such as the cakewalk, a cross between a raffle and musical chairs with baked goods as prizes. Event organizer Judy Lasso said ''the walk'' used to be popular, but couldn't recall any held after 1991.

Another major part of the celebration will be historical photographs that show how the borough has changed.

From 700 original inhabitants, Freemansburg grew to around 1,200 by World War I. The canal, then later the railroads and an electric trolley fed local commerce. One hundred homes were built around 1918 to house wartime employees of Bethlehem Steel, and the massive steel plants became as important to Freemansburg's economy as they were to Bethlehem's.

Read full article from the Morning Call Online

Friday, August 04, 2006

50 Years in Mother Goose Land

Story Book Forest Turns 50

LIGONIER, Pa.— A doorway beckons visitors to pass through a book made of concrete that stands some 28 feet high. The simple verse on its open pages reads in part, “Here dreams are real ... and so are your story book friends.”

There are no massive roller coasters, bumper cars or swings that spin visitors high in the air at this 17-acre attraction, tucked into the rolling mountains of western Pennsylvania.

But for the little ones in the family — or anyone who is simply young at heart — you will find Mother Goose, Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood waiting to play at Story Book Forest. Part of the larger Idlewild amusement park, Story Book Forest this year is celebrating 50 years of making the characters and scenes in children’s stories and nursery rhymes from “Alice in Wonderland” to “Snow White” come alive.

Story Book Forest was built in 1956, an era when many children’s parks based on storybooks were sprouting up around the country. The Pennsylvania attraction was created by Idlewild’s then-owner C.C. Macdonald and Arthur Jennings, who was a performance clown at the park. Jennings had always said he wanted to create a theme park “based on emotion rather than motion.”
In 1983 Story Book Forest became a part of Idlewild. Read about history of Idlewild from the website.

Read full article from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette News, Worcester, MA

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Pennsylvania Dutch Barns Featured in Survey

How many Dutch barns still exist in Pennsylvania?

The Dutch Barn Preservation Society is going to count, inventory and create an accurate study.

The Dutch Farmstead survey -- which will look in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont -- will take three years. It began last year with a basic, quick survey to identify properties for more intensive study. The second phase will add a brief history, written description and sketches of each property. Then, surveyors will compile in-depth examinations, including comprehensive history, site plan, measured drawings and detailed photos.

Members of the preservation society and Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture will lead the survey. Vernacular architecture refers to ordinary buildings representative of a given period. The two groups will work with the Stichting Historisch Boerderi-Onderzoek (Institute for Historic Farm Research) in the Netherlands. All are nonprofit organizations.

The Dutch barn is one of the last physical reminders of the pre-industrial agricultural heritage in the eastern United States, said Schenectady county and city historian Don Rittner. The efficient, heavy timber structure was adapted from the European style and reflects the skills of the predominantly Dutch immigrants who settled the area and their descendants, he said.

Dutch barns differ from other historic farm buildings because of their distinctive boxlike shape, low side walls and broad, pitched gabled roofs. Beams are joined on the interior in an H-shaped frame, providing a rigid core that supports the external roofing and walls. Columned aisles are positioned alongside a central space, which was once used for threshing grain. The ends of crossbeams projecting through the columns are often rounded to form tongues, a distinctive feature found only in the Dutch barn.

Visit their website at

Read the full article from the Albany Times Union

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Wilson High School, Easton, PA Girls Basketball Team 1924-25 photo

Wilson High School, Easton, PA Girls Basketball Team 1924-25 photo.

In the photograph: Coach Alberta Cline, Mildred Hall, Adelle Williams, Nelda Kanter, Helen Parks, Violet Cromarty, Helen Morris, Helene Elliott, Frances Willauer, Evelyn Doneker, Evelyn Brown

View the photo

More Pennsylvania Old Photos

More Venango County Villages

Lucinda, Sunville, and Plumer are featured in Venango County village series from

James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States, used to own the land around Lucinda, known at the time as "Vogelbacher's Settlement" after the Black Forest immigrant who tamed the territory in 1820.

Sunville ... holds a unique spot in history for its decision to incorporate as a borough - and then to unincorporate 24 years later. The town maintained a steady population of about 100 during its brief stint of self-government, and the move to rejoin Plum Township in 1903 came with little fanfare or explanation. Borough council folded, and life went on.

Plumer's chief characteristic today, however, is the extent to which it has remained intact. While the population now stands around 200 (down from an 1860s high of 8,000), the village boasts churches and a general store as most similar-sized
communities lack both.
Read the full article from