Shippensburg Corn Festival, 2006. Photo by Peter Linehan, Flickr Commons, Creative Commons, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode.
On the last Saturday in August for the last three and a half decades, tens of thousands of visitors have descended on downtown Shippensburg to enjoy the crafts, music, entertainment, and food of the Shippensburg Corn Festival. Despite the continued success of the event, many people know little about its origins as a fundraiser created to protect and preserve the community’s historic buildings. Continue Reading →
Conference goers gathered on the Plaza for this great photo. Image courtesy of Preservation Pennsylvania.
We all know that summer is a great time to kick back and relax, and it’s even better when you can do so while hanging out at the State Museum of Pennsylvania with your friends and learning some interesting stuff at the 2015 Statewide Conference on Heritage. There was so much going on, and so much to see and do, that I thought perhaps our readers would like a recap of the conference highlights. Continue Reading →
Pennsylvania may be the home to Yuengling, known as “America’s oldest brewery,” however the Commonwealth has yet to officially declare a craft beer month. However the ‘Official Tourism Website of the State of Pennsylvania’ dedicated a page to Pennsylvania Craft Brews, where Pennsylvania’s beer culture is significantly truncated…
The German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s and 1800s brought many of their old-world traditions with them, including the love of great beer.
This particular blog post isn’t going to detail Pennsylvania’s brewing history (but maybe we’ll mull over the idea of a beer blog for a future post). And we’re a little late to honor American Craft Beer Week (which was mid-May this year). Regardless of any future beer narrations, resolutions or festivals, Pennsylvania indisputably has a rich brewing history and those buildings where brewing happened have been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Continue Reading →
(Above: Apprentices learning the basics of mortar removal and pointing from James Houston, the Preservation Field Services Supervisor at the apprentice training workshop at Daniel Boone Homestead (PHMC staff)
Just as rust (and rot) never sleeps, historic buildings rarely let those who are responsible for their preservation rest. The ultimate goal of preservation is to maintain a structure in such a way that only sacrificial elements (i.e. exterior paint, roofing, and mortar) ever get replaced. The ongoing task of performing this level of maintenance, and the additional work often necessary when it isn’t routinely done, requires special skills that are becoming harder to find in the general construction industry. In an effort to bolster the pool of preservation trades practitioners the PHMC started the Preservation Trades Apprenticeship Program in 2006. The program is a partnership between the PHMC, non-profit organizations that perform preservation trades, and private contractors from across the Commonwealth. Continue Reading →
Q: What do the National Register of Historic Places, Section 106 consultation, Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits, Certified Local Government grants, Tribal preservation activities, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities have in common?
Since the opening date of the application period on December 1, 2014, I have received many calls and inquiries about the status of Year 2 of Pennsylvania’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. By the closure of the application period on February 1, 2015, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) received 30 applications for the second round.
Over a long review period which lasted until mid-April, PHMC reviewed the applications to ensure applicants owned qualified historic buildings and that proposed rehabilitation plans met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. As the qualified applications far exceed the limited $3 million in available credits, DCED used a fair and balanced selection process based on a first -come, first serve basis with regional distribution to select the first round of projects. Continue Reading →
Official Year of the Pennsylvania Barn logo designed by Bob McIlhenny, 2014, using barn woodcut by Annie Rubel, 2013
Ten years ago, Historic Gettysburg Adams County (HGAC) received a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) to help establish a barn preservation program within Adams County. One of our first steps was to begin a survey of the historic barns in the county so that we would know more about the resources we were trying to save. Teams of HGAC volunteers photographed, measured and made observations about the style and construction techniques used on each barn. One of the first things that we learned was that 80 percent of the barns in Adams County are of an architectural type known as the Pennsylvania Barn. This type of barn has two distinctive characteristics; entrance to the second floor by means of a bridge or a built-up ramp, and an overhang or cantilevered forebay on the front of the barn. Within Pennsylvania, these bank barns evolved in the 18th and 19th centuries to their ultimate form, which was influenced by traditional designs brought to America by immigrants coming from Switzerland through Germany.Continue Reading →
National History Day in Pennsylvania judges hard at work at the 2015 competition.
Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to serve as judge at the National History Day in Pennsylvania competition at Millersville University. The National History Day Program started in 1974, and is an excellent educational opportunity for students in grades 6-12 to learn about the research, analysis, and presentation of history. Students compete at regional, state, and national levels. The National History Day in Pennsylvania program is coordinated by Jeff Hawks, the Education Director for the Army Heritage Center Foundation in Carlisle. There are two divisions – junior and senior – and the categories include: individual paper, individual and group documentary, individual and group exhibit, individual and group performance, and website (individual and group judged together). Utilization of primary sources is emphasized in all categories. Continue Reading →
In Spring 2005 we launched the public version of the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS) website. The database search was named AskReGIS and this little guy was born (thank you Kathy Alsvary!). Since then hundreds of people have consulted him every day to find out what he knows about historic places in Pennsylvania. He has had a few face lifts over the years, and will continue to have work done, as he struggles to keep up with the times, but he remains on duty, helping us share the information we collect about our past. He is a little shy these days. Have you seen him peeking through his window? Continue Reading →