As one door closes, a new door opens and a new journey in life begins. This feeling of sad excitement doesn’t even begin to encompass how I have come to view my experiences and learning opportunities this past summer.
This past summer I participated in the Keystone Summer Internship Program with the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office as the Historical Marker Program intern. I learned more about historic preservation and broadened my perspective on the diverse, rich, and complex history of Pennsylvania. I loved the various opportunities that the internship provided, such as in-office research and writing as well as field outings to see the real-world impact of preservation work.
As I look back at my time here at the PA SHPO, I realized how much new knowledge and experience I have gained. Prior to this internship, I had very little experience in the world of preservation, especially when it came to the bureaucratic level. This internship allowed me to jump into the world of archaeology here at the PA State Historic Preservation Office.
Many Pennsylvania Historic Preservation blog readers are familiar with the results of Year 1 and Year 2 of the Pennsylvania Baseline Survey but did you know that the Pennsylvania Baseline Survey is doing archaeology too? We have adapted to recording not just historic buildings, but also documenting the locations where important buildings once stood.
The main character of our story, the Messerall Road Bridge, began its life over Pine Creek near East Titusville in 1876, carrying traffic associated with the local oil and lumber industries. The bridge served as a crossing over Pine Creek nearly 140 years before it was closed to vehicular traffic in 1987.
In an effort to preserve one of Pennsylvania’s historic homes, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is marketing for sale, removal, and preservation a two-and-a-half-story, 3 bedroom, one bath, Shingle-Style house with many beautiful original features including wooden floors, trim work, railings, plastered walls, windows, doors, fixtures, and wood shingle detailing on the exterior.
The Pennsylvania Baseline Survey Team is excited to share another year of findings! Between January 2022 to October 2022, our five Year 2 Baseline Survey teams surveyed in 18 counties and recorded 6,663 new resources in 396 municipalities. Quite an impressive number!Continue reading
If you have been following the PA SHPO Blog, then you have probably read about the Metal Truss Bridge Management Plan (Management Plan) and the ongoing effort by PennDOT and the PA SHPO to preserve historic metal truss bridges whenever feasible. Recently, as of 2021, a new federally funded program has been created to support the rehabilitation of these bridges.Continue reading
October is Archaeology Month! Today’s post by Guest Contributor PennDOT archaeologist Steve McDougal covers using a non-traditional method for field tests: the Paleo-Digger.
Every archaeological survey poses different conditions and challenges. For PennDOT’s SR 22/322 safety improvement project in Northern Dauphin County, one of the big challenges is the depth of soils involved. Past excavation in the 1990s for this area showed us that the soil column with archaeological potential could extend 3.5 to 4.5 meters (11.5 to 14.75 feet) in depth below current ground surface.Continue reading
September is International Underground Railroad Month. September was chosen because it is the month that two of the most well-known people associated with the Underground Railroad – Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass – escaped from slavery. Today’s post was written by guest author Dr. Leroy Hopkins and he provides a glimpse into the Underground Railroad in Columbia, Pennsylvania.Continue reading