Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Author: Shelby Weaver Splain (Page 1 of 19)

Shelby Weaver Splain is the Education and Special Initiatives Coordinator for the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office. Shelby is a native of Bucks County and holds a Masters degree in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Historic Preservation from Goucher College.

PA SHPO is Hiring a PA-SHARE Triage Specialist!

Are you interested in joining a pro-active and dedicated team of preservationists, historians, and archaeologists? In this Historic Preservation Specialist role, you will specialize in our online data management and cultural resources GIS tool, the Pennsylvania’s State Historic and Archaeological Resource Exchange (PA-SHARE). If you want to preserve our history with the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC), this is the job for you!

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PA SHPO is Hiring a National Register Reviewer!

Are you a highly skilled historic preservationist with National Register knowledge and experience? The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) is seeking a Historic Preservation Specialist to work as a National Register reviewer, focused on assisting the public with determinations of eligibility and National Register nominations. Preserve Pennsylvania’s treasured history with our team!

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Celebrating the Slate Hill Cemetery

This week’s 2023 Community Initiative Award winner spotlight is on the Slate Hill Cemetery in Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County.

Lower Makefield’s Slate Hill Cemetery is an intact Colonial-era graveyard that was established in 1690 as a Quaker burial ground and was later expanded to include the township’s first public cemetery. It contains about 580 burials, including veterans of the U.S. Colored Troops who served in the Civil War. The earliest known burial dates to 1698 and the last known burial was in 1918.

Recently, the Township – which is one of Pennsylvania’s Certified Local Governments (CLG) – began an ambitious project to document, preserve, and promote the history of the cemetery.  I asked some of the folks from the Historical Commission, which is spearheading the effort, to share the story with us.

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Celebrating the Titusville Iron Works

This week’s 2023 Community Initiative Award winner spotlight is on the Titusville Iron Works in Titusville.

The Titusville Iron Works traces its roots to the Titusville Manufacturing Co., the first foundry and machine shop exclusively serving the oil industry, founded in 1860. Local businessmen purchased the company in 1895, renamed it the Titusville Iron Works, diversified its product line, and expanded it with new buildings and acreage.

Over the first few decades of the 20th century, the iron works evolved as owners consolidated other companies and business interests in the facility. In the early 1940s the federal government invested in new machinery and buildings for the iron works to support the war effort. By 1964 the plant was closed and the property and buildings subdivided.

Fast forward to today, and the site of this 19th century foundry is a busy event venue and preservation success story. I asked owner Bob Joyce to share the story with us.

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Celebrating Preservation Month with the 2023 Community Initiative Award Winners

For the past few years, PA SHPO has kicked off National Historic Preservation Month by announcing the newest Community Initiative Award winners. The four 2023 recipients and their projects showcase a variety of preservation success stories, demonstrating the importance of preserving those places at the heart of Pennsylvania’s communities that embody its past and present stories.

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How Women Shaped Preservation in Pennsylvania

Several years ago, my colleagues and I at the PA SHPO compiled a history of preservation achievements in Pennsylvania. This interesting trek through the preservation timeline was published in the Winter 2016 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine and was added as a chapter in the current statewide historic preservation plan, #PreservationHappensHere. This week in honor of Women’s History Month, I’m taking a deeper dive into the role of women in Pennsylvania’s preservation accomplishments.

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PA SHPO is Hiring a National Register Reviewer!

Are you a highly skilled historic preservationist with National Register knowledge and experience? The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) is seeking a Historic Preservation Specialist to work as a National Register reviewer, focused on assisting the public with determinations of eligibility and National Register nominations. Join us in preserving the treasured history of Pennsylvania.

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Results of the Chesapeake Bay Mapping Initiative in Pennsylvania

A few years ago, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), in collaboration with the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership, launched an ambitious project called the Chesapeake Mapping initiative (CMI). The purpose of the project was to identify and map older and historic places that reflect African American history in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

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