Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Category: Lebanon (Page 1 of 2)

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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Just Listed! July through December 2023

Included in this Just Listed! update are properties representing over three centuries of Pennsylvania history.

Properties range from Muhammad Ali’s mountain boxing retreat to a masterpiece of modern architecture to a historic district rich in the building traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Read below to learn more about the Commonwealth’s newest additions to the National Register of Historic Places.

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The National Cemetery at Indiantown Gap

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs website, nearly 4.9 million individuals—including Veterans of every conflict, from the Revolutionary War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—are honored by burial in our national cemeteries.

Each year about 15 percent of all eligible Veterans are interred in a national cemetery, while about 5 percent opt for a State, Territorial or Tribal Veterans Cemetery. The national cemeteries’ memorial landscapes convey critical stories about American history and reflect the evolution of our care and commemoration of our military veterans.

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Ironing Out the Wrinkles: Finding a New Life for the Inwood Iron Bridge

When travelling between Schuylkill and Lebanon County, some may prefer to skip Interstate 81 and take the more scenic route past Swatara State Park.  The park is relatively recent in its formation, created in 1987, and DCNR continues to make infrastructure improvements to provide access to recreational opportunities within the park including biking, hiking, boating, and fishing.

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Offbeat Outing: Mt. Gretna Tour of Homes and Gardens

The leafy streets of Mt. Gretna, Lebanon County.  Photo by BHP staff, 2011.

The leafy streets of Mt. Gretna, Lebanon County. Photo by BHP staff, 2011.

Offbeat Outings is a bi-monthly series that highlights the travels of BHP staff as they experience history first-hand throughout Pennsylvania.


Trying to find something to do outside in Pennsylvania during the month of August is often challenging with our hot and humid days. Luckily, the first Saturday in August is always the Mt. Gretna Tour of Homes & Gardens.

“Mount Gretna” (“Mt. Gretna”) is a rather loosely defined residential area in southern Lebanon County and is about seven miles south of the city of Lebanon, twenty miles north of Lancaster and about thirty-five miles from Harrisburg. I figured you all would enjoy “touring” the countryside using a 1914 State Highway Map instead of that high tech GPS/Bing/Google mapping!   Mt. Gretna’s early communities are “cities in the woods” and due to the careful planning in the 1890s and maintaining of the overhead tree canopy, Mt. Gretna is at least 10 degrees cooler than the rest of Lebanon County during the summer. Continue reading

Pennsylvania Agricultural History Project Wins National Award

By. Dr. Sally McMurry

The term “gray literature” well conveys the level of visibility for much work done at agencies like the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Office.  Historic Structures Reports, National Register nominations, exhibits, and drawings may have limited long-term public exposure even though they are often  based on high-quality research and analysis.  The Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF) has recognized that these efforts often make exemplary contributions to our understanding of the built environment, and the organization honors such work through the Paul E. Buchanan Award.  VAF spokesman Michael Chiarappa has characterized the award as a “testament to VAF’s commitment to civic engagement and the idea that broad participation in the study and understanding of vernacular landscapes provides an indispensible social good.”  We are proud to announce that the Pennsylvania Agricultural History Project is the 2013 winner.   Continue reading

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