I am happy to announce that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission recently approved 18 new historical markers!
As you’ll see from the list below, over half of the approved subjects are for markers in Philadelphia County. The Marker Program encourages broad distribution, so we’d love to see more individuals and organizations from Pennsylvania’s other 66 counties research their history and develop nominations for people, places, events, and innovations in their own backyard. Continue reading
by Mimi Ijima, Pennsylvania Humanities Council
In 2015, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council launched a partnership with the Orton Family Foundation to help Pennsylvania communities engage in meaningful civic and engagement and community planning using the Foundation’s successful Community Heart & Soul™ planning method. Community Heart & Soul is a tried and tested process that empowers people to shape the future of their communities. The “heart and soul” of this process are the humanities which unearths vital values and concerns and brings people together to create a shared sense of belonging. Key to the process is learning what matters most to the community through gathering stories from and engaging as many residents as possible, including those who don’t typically participate in public processes. Stories are data with soul! With storytelling at the heart of planning and development, local values and voices become the foundation for building communities that are connected, innovative, competitive, and strong. Continue reading
by Elizabeth Shultz
Nestled between the peak heat of July and the crispness of October’s flaming foliage is that special span of outdoor living in Pennsylvania that is the perfect time to hoist your kayaks and canoes onto your shoulders, strap your sturdiest water shoes to your feet, and set out to feast your eyes on some of the architectural and engineering gems that crisscross Pennsylvania’s diverse bodies of water. In the true Commonwealth spirit of discovery, before our rivers turn to frozen slush and our streams start to crunch, let your paddles guide you under some of Pennsylvania’s treasured pieces of transportation history – starting with those listed below! Continue reading
A Place In Time is a regular feature in Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine, published quarterly by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and available for purchase at ShopPaHeritage.com. A subscription to the magazine is a benefit of membership in the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit partner of the PHMC.
Original Little League Field, 1947. Courtesy of Putsee Vannucci.
Like many boys growing up in the 1930s, the nephews of Williamsport resident Carl E. Stotz (1910-92) were baseball fanatics. After playing countless games of “pitch and catch” with the boys, Stotz promised them that he would develop a game of baseball on a size and scale appropriate for younger players. He kept his promise. In the late summer of 1938, he gathered his nephews and other local boys in Williamsport’s Memorial Park, where he began to experiment with field dimensions for a scaled down version of the game. With folded newspapers representing each base, he took note of the running speed and throwing distance capabilities of the young players. He then determined that his game should have base paths 60 feet in length, rather than the standard 90 feet, and a distance of 46 feet from the pitcher’s mound to home plate, instead of the regular 60 feet, 6 inches. While traditional baseball games last at least nine innings, Stotz realized that was too long and planned his youth games to run only six innings. Continue reading
Just Listed is a semi-annual feature of Pennsylvania’s cultural resources that were recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Since our last Just Listed post, 27 resources from all corners of the Commonwealth have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. You can explore these and other historic properties in Pennsylvania via CRGIS, our online map and database. Continue reading
Preservation Pennsylvania recently announced the Pennsylvania At Risk 2014 list — seven properties nominated by the public last year that will become the nonprofit group’s work priorities in 2015. The list illustrates a range of threats to historic resources, including 1) demolition; 2) potential loss due to deferred maintenance; 3) loss of vitality due to closure of a downtown anchor; 4) impacts resulting from inappropriately sited intensive development; and 5) physical and economic challenges faced by municipalities as a result of substantial flood insurance premium increases. Preservation Pennsylvania is ready to engage with people interested in working to protect these significant historic places and work to overcome these threats in the coming year.