Any Pennsylvanian at heart has a list of places in the Keystone State that captures the essence of who we are.
This week’s 2022 Community Initiative Award winner spotlight is on the Blairsville Underground Railroad organization in Blairsville, Indiana County.
Blairsville was laid out in the early 19th century along the Conemaugh River at the southern end of Indiana County, about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh along the planned route of the Huntingdon, Cambria, and Indiana Turnpike. Blairsville’s history and growth is closely tied to its transportation corridors – the river, the stagecoach in 1818, the canal in 1829, and the rail in 1851 – and natural deposits of salt, coal, and iron, which together supported a thriving and flourishing community.
What many may not know about Blairsville is its African American history, particularly related to abolition and the Underground Railroad (UGRR). The borough had one of the larger Black communities in Indiana County and the county’s first African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church was organized there in 1844. Indiana County was an important and active Underground Railroad stop in Pennsylvania as freedom seekers escaped from their enslavers in search of freedom.
I asked Denise Doyle from the Blairsville Underground Railroad organization to share their story with us.
For many, the holidays are filled with stories and traditions of the past. Just hearing the song Jingle Bells makes me wonder what it would feel like to go dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh. Or better yet, to ride a sleigh over a historic metal truss bridge. Oh, what fun that would be!Continue reading
Today’s post in one of our Spotlight Series, which showcases places, projects, and people engaged in different kinds of historic preservation activities in Pennsylvania.
How many times have you walked past a building in your neighborhood and thought, “Gee, I wonder what that looks like inside?”Continue reading
Pennsylvania is rife in human history – if you’re in Pennsylvania, consider yourself surrounded with nearly 20,000 years of it! So, it should come as no great surprise that its 121-state park and over 2 million-acre forest system, administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, are steeped in both natural and human history.Continue reading
There are few places that can embody the breadth of Pennsylvania’s narrative like Fort Halifax Park in Dauphin County.Continue reading
What better time of year than National Historic Preservation Month to announce the latest round of PA SHPO’s Community Initiative Award winners. This year’s projects and recipients showcase a range of preservation success stories, demonstrating the power of perseverance, collaboration and partnership.Continue reading
As the sun emerges, temperatures rise, and travel restrictions ease, consummate travelers begin to get itchy feet. This spring, the National Road Heritage Corridor invites you to exit the highway and take the time to explore some of Pennsylvania’s nation-shaping history and the historic places along the Historic National Road.Continue reading
This winter, visitors to Bethlehem – the City in Northampton County, Pennsylvania – may see some new changes in the Historic Moravian Bethlehem National Historic Landmark District. Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites just completed the restoration of 88 shutters on the 1741 Gemeinhaus, the oldest building in Bethlehem.Continue reading