As we wrap up National Historic Preservation Month, we are highlighting the last of our 2022 Community Initiative Award winners. In this week’s post, we talked with Mark Zerr, Executive Director of the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association (HCVHA), about their successful efforts to protect and interpret Joanna Furnace.
This week’s 2022 Community Initiative Award winner spotlight is on Concord Township’s preservation of the Spring Valley AME Church in Delaware County.
This project in Delaware County caught the eagle eye of one of my colleagues last year from some press reporting and I’m glad it did. She just happened to be the SHPO’s reviewer for most projects that were undertaken with funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), particularly using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money.
Using CDBG funds for historic preservation – like Concord Township did – is a great way for communities to invest in the older and historic places that matter to them and that tell their full stories.
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.
What better time of year than National Historic Preservation Month to announce the latest round of PA SHPO’s Community Initiative Award winners! The four recipients and their projects showcase a range of preservation success stories, demonstrating the value of volunteers, creativity, and community engagement.
We conclude our Preservation Month celebration of the 2021 Community Initiative Award winners in the Diamond City.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
Last month, we asked Pennsylvanians to send us their #PreservationHappensHere Preservation Success Stories using PA-SHARE to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month. We enticed them with prizes! And we received many great submissions, making our campaign its own success story!Continue reading
Last but certainly not least is the Society to Preserve the Millvale Muarls of Maxo Vanka (or SPMMMV for short).Continue reading
Next in line is Mainstreet Waynesboro, Inc., which leads economic development and revitalization activites for Waynesboro, Franklin County’s downtown commercial district.Continue reading