Each year, the PA SHPO awards grants to the Commonwealth’s Certified Local Governments (CLG) for the purpose of advancing local historic preservation activities.
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.
Readers in the Lehigh Valley saw some interesting news stories throughout the month of January as the one of the boilers from the Ueberroth Zinc Mine Historic District (1995RE50357) was removed from the former American Atelier furniture factory on Front Street in Allentown.Continue reading
My SHPO colleagues and I, just like the rest of the world, are continuing to emerge from our COVID cocoons. We’ve been getting out and about more each month but still find ourselves wanting to be physically connecting with places in every way we can.Continue reading
Last fall the State Museum of Pennsylvania hosted their annual workshop in archaeology entitled Hidden Stories: Uncovering African American History through Archaeology and Community Engagement. The theme was born out of the acknowledgement that African Americans are vastly underrepresented in the historic record and the representations that are present are typically unfairly biased.Continue reading
Good morning fellow Pennsylvanians, regular visitors, and honored guests! In your travels throughout our beautiful Commonwealth, have you stumbled across a building so magnificent you had no alternative but to document it thoroughly? Did your engine die while driving past a spooky and ominously quiet old cemetery and the only way to pass the time waiting for a tow truck was to photograph the unsettling landscape? Have you been searching for someone to share your discoveries with? Then let me introduce you to the Inventory Form!Continue reading
We conclude our Preservation Month celebration of the 2021 Community Initiative Award winners in the Diamond City.Continue reading