Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office


How Women Shaped Preservation in Pennsylvania

Several years ago, my colleagues and I at the PA SHPO compiled a history of preservation achievements in Pennsylvania. This interesting trek through the preservation timeline was published in the Winter 2016 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine and was added as a chapter in the current statewide historic preservation plan, #PreservationHappensHere. This week in honor of Women’s History Month, I’m taking a deeper dive into the role of women in Pennsylvania’s preservation accomplishments.

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The Underground Railroad in Columbia, Lancaster County

September is International Underground Railroad Month. September was chosen because it is the month that two of the most well-known people associated with the Underground Railroad –  Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass – escaped from slavery.  Today’s post was written by guest author Dr. Leroy Hopkins and he provides a glimpse into the Underground Railroad in Columbia, Pennsylvania.

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The Keystone Fund Partners in Preserving James Buchanan’s Wheatland

The home of James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States, BHP Key No. 001061

Wheatland, the home of James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States, BHP Key No. 001061

I realize that when it is cold outside, it might be more comfortable to hibernate on the couch watching television, but this is a great time of year to visit the Commonwealth’s museums and historical sites.  Always in need a last-minute hostess gift for a party, I often pop into the Landis Valley Museum Shop for a unique gift or just take respite in exploring the material cultural of our great Commonwealth.  One of my favorite historic houses to visit this time year is President James Buchanan’s Wheatland in Lancaster.  Constructed in 1828 for William Jenkins, the president of Farmer’s Bank of Lancaster, the Federal-style brick house and surrounding 24 acres were purchased by retiring U.S. Secretary of State, James Buchanan, in 1848.  Wheatland remained Buchanan’s home during his presidency until his death on June 1, 1868.  The Mansion was sold in 1935 to the James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland to develop a Presidential House Museum.  Continue reading

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