Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Category: Statewide Historic Preservation Plan (Page 1 of 5)

Celebrating Hay Creek Valley Historical Association

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.  

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Celebrating Concord Township and the Spring Valley AME Church

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.

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Celebrating the Blairsville Area Underground Railroad

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.

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Make this Preservation Month a Success by Sharing Your Story!

National Historic Preservation Month was started in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to draw attention to older and historic places across the country and to highlight the benefits of historic preservation in the nation’s communities.

This year, we’re celebrating National Historic Preservation Month by asking our readers to share with us a Preservation Success Stories in their communities. And you might just win something!

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