This week I’m counting down to the 10 most popular blog post written in 2018!  Its been awhile since we’ve done this kind of “year in review” for you loyal readers, so I thought it might be fun and give you the opportunity to read a post you may have missed.  Don’t want to miss these each week?

I know it can be tough to remember to check your RSS feed or the website each Wednesday for our weekly post.  Here are some easy ways you can always connect with us and our blog:

  1. Follow us through WordPress.  This will send an email to you each week after we’ve posted something new.  You can follow the directions on this website to sign up.  Just don’t forget to check your spam folder!
  2. Sign up for our newsletters.  This is super easy! Just go to and complete the form on the right hand side of your screen to join PA SHPO’s mailing list.  Our monthly newsletter comes out the first Tuesday of every month and contains links and write up to the posts for the previous month. If you’d like to receive targeted mailings about trainings and events in your area, please check the box for “Training and Educational Opportunities” under Interests and your area of geographic interest.
  3. Follow PA SHPO and PHMC through social media.  You’ll see our posts and other interesting information from the PA SHPO and our sister bureaus like Historic Sites & Museums and the PA State Archives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Flickr.  Just search for PA Trails of History!
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The top posts are…

10. “Ketchup” with Pittsburgh’s H.J. Heinz (April 2018)

Did you know that Pittsburg’s H.J. Heinz was one progressive dude!?  By Guest Contributor Susan Landis from JMT.

H.J. Heinz Company, Pittsburgh, PA. Postcard from the PA State Archives.

9. Just Listed! PA’s National Register Listings (June 2018)

Your State Historic Preservation Office has been hard at work since our last Just Listed column appeared on this blog. Since that post , the National Park Service has approved over 30 Pennsylvania listings (!) for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. By PA SHPO’s Elizabeth Rairigh.

8. ReGIS isn’t foolin! Electronic submissions and online data entry are here! (April 2018)

It may be the time of year when we all joke around and partake in fun pranks to celebrate April Fools Day, but we’re not joking when we say that your life is about to get easier.  Why? Electronic submissions and online data entry! By PA SHPO’s Environmental Review and CRGIS staff.

7. Hiking History on Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Trail (July 2018)

Think of Pennsylvania’s section of the famous Appalachian Trail, and generally you think of green mountain vistas, woodsy wilderness, and for anyone who’s hiked it, endless ROCKS.  By Guest Contributor Shawn “Keychain” Rairigh with Gannett Fleming.

Black and white photo of men clearing trail in the woods

Philadelphia Trail Club maintenance crew near Little Gap, PA, on weekend trip clearing scrub and painting blazes, 1935. (PTC Archives.)

6.  The Calamity of Donora, Pennsylvania (August 2018)

As Halloween morning dawned on Donora in 1948, twenty people lay dead while half of the town’s population was sick. Within the next month, fifty more people would die because of the incident and the death rate in the town would remain elevated for decades to come.  By Guest Contributor Katherine Thorwart from JMT.

5. We LOVE Barns! (June 2018)

The PA SHPO’s staff has been thinking a lot about barns.  But then again, who doesn’t?! By PA SHPO’s April Frantz.

Barns of the Susquehanna Valley sign.

Barns of the Susquehanna Valley documentary, available on the Barn Wanders Facebook page.

4. Sharing PA-SHARE (February 2018)

Over its 50 years of operation, the PA State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) has produced and received a large and varied quantity of archival materials.  By PA SHPO staff.

3. 4 places, 635 Years of Pennsylvania’s history (February 2018)

Each year, the statewide nonprofit Preservation Pennsylvania puts out a call for nominations to its Pennsylvania At Risk list, made up of sites determined to be among the commonwealth’s most endangered historic resources. In 2018, four remarkable places that are part of Pennsylvania’s history were added to the list and will become Preservation Pennsylvania’s work priorities for the year.  By Sabra Smith from Preservation Pennsylvania.

2. The “Key” to Preserving Lawrence Park (March 2018)

If this were the game show Jeopardy!, the question would be “What grant, administered by PHMC, was the “key” to celebrating the history and significance of Pennsylvania’s Lawrence Park?  And the answer, of course, is the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant!  By PA SHPO’s Karen Arnold.

Residences at 511-533 Howe Avenue in the Lawrence Park Historic District – Photo by NaylorWellman.

Residences at 511-533 Howe Avenue in the Lawrence Park Historic District – Photo by NaylorWellman.

1. The Cornplanter Grant: The Last Native American Settlement in Pennsylvania (November 2018)

Deep in the forests of northwestern Pennsylvania lies a little-known, but incredibly important part of our Country’s early history and our Native American past.  Although now mostly covered by the waters of the Allegheny Reservoir (a body of water created when the Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Allegheny River with the Kinzua Dam in 1965), this land, the Cornplanter Grant, has a very important story to tell. By Guest Contributor Keith Heinrich from Skelly and Loy.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

I’ll end this last post of 2018 as I do every year – with a heartfelt thank you to our readers, colleagues, and friends for all you do every day and every year to celebrate and preserve the historic places, archaeological sites, and unique communities that make Pennsylvania the special place it is.  We here at the PA SHPO couldn’t do our job without your support, enthusiasm, and dedication!