Hi y’all, I’m Meghan Rooney and I had the amazing opportunity to intern with PHMC-BHP all summer. I am a senior at Shippensburg University, studying Public Administration with dual minors in History and International Studies. I had a blast working with the BHP staff and on my project, The Irvine Estate/Buckaloons.
The area known has the Buckaloons is in the Allegheny National Forest located out in Warren county in Western Pennsylvania. This land has a rich history spanning from the Seneca Nation to modern day. The time frame I focused on was from 1799 to 1960 when the Irvine’s owned this land. It was quite a captivating story rich with family history and I really enjoyed learning about it.
There was a ton of research that went into what I had to do. All of this research paid off, though, when I finally put everything down onto the Historic Resource Survey Form and went to the Determination of Eligibility committee where it was determined eligible. Sadly, the next step is not one I will be working on, that is for future interns!
This internship wasn’t just all work and no play; there was plenty of field trips to combat the office blues. One of the field trips was going out to the Allegheny National Forest. Once out in the forest the land captivated me and I could really see how this land was perfect for a grand estate. There was not much left of the Estate which is sad but the landscape is what really got my attention (then again, I am a nature girl at heart!).
Overall this internship was one for the books. It was a great experience to see a different side of policy and history (and not as boring as I thought). I may not have a field relating to historic preservation but I now have a new appreciation for it (maps too!).
Editor’s Note: Meghan’s project this year was the first step in a larger project for the Buckaloons. Next year our office hopes to continue down the path to listing this property in the National Register of Historic Places. If this sounds like the kind of project that you would like to work on and are a college student, keep your eyes open for our announcement about the 2015 Keystone Internship Program.
Intern Insights is an article series that provides the interns of BHP with a forum to express their thoughts and ideas on the many aspects of historic preservation.