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.
Each week in May, to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month, we will highlight one of the 2022 Community Initiative Award winners. In this week’s post, I asked Janice Lynx, Executive Director of the West Short Historical Society, about their successful efforts to save Sheepford Road Bridge.
Sheepford Road Bridge is one of the first bridges to receive funds from PennDOT’s Historic Metal Truss Capital Rehabilitation Program, a new program created to promote the rehabilitation of historic metal truss bridges. I’ll take this opportunity to let our readers know that we also publish a biannual newsletter in partnership with PennDOT dedicated to the preservation and reuse of metal truss bridges. You can sign up here!
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.
Are you an innovative and forward-thinking professional with strong program administration skills? Are you seeking a leadership position that will allow you to advance your career and make a difference?
If this is you, apply to join the PA SHPO team of dedicated preservationists, historians, and archaeologists working with Pennsylvania’s historic communities to achieve positive preservation outcomes.
Don’t wait! Applications due May 18, 2023.
The main character of our story, the Messerall Road Bridge, began its life over Pine Creek near East Titusville in 1876, carrying traffic associated with the local oil and lumber industries. The bridge served as a crossing over Pine Creek nearly 140 years before it was closed to vehicular traffic in 1987.
Are you interested in joining a proactive and dedicated team of preservationists, historians, and archaeologists? The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) is seeking a manager to lead the Preservation Incentives Division and help advance PA SHPO priorities. This position is ideal for a professional with proven leadership and relationship-building skills and who has broad knowledge of historic preservation programs.
This is a PA SHPO leadership position!Continue reading
This is part of a biannual blog series highlighting the agreement documents executed by PA SHPO in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its implementing regulations.
Between July 1 and December 31 of 2022, PA SHPO has been a signatory to approximately nine (9) Section 106 agreement documents with four different federal agencies as part of consultation for the resolution of adverse effects to historic properties.
Below illustrates a selection of the agreement documents executed within the past six months.Continue reading
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