PHMC Highlights

Here are a few of the PHMC Highlights that appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of PA Heritage magazine, as well as some extras that didn't fit in this issue.

Civil War Trails experience

A new Civil War Trails experience, making the history of the epic event more accessible to present and future generations, was unveiled in Chambersburg, Franklin County, in April. The initiative features forty "story stops" and twenty-five historic destinations throughout southcentral Pennsylvania. Two principal steering committee members who spoke at the unveiling were PHMC Executive Director Barbara Franco and Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary of tourism for the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The steering committee includes representatives from PHMC, Pennsylvania Heritage Society, Senator John Heinz History Center, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The committee consults with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, tourism agencies, historical societies, Civil War sites, parks, colleges, and other experts. To learn more, visit the Civil War Trails Web site at

Pennsylvania Annual Energy Expo

The April 30, 2009, Pennsylvania Annual Energy Expo in the Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg, raised public awareness of energy conservation and environmental sustainability. Hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) Energy Management Office and the DGS Bureau of Procurement, one of the nearly sixty information booths included PHMC's Division of Architecture and Preservation (DAP). Division Chief Barry A. Loveland and Preservation Construction Specialist Joseph E. Lauver fielded public inquiries. Supporting their effort was Project Manager and Architectural Designer Kent W. Steinbrunner (above), another key DAP employee whose professionalism is vital to PHMC's mission of protecting and preserving Pennsylvania's architectural and archaeological resources.

Gatling gun at Anthracite Heritage Museum

Military weapons may seem unusual at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum (PAHM) in Scranton, but in 1902 the Pennsylvania National Guard brought powerful .45 caliber Gatling guns to northeastern Pennsylvania to restore order during a labor strike. On loan from PHMC's Pennsylvania Military Museum, a Gatling gun, manufactured by Colt Firearms Company, was conserved before being placed on display in an exhibit entitled "The Great Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902." Photographed cleaning and waxing the weapon were (from left) University of Scranton intern Ryan Dively, PAHM curator John Fielding, and Pennsylvania Conservation Corps collections care crew members Joseph Ames and Darlene Holt.

Spring Garden Workshop at Old Economy Village

In April, Dean Sylvester (above), historical horticulturist at Old Economy Village, Ambridge, Beaver County, demonstrated techniques for growing perennials and propagating plants from cuttings in the historic site's heirloom garden and greenhouse. Sylvester also provided a tour and narrative of Old Economy's ornamental gardens during the historic site's fifteenth annual Spring Garden Workshop, "Preserving Our Botanical Heritage." Workshop participants included Barbara Ridge (left) and Kim San Gregario (center).

PHMC Old Economy Village/Photo by Roberta Sunstein

State Bookstore Lecture Series

A recently launched lecture series, taped for statewide television broadcast by the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN), continues in association with PHMC and the Division of Publications and Sales. In March, PCN taped and broadcast statewide the second lecture of the series held at the Pennsylvania State Bookstore, in the Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg, adjacent to The State Museum of Pennsylvania. Archivist Linda A. Ries, head of the PHMC's archival programs section, spoke to the capacity audience and before the television cameras on "William Penn and His Charter." Douglas A. Miller (above), site administrator of Pennsbury Manor, offered an analysis of Pennsylvania's founder. A third PCN broadcast lecture and book signing in April featured Michael Barton, author of Harrisburg's Old Eighth Ward.

PHMC The State Museum Of Pennsylvania/Photo by Don Giles

Charter Day 2009

On Charter Day 2009, PHMC's statewide celebration of William Penn's receipt of Pennsylvania's proprietary charter, Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster welcomed more than 2,000 visitors who enjoyed wagon rides (above) and demonstrations of crafts and traditional skills demonstrations, such as woodworking and blacksmithing. The museum has also combined regional history with authentic Pennsylvania German recipes in publishing the second edition of The Landis Valley Cookbook: Pennsylvania German Foods & Traditions (Stackpole Books, 2009). The book, available through the Pennsylvania State Bookstore, includes delicious historic dishes, appetizingly illustrated, stories and vintage photographs of the site's founding Landis families, and contemporary photographs by museum custodial guide and staff photographer, Craig A. Benner.

PHMC Landis Valley Museum/Photo by Craig A. Benner

28th Infantry Division Memorial Service and Reunion at PA Military Museum

The National, State, and Division Color Guards stand at attention during the annual memorial service for the Pennsylvania National Guard at their Divisional Shrine adjacent to the Pennsylvania Militray Museum in Boalsburg, Centre County in May 2009.

A Black Hawk medivac helicopter and an Apache Attack helicopter shut down their engines on the parade grounds of the 28th Infantry Division National Shrine in preparation for the annual memorial service honoring the Pennsylvania National Guard at their divisional shrine located adjacent to the Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg, Centre County this past May.

Dignitaries and invited guests render salutes as the National Colors are paraded in front the review stand during the 28th Infantry Division Memorial Service and Reunion at their National Shrine adjacent to the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, Centre County this past May.

Regimental guideons march over the arched bridge of the 28th Infantry Division National Shrine at the conclusion of the memorial service honoring the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Regimental guideons march past the award winning fa├žade of the Pennsylvania Military Museum, during the annual memorial service for the Pennsylvania National Guard at the 28th Infantry Division National Shrine in Boalsburg, Centre County.

Pennsylvania Military Museum/Photos by Joe Horvath