Category Archives: Uncategorized

Schuylkill River

Schuylkill River Heritage Corridor

schuykillriver_posterFrom the headwaters to the confluence with the Delaware, discover the exciting stories of those who helped found a nation and made Philadelphia the leading industrial city of the 19th century

The Urban Gateway…

schu_fairmountparkThe story of the Schuylkill River Valley begins with Philadelphia, the great port city of colonial America. The legacy of those early days is still alive at sites likeIndependence National Historical Park, Fort Mifflin, and Historic Bartram’s Garden. In the nation’s largest landscaped park, Fairmount Park, discover Boathouse Row, the Philadelphia Waterworks and the Philadelphia Museum of Art and enjoy walking, bicycling or roller-blading on miles of pathways.

Industry and Revolution…

schu_kilnAt Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, experience village life in a furnace town that was founded in 1771. Discover the stories of other early industries in the mill towns along the Schuylkill – the iron industry in Phoenixville, paper in Germantown, and textiles in Manayunk. Ride on the Schuylkill River Trail Bikeway between Philadelphia and Valley Forge National Historical Park, site of the 1777-78 winter encampment.

The “Breadbasket” of the American Colonies…

PittsburghThe fertile soil along the Schuylkill led immigrants upriver, where today you can discover a rich blend of the distinctive cultures whose farms fed the region and those far beyond. Visit Daniel Boone Homestead,Pottsgrove Manor and historic Reading. Wander the back roads to experience today’s agricultural villages, and don’t miss the Berks County Heritage Center, which offers an extraordinary glimpse into the agricultural heritage of the region.

A Ceaseless Demand For Coal…

The discovery of coal dramatically changed the physical and cultural landscape of the Schuylkill headwaters. To experience the richness of the coal region, visit Pottsville, Tamaqua, and communities along the Mahanoy Valley & Route 54 Corridor. Explore a real coal mine at Ashland Pioneer Tunnel, and visit the Museum of Anthracite Mining at Ashland. And look for the visible features of the Schuylkill Navigation Company canal system along the river in Schuylkill Haven, Port Clinton, Leesport, Mont Clare, and Manayunk.

 

River of Steel

The Steelmaking Capital of the World…

Discover the legacy of Big Steel as you explore the Pittsburgh area and the river valleys of southwestern Pennsylvania and the heritage of America’s Second Industrial Revolution. On guided riverboats and bus tours through the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation you’ll visit the great mill towns that gave this region the title “Steel Making Capital of the World.”

The Company Towns…

Pittsburgh/Point skyline with incline trolleyIn Homestead, Aliquippa, and the other “company towns,” you’ll learn how steel and mine workers struggled for safe conditions, decent wages, and the right to organize. Tour a working coal mine in Tarentum or view theEdgar Thompson Works in Braddock, a modern steel facility originally founded by Andrew Carnegie 125 years ago. Visit a preserved machine shop and foundry in Rice’s Landing along the Monongehala River and on to West Overton, to visit the birthplace of “Coke King” Henry Clay Frick.

Rich Cultural Experiences…

rsteel_museumIf it’s cultural experiences you’re looking for, Pittsburgh has its share of attractions including the John Heinz Regional History Center, Andy Warhol Museum,Carnegie Museums, and the National Aviary to name a few. A ride on the incline to the top of Mt. Washington to get a panoramic view of the city and the three rivers is a must.

Great Activities…

White Haven, Carbon CountyBe sure not miss the grand openings of two majestic new stadiums in Pittsburgh — PNC Park for the Pirates and also a new stadium for the storied Pittsburgh Steelers. VisitKennywood Park, and take a ride on the newest coaster, Phantom’s Revenge. Or, maybe shed a few pounds hiking or biking the Youghiogheny River Trail — voted one of America’s top trails — and stop by Ohiopyle State Park to see the “falls.”

Oil Heritage

The Birthplace of the Oil Industry…

oilheritage_posterTake a guess where the first oil well was drilled — no, not Texas — it was right here in a picturesque valley in Venango County, P.A.! The discovery shaped the nation and changed the world. Visit the birthplace of the worldwide oil industry at the Drake Well Museumoutside Titusville, with its full-size replica of Edwin Drake’s first successful oil well, drilled in 1859.

With Oil Came the Boomtowns…

oil_museumIn places like Pithole City and Petroleum Centre, get a closer look at valleys where vanished oil boomtowns that seemingly sprung up overnight, sparkled briefly and then faded into folklore.

History Well Preserved…

Potter County lumber museumThere are a number of great sites to visit throughout this region where history is kept alive — the Venango Museum of Art, Science and Industry in Oil City, the Venango County Historical Society in Franklin, DeBence Antique Music Museum with its mechanical musical devices, and the Old Emlenton Mill just to name a few.

Trails, Water and Views Galore…

Hi-Res scanToday, bass anglers and fly fishermen wet their lines in the scenic Allegheny River and Oil Creek, where oil coated waterways and derricks dotted the hillsides more than a century ago. In all the Oil Heritage Region has over 70 miles of hiking trails and 35 miles of paved bike trails. Look for trailheads near Franklin and Petroleum Centre. Canoeists, kayakers and jetboaters romp in the river, and they even have an Oil Region River Romp festival every September.

Walking tours in Emlenton, Franklin, Oil City and Titusville let you take a leisurely look at historic sites and great Victorian buildings; self-guided brochures are augmented with signage along the way.

National Road

The Nation’s First Interstate Highway…

Lumber_noembedAs the United States entered the 19th Century, the colonial frontier west of the Appalachian Mountains was becoming increasing independent from the Eastern seaboard. A road was needed to unite the nation. Commissioned by the U. S. Congress in 1811, the National Road was the nation’s first interstate highway and remains the only one ever constructed. The National Road State Heritage Park is a corridor celebrating and commemorating the history and heritage of the 90-mile stretch of US Route 40 which traverses the southwest corner of Pennsylvania.

A Journey Through History…

nraod_minerlampThe Petersburg and Searights toll houses, and the stone “S” bridge provide a glimpse back to those earlier days. So does Fort Necessity, which takes you back further to the French and Indian Wars and a young army colonel named George Washington. Right up the Road from the fort is Washington Tavern. Speaking of taverns, there are 48 standing structures that were once used as taverns or inns dating back to the National Road era, 1818 to 1853 and some are still being operated as bed and breakfasts and restaurants today!

Sights You Can’t Miss…

nroad_ftnecIf you like the small town charm of yesteryear, visit the historical districts of Uniontown and Brownsville, Addison and Claysville. While you’re in Brownsville, visit the Flat Iron Building to learn more about the National Road and the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area and don’t miss Nemacolin Castle overlooking the Monongehala River. Be sure to stop at Scenery Hill for those antiques you’ve been looking for and don’t miss the annual National Road Festival held in the month of May for over 25 years — the wagon train is a sight to see. Just take your time and enjoy the Road!

Celebrating the National Road

nroad_quiltEvery May for over 25 years has seen the amazing National Road Festival highlighted by the Wagon Train, a reenactment of National Road transportation history. Some of the other highlights include a period fashion show, watermelon seed-spitting contest and a Native American Festival at the State Theater. But, above all, just take your time and enjoy the Road!

Lumber Heritage

Penn’s Forest

Lumber_noembedIn 1682 when William Penn arrived to develop his colony, thick forest blanketed roughly 90% of Pennsylvania’s lands. The lands to the east, nearest to the first settlements, were quickly worked into farmland, but the northwestern area of Pennsylvania offered seemingly endless miles of lumber. Today, many historic small towns, such as Brookville, Ebensburg, Ridgway, Warren and Williamsport, dot the 15-county Lumber Heritage Region. Many of these unique communities began as large sawmills-vital centers of the logging industry. Visitors can tour the homes of former lumber barons, such as thePeter Herdic House. The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Galeton gives an intimate view of this heritage region.

Wagons and Waterways

lumb_canyonWoodsworkers, or woodhicks, used horses and oxen to tow timber-laden wagons along narrow trails. They carved logging trails to important rivers that carried timber to markets in Pittsburgh and beyond. Throughout centuries of change and harvesting, the region is still densely forested and teeming with wildlife. The elk population, once sparse, is abundant again. The ever-present woodlands are a magnet for outdoors enthusiast seeking to hike, bike, climb, kayak, camp and hunt. Allegheny National Forest, Heart’s Content National Scenic Area, Cook Forest State Park are popular destinations for rugged adventure.

Breathtaking Views

lumb_cooksToday, the heritage region can be broken down into five eras of lumber history, from the pioneers of this powerful industry to the present day efforts to sustain this bountiful habitat. Navigating the region is easier than ever and its roads and highways offer many breathtaking views. Three national arteries, I-80, I-99 and US 322, intersect at State College, also known as Happy Valley by tens of thousands of students who call Pennsylvania State University their home. Scenic Route 6 stretches across Pennsylvania’s northern tier, a favorite driving tour that includes thePennsylvania Grand Canyon where massive pine-covered mountains create expansive green vistas.

Lincoln Highway

Get Your Motor Running…

lincolnhighway_posterThe Lincoln Highway, U.S. Route 30 sparked a country’s imagination as the nation’s first coast-to-coast highway, running from New York to San Francisco and igniting a wave of automobile tourism in the early 20th century. In Pennsylvania, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor extends just east of Pittsburgh to beyond Gettysburg.

…Head out on the Highway

lhway_ribbonroadThe mountainous topography that you will encounter along the route will have you catching your breath, and stopping to take a look. The countryside will reveal a variety of quaint Pennsylvania towns — Ligonier, Schellsburg, Bedford, and McConnellsburg to name a few — where antiquing and unique shopping experiences take on an added dimension.

Looking for Adventure…

lhway_buggyAlong the way you’ll pass five of Pennsylvania’s impressive state parks.Laurel Mountain,Shawnee, Cowan’s Gap, and Caledonia State Parks are all found along U.S. 30’s historic and scenic route. If you like camping, hiking, fishing, biking, wildlife watching or just about any other outdoor adventure you’re bound to find it in one of these excellent state parks.

…And Whatever Comes our Way

lhway_fallwaterYour eyes won’t be playing tricks on you as you approach the S.S. Grandview Ship Hotel marooned atop the Allegheny Ridge or a two-story coffee pot in Bedford. Continue to the Old Jail in Chambersburg, where basement dungeons were used as a stop for the Underground Railroad. For Civil War(this link will open a new window) buffs, the road leads to Gettysburg and points beyond.

Lancaster – York

Food Market to the World

The two counties that form the Lancaster-York Heritage Region boast rich soil, quiet environs and quick access to major highways and cities. Nestled between mountains to the north and west and the Atlantic plain to the east and south, the area has attracted people of ambition and perseverance. Hard-working industrialists, craftspeople and farmers have taken the seeds of ideas to the region where they have blossomed into thriving industries and bountiful farmland. This success has earned the region the reputation as the original food market to the world.

Fertile Land, Faithful People

The Amish and the Mennonites–two major plain sects originating from Germany–chose Lancaster County as the place to nurture their pious traditions of modest dress, lack of electricity and non-motorized vehicles. Out-of-towners often watch with amazement as black horse-drawn carriages clip-clop along the road with cars and trucks. Their lifestyle, referred to commonly as Pennsylvania Dutch, resonates throughout the region, from home-cooked country food to intricate quilts to superior quality handmade furniture. Learn more about the German-American heritage at the Ephrata Cloisters,Hans Herr House and the Landis Valley Museum. When you begin to yearn for the 21st century, learn about the region’s strong arts and crafts reputation at theNational Clock and Watch Museum, Donnecker’s and the York Fairgrounds.

Do What You Can

Across the Susquehanna River lies York County, Factory Tour Capital of the World. During World War II when every person and machine was asked to work at all hours, York’s motto was “Do what you can with what you have.” With its deep history that stretches to the nation’s earliest days of independence, the town of York provides the best vantage point to view how community and industry can unite for strength and advancement. Tour the present day factory giants such as the Harley-Davidson Final Assembly Plant and Museum and the Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Pottery Factory. Learn how York played a part in the development of our nation at the York Agricultural and Industrial Museum, the York Colonial Courthouse and by touring Downtown’s 25 historical, not to mention beautiful, outdoor murals.

Lackawanna Valley

Pennsylvania’s First Heritage Park…

lackawanna_posterThe Lackawanna Valley was once a hot bed of the nation’s anthracite mining industry helping to supply 80 percent of the hard coal needed to fuel the growth of American industry. The Lackawanna Heritage Valley, Pennsylvania’s first Heritage Park, and recently designated as a Federal Heritage Area, tells the story behind the difficult lives of mineworkers and their families. Fourteen levels of mine tunnels, thousands of miles of railroad tracks, hundreds of industrial sites, distinctive architecture and countless ethnic communities, organizations and institutions testify to the importance of the story of anthracite for the area and the country.

Go Underground and Into History…

Lackawanna Mine Tour Lackawanna countyAt the Lackawanna Coal Mine, explore 300-ft. beneath the earth in an actual mine. See how men slaved on hands and knees to harvest black diamonds. Learn from a real miner about life and hard coal times in the city that was once the anthracite capital of the world and one of the most prosperous on the East Coast. At the Anthracite Heritage Museum, you can take a closer look at the lives of the people who settled the area, mined the coal and transformed the region into the coal producing giant it came to be.

A Variety of Experiences…

Scranton, Lackawanna County

Experience a place with an array of sites and attractions for the entire family from the Historic Scranton Iron Furnaces to the Houdini Tour and Show. Discover the wonder of railroading at Steamtown National Historic Site and Lackawanna County’s new Electric City Trolley Station and Museum or head to the Everhart Museum, a regional center featuring natural history, science and art exhibits.

Outdoor Excitement…

lack_minetourIf it’s outdoor fun you’re looking for you can find it at the Olympic size swimming pool, fishing ponds, tennis courts and playgrounds at the 200-acre McDade Park. Enjoy water slides, batting cages, and Alpine skiing at Montage Mountain. Don’t forget the Valley’s two state parks, complete with campgrounds, fishing, swimming pools, and picnic facilities.

Endless Mountains

endlessmts_posterThe Endless Mountains Heritage Region is a complex and dynamic cultural landscape that fuses past and present, natural and human forces. Vegetation, building types, transportation routes, archeological resources, and scenic vistas are all important pieces that together make up the region’s historic landscape.

Cultivating Agriculture…

end_farmThe unmatched rural landscapes of this region would bear witness to the evolution of farming. As population levels grew in the early 19th century, for example and communities grew, the region witnessed the development of the rich agricultural landscape and network of small towns that remain largely intact today. Just some of the places you’ll want to visit that capture this incredible era are the Bradford County Farm Museum, Gardiner’s Farm, the Earl A. Browning Farm B & B and the annual Troy Fair.

Rich in Resources…

The logging, tanning and mining industries flourished in the Endless Mountains in the latter half of the 19th Century as communities and infrastructure grew. Stewardship of the land was given little thought and by the turn of the century portions of the region experienced ecological devastation. In the early 20th Century, the industries began to decline and the Civilian Conservation Corps was brought in to replant the region’s mountains — areas today that are prized recreational areas — these include Rickett’s Glen andWorld’s End State Parks.

Building Community…

end_amishCultural traditions are significant in the Endless Mountains. Ethnic groups have long enriched and added depth to the character of the region. Eighteenth-century French settlers at Azilum, nineteenth-century Irish and Welsh canal workers and miners, and the Italians and Eastern Europeans who succeeded them in the twentieth century have left their distinctive marks all over the region’s names, foods, architecture and events. You can see this influence at the Tioga Point Museum, the Old Mill Village Museum, the Bradford County Historical Society, the Baldwin House and at many, many other places throughout the region.

Over Hill Over Dale…

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Endless Mountains experience an era of industrial expansion, fueled by regional transportation improvements. Today, these remarkable achievements of their time can still be seen including the Nicholson Bridge, also known as the Historic Tunkhannock Viaduct, the Knapps and Forksville covered bridges and the Susquehanna and NY RR Freight Station.

Delaware & Lehigh

   delawarelehigh_posterDelaware and Lehigh National and State Heritage Corridor

Stretching 150 miles, the Delaware and Lehigh Navigation Canal Heritage Corridor (NHC) follows the historic routes and overland railroads of the Delaware Canal and the Lehigh Navigation System, from Bristol to Wilkes-Barre, in eastern Pennsylvania.

The Link to the Susquehanna…

canal_thorpeTo connect the Lehigh Navigation System to the Susquehanna River and the surrounding Wyoming Valley coal fields, the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad had to be carried over a mountain on inclined planes. Remnants of the planes can still be seen between Solomon Gap and Ashley. At the farthest reach of the historic system is the city of Wilkes-Barre where the River Common is a reminder of the Yankee settlers who planned the town and the River Street Historic District contains more than 200 historic buildings.

Carbon County and the Poconos…

canal_thorpe2This mountainous region is widely known for the high quality of its outdoor recreation resources including river trips, camping, hiking, fishing and skiing. The power of the last ice age can be seen here in the Pocono Plateau at Boulder Field, a National Natural Landmark in Hickory Run State Park — the spectacularLehigh Gorge also cuts through the plateau. Witness life in a mining town at Eckley Miners’ Village or visit Jim Thorpe, a remarkably restored 19th century town.

The Lehigh Valley…
Productive soils, vast mineral deposits and the Lehigh Canal created this region’s landscape of farms, intriguing remnants of historic industries and vibrant historic towns. Allentown holds a number of reminders of the region’s past, including a remarkable park system and exhibits at the Lehigh County Historical Society. Bethlehem is the oldest of the valley’s three cities and strongly displays its origin as the communal settlement of Moravianmissionaries. Easton was founded by William Penn’s son, Thomas and is home to the Canal Museum and Hugh Moore Park, two excellent interpretive centers of the canal era.

Bucks County…

Along the upper reaches of the canal_museumDelaware Canal, the river road connects a string of historic villages between Easton and New Hope. The entire length of the canal and its towpath are within Delaware Canal State Park, with many access points for hiking, mountain biking or cross-country skiing along the towpath. In the county seat of Doylestown, Henry Mercer assembled the nation’s most comprehensive collection of early American tools, housed in the Mercer Museum. Taylorville is the location of Washington Crossing Historic Park, where George Washington and 2400 troops crossed the ice-choked Delaware. Bristol is the historic southern terminus of the canal where it flows past a restored riverfront that includes the Senator Joseph Grundy Museum.