Piecing Together the Past

Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area and Steamtown National Historic Site (NHS) are developing Piecing Together the Past. The program will take participants on a geo-caching hunt of historic sites in Scranton. Caches containing puzzel pieces will be hidden at each site. Once all 12 pieces are collected, geo-cachers will show their assembled puzzle to officials at Steamtown NHS to redeem their prize. The program is a self-guided tour providing an opportunity for residents and visitors to embark on an historic geo-caching adventure at their own pace!

For more information on the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area click here.

PA Route 6 Seeking Nominations For “Do 6” Awards

Galeton (January 17, 2017) – The PA Route 6 Alliance wants to recognize six innovators, movers, and initiatives along the Heritage Corridor that made a difference in 2016 and is now taking nominations for the “Do 6” Awards to be presented at the Annual Meeting in May.

The awards are presented to individuals, businesses or organizations that have undertaken outstanding efforts that give new meaning to “DO 6” by supporting and implementing sustainable tourism development along the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor. The award winners exemplify the mission of the PA Route 6 Alliance to protect, preserve and promote the scenic, cultural, historical and recreational resources in the northern tier.

The awards are presented in the areas of Heritage Partnerships, Leadership, Heritage Community of the Year, Heritage Tourism (projects or events), Artisan of the Year and Lifetime Achievement.

Last year’s award winners included the Corry Area Historical Society, Corry, PA (Heritage Partnership Award); Waymart Area Parties in the Park, Waymart, PA (Heritage Tourism Award); Nancy Holmberg and Joanne Oviatt of Youngsville and Pittsfield, respectively (Heritage Leadership Award; Borough of Tunkhannock (Heritage Community of the Year Award); Wendy Neckers, Painted Finch Gallery, Corry, PA (Artisan of the Year Award); and Juanita Hampton, Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau (Lifetime Achievement Award).

Nominations can be submitted by anyone along the PA Route 6 Corridor and are due by Friday, March 10th, 2017. Nomination forms and category descriptions are available on the paroute6.com website at: http://www.paroute6.com/annual_awards_program. Winners will be notified prior to the meeting. For more information, please contact the PA Route 6 Alliance at 814-435-7706.

HeritagePA Applauds Governor Wolf for Including Heritage Area Program Funding in Proposed Budget

HARRISBURG (February 9, 2017) – Today, HeritagePA, the state’s collective body of the 12 state-designated Heritage Areas, issued the following statement from Association President Jane Sheffield in response to Governor Wolf’s proposed budget:

“HeritagePA applauds Governor Wolf for including critical funding for the Heritage Areas Program within the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in his proposed 2017-2018 state budget.

“In these challenging financial times, it is encouraging to see the Governor recognize the valuable role our twelve areas play in conserving and developing cultural, historic and recreation infrastructure that preserves regional assets and connect Pennsylvania’s legacy to the present day.

“We urge our elected leaders to support this proposed funding throughout the budget process to ensure this essential program continues to produce positive results for our communities.

“In addition, as a member of the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition, HeritagePA encourages the Governor and Legislature to identify a sustainable source of revenue for Growing Greener, which also makes critical investments in each heritage area.”

About HeritagePA
With a network of 12 state-designated heritage areas operating within the program, HeritagePA serves as the collective voice that speaks to the importance of heritage areas — how they bring Pennsylvania’s rich history and natural resources to life and breathe new life into the state’s economy and sense of community. For more information, visit www.HeritagePa.com and follow HeritagePA on Twitter and Facebook @HeritageIsNow.

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HERITAGEPA TRAVEL FEATURE: Exploring the historic museums of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley

By Jim Cheney, UncoveringPA

In the late 18th century, the Industrial Revolution was starting to take hold. What was once done by hand was now being done by machines. However, these machines required fuel to keep them working. At the same time, coal was being discovered in northeastern Pennsylvania, and, by the mid-19th century, much of America’s industry was being run by power made from anthracite coal. In addition to coal, many other industries popped up in the Lackawanna River valley including iron and the railroad.

All of this industry, combined with the area’s close proximity to New York City and Philadelphia, turned northeastern Pennsylvania into the power plant of the industrial revolution. Today, visitors to the region can learn about the area’s history at the many museums that are a part of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley.

The Lackawanna Heritage Valley comprises an area along the Lackawanna River and was begun in 1991 with the goal of preserving the region’s rich history. Today, it is not only a Pennsylvania heritage region, but it has also been recognized as a National Heritage Area for its importance to the history of the United States. For those looking to learn about the the region’s history, the city of Scranton has a great selection of museums that tell the story of the heritage area’s industrial history and what life was like for those that lived in the area.

If you are looking to learn about coal mining and how it affected those that lived in the area, Scranton’s McDade Park offers two great destinations.

The Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour offers the chance for visitors to venture down into an old coal mine and learn how anthracite coal was mined and what life was like for those working in the mines.

Entrance to the mine is by way of a sloping mine car, which takes visitors 300 feet below the ground. This mine was operational from 1860 through 1966, but has been open to visitors for the last 30 years. If you’ve never been in a coal mine before, this is a fascinating experience that allows visitors to better appreciate the hard work that went into powering the nation during the Industrial Revolution.

Next door is the Anthracite Heritage Museum, which tells the story of coal mining in northeastern Pennsylvania and the many immigrants who made their way to the Lackawanna Valley to work in the industry. Going beyond the historical details of coal mining, the museum focuses on what life was like for those that worked in the mines, how they went about their work, and how they set up a wide variety of immigrant communities throughout the region.

Another great destination for those looking at the human side of the region’s industrial history is the Lackawanna History Museum. Functioning as the historical society for Lackawanna County, the museum showcases what life was like from the earliest settlers to the region through the 20th century. While the museum does have a bit of information about the coal mining industry that once dominated the region, the focus is more on what day-to-day life was like for those that lived in the region.

The Everhart Museum in Scranton shows that there was more to the region than just work. Founded in 1908, the Everhart Museum is the oldest museum in northeastern Pennsylvania and offers one of the state’s best curated collections ranging from dinosaur fossils to Asian art. The museum also features a wide variety of popular temporary exhibitions that offer unique looks at both local and international topics.

Another aspect of the region’s history is transportation. With coal mining being such a big business, a network of trains sprung up to haul the region’s goods to markets in larger American cities and around the world.

Steamtown National Historic Site tells the story of train travel throughout the country, with a special focus on northeastern PA during the Industrial Revolution. During this time, the trains were not only hauling the valley’s anthracite coal, but were also powered by it. Because of this, many steam engines are on display at Steamtown, including the only “Big Boy” east of the Mississippi River. Visitors can even hop aboard a historic train for a ride through the valley.

However, trains weren’t the only form of transportation in the city. In the 1880s, Scranton became the first city to run an all-electric trolley network, garnering it the nickname “The Electric City.” These trolleys allowed residents of the area to travel through the city and into the surrounding communities and were vital to life in the valley. Today, the Electric City Trolley Museum, which is located next door to Steamtown, tells the story of trolley transportation in the region. Like Steamtown, visitors can see trolleys on display, learn about their history through artifacts, or even take a ride on a vintage trolley.

Without a doubt, The Lackawanna Heritage Valley was a vital region to the Industrial Revolution. Those looking to learn about this fascinating history won’t want to miss these great museums located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

For more information about the region, visit the website of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley.

 

About the writer: Jim Cheney is the writer behind UncoveringPA, Pennsylvania’s most read travel blog. He has traveled to every county in Pennsylvania and to many countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. He lives in Harrisburg, Pa.

Carbondale Riverwalk to Open in 2017

In 2017, Lackawanna Heritage Valley (LHV) will open the Carbondale Riverwalk, a 1.2 mile section of trail that will give Lackawanna River Heritage Trail users a direct link from Carbondale to the D&H Rail-Trail. BikeCarbondale, a free bike share program hosted by LHV, will launch in conjunction with the grand opening of the Carbondale Riverwalk. LHV is also developing a 2.2-mile pathway in Fell Township, beginning at Simpson and continuing to Vandling Borough. Upon completion of this section, users will be able to follow the trail 62 miles from Taylor to the New York State border. In addition, design and construction of a new 1.1 mile section of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail (LRHT) will connect Dickson City to Olyphant. The new section also will provide access for those who run, walk and bicycle in the area, and will provide direct access to the Lackawanna River for fishing. These are just a few of the exciting projects underway along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. For updates, be sure to visit lhva.org.

One Year from Now in Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas

The new year will bring new and exciting projects to our many and unique Heritage Areas across Pennsylvania. Read more below about what’s happening in the Oil Region National Heritage Area at Oil Creek Memorial Landing.

Oil Creek Memorial Landing is a new trailhead along Route 8 on the bank of historic Oil Creek within Oil City, PA. The Landing serves multiple free public year-round outdoor recreation purposes. In 2015, the land on four adjoining land parcels owned by the non-profit Oil Region Alliance was contoured, including installation of a paved parking lot for a dozen vehicles and installation of bench seating. In 2016, the shoreline access for kayaks/canoes was constructed, French drains were installed, and signage was installed identifying Oil Creek Memorial Landing and inviting pedestrians, bicyclists, water enthusiasts, vehicle drivers from the state highway, and others to pull in, relax, and enjoy this newly opened water-edge access for fishing, wading, and wildlife watching. During 2017 the final phase of development will occur, including staircase to the adjacent Dollar General store and its public restrooms, informational kiosk, memorial plaques and memorial trees/shrubs, and additional seating.  This trailhead is along the McClintock Trail segment of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail.

Discover the Story of Immigrants Across PA Route 6

DISCOVER THE STORY OF IMMIGRANTS ACROSS PA ROUTE 6

At the tip of Cape Cod on US Route 6 stands a monument for the first landing spot of the Pilgrims as they came to America, indicating that the story of US Route 6 is the story of people coming to this country to escape persecution, exercise their freedoms and explore their opportunities.

Throughout the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, there are stories of how immigrants, whether as individuals or groups, made their mark in their new home country. Here are six examples:

1.   Meadville (Crawford County):  Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American electrical engineer commonly credited with the development of the zipper, worked for companies that evolved into Talon, Inc. located in Meadville PA.  The high demand for “hookless fasteners” created favorable conditions for the Talon Company, and so became Meadville’s most crucial industry. At the height of the zipper’s popularity, the Meadville zipper factories employed 5,000 workers—out of a town with fewer than 19,000 people. The Company suffered financial difficulties after it was sold in 1978, and eventually ended up bankrupt.  Gideon Sundback is buried in Meadville at Greendale Cemetery and was honored in 2006 by inclusion in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

2. Mount Jewett (McKean County): This small village in the Pennsylvania Wilds has a distinct Swedish heritage: even their park bench says “Välkommen”. First settled by Swedish immigrants, today’s residents celebrate their Swedish heritage with a town-wide event featuring authentic Swedish food, dance and music every August. The historic Nebo Chapel built in 1887 is an octagonal shaped church, patterned after Ersta Kyrka at Danviken near Stockholm Sweden.  www.mtjewettpa.com

3. Oleona (Potter County): Named for Ole Bornemann Bull, the famous Norwegian violinist who toured the United States in the 1850s, Oleona is part of the large tract of land purchased by Ole Bull in an attempt to develop a series of Norwegian settlements. He began construction of a “home” at what now is called Ole Bull Vista in Ole Bull State Park. He never finished this large, wooden cabin. After a year of severe hardships, the majority of the colony disbanded and moved west into Michigan and Wisconsin. More history and interpretation is available at the Ole Bull State Park website: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/olebull/index.htm?tab=Maps

4. French Azilum (Bradford County): Located on a bend in the Susquehanna River near Towanda, Pennsylvania, Azilum provided refuge for a group of French exiles in the autumn of 1793. Some of the refugees, loyal to the King, left France to escape the horrors of the Revolution; others fled the colony of Santo Domingo (Haiti) to escape the carnage wrought by the mulatto and slave uprisings inspired by the radical French Assembly. The French refugees even believed that it was possible that the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette and her two children may also use the Azilum as their new home. In the plans of the old town there was even a house built for the queen. Today, the site provides interpretation of its history and the farming life. http://www.frenchazilum.com/history.php

5. Olyphant (Lackawanna County): Originally established by Welsh, Irish and English immigrants who came to work in industries supporting the production or transportation of coal; this town became the destination for Eastern Europeans hoping to earn an American wage.  Today, a walking tour of the town’s nine places of worship reflect the ideals and traditions of those workers.

6. White Mills (Wayne County): Christian Dorflinger, a French immigrant, moved his glass making factory to the town of White Mills including the plant and homes for the workers. Dorflinger’s cut glass is known worldwide. Today, tours of the Dorflinger Glass Museum and the worker’s cabins are available and work continues on interpreting the rich history and heritage of the glassmaking industry. www.dorflinger.org

The PA Route 6 Alliance encourages travelers to explore the rich history of the Route 6 Heritage Corridor, one of Pennsylvania’s twelve designated Heritage Areas. For more information, visit their website at www.paroute6.com.

Farm To Table Trend Across Route 6

The abundant farms and forests along the northern tier are the perfect backdrop for a growing trend in culinary travel. More visitors are seeking out the cafes and restaurants that specialize in menus rich in locally grown food sources and the PA Route 6 Corridor is blessed with many of these eating establishments.

Known as “farm to table”, the chefs at these places are creating high quality meals with the produce, poultry and meats from sources close to home. “Farm to Table” is considered to be more nutritional as goods do not need to be transported long distances, better for the earth, and a boost to the local economy.

This is not a new concept for places like the Settler’s Inn in Hawley (MM 368). Their menu has featured locally grown meals for years; it even lists the source of the produce or meat. Now a traveler across Route 6 can have a different dining experience at variety of places. Some other farm to table restaurants along Route 6 include: Tioga Bistro in Tunkhannock (MM 311) and both the Patisserie and the Delmonico Room at the Hotel Fauchere in Milford (MM394).

One trend emerging in the farm to table movement is the pairing of foods with beverage and spirits. A good example is Voodoo Brewery (MM23) in Meadville PA . Known for their award winning brews, the folks at Voodoo take their culinary delights to the next level with organic/ local meat, poultry and produce. It is recommended to try the Margarita Pizza made from the “spent grain” they use for the brewing process, and topped with fresh mozzarella and basil.
Another trend that is happening along Route 6 is the appearance of food trucks specializing in sandwiches made with locally grown produce, such as the Farm on Pine Creek food truck, which can be seen along Route 6 just west of Galeton (MM 195).

This trend of farm to table dining has a great impact on the future of the PA Route 6 Corridor. The restaurants obtain the items needed for their recipes at farmer’s market like the Four Season Farm Market in Meshoppen (MM 302), Mansfield Grower’s Market (MM234) and Goodell Gardens Farmer’s Market in Edinboro (MM21N) and dairy farms like Milky Way Farm ( MM251) in Troy. By buying local, the restaurants are supporting the working farmer and helping sustain the economy of the northern tier.

Miles of Smiles: Lackawanna Heritage Valley marks 25 years

BY PETER CAMERON, STAFF WRITER / PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 6, 2016

James and Joan Kryzanowski bike the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Trail as often as four times per week.

“It just gives us a such a wonderful feeling,” said the 60-year-old Mrs. Kryzanowski, who has lived in Scranton her entire life. “It’s very therapeutic.”

The slim and tan couple have always been very active, but since the Scranton portion of the trail opened, they use it so frequently they often recognize fellow regulars. Recently, they were pleasantly surprised to pass a couple using motorized wheelchairs on the paved path.

“It’s a big asset,” said Mr. Kryzanowski, 62, as he and his wife sat on their bikes on a trail section near Elm Street in South Scranton.

The trail, while the most well-known, is just one part of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area.

It includes educational efforts and plans to transform places like the monstrous Iron Furnaces in downtown Scranton, where the city churned out the essential metal 150 years ago, and the once-crumbling Olyphant High School, reborn as housing for seniors, some of whom had attended classes there decades ago.

The Lackawanna Heritage Valley touts itself as an organization that tells the region’s stories through restored land, historic buildings and the trail, which runs along the rail line and the Lackawanna River — the essential arteries which once brought life here.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, the organization has transformed Lackawanna County and has plans to do much more.

‘Exploded like popcorn’

The idea for a heritage sites program had been kicked around for awhile within the now-defunct state Department of Community Affairs.

In the early 1990s, Midvalley native and the deputy secretary of the department Ray Angeli and his staff shifted the idea from a tourist program to a development one, which the area could use to promote and improve itself.

Gov. Robert P. Casey greenlighted the project, creating the state’s heritage parks program. Now, 12 different areas like the Allegheny Ridge Heritage Area and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor have sprouted and grown across the state.

Read the full article, HERE.

 

National Road Heritage Corridor’s 11th Annual Frontier Dinner It’s all about buying local!

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016 Uniontown, PA – The National Road Heritage Corridor (NRHC) announces plans for its 11th Annual Frontier Dinner, to be held on Friday, September 9th at the Christian Klay Winery, just off the Historic National Road in Chalk Hill, PA.

To purchase tickets, click HERE

“We moved the dinner into September this year and are hoping for a beautiful, early Fall evening that will, of course include, a delectable menu of locally sourced food prepared by Chef Joe Carei, guaranteed to delight every foodie from vegetarians to those who enjoy a taste of the wild!” said Sandy Mansmann, the NRHC Board Chair. “A 5 course gourmet meal, the Christian Klay Winery’s historic barn, free flowing wine and beer, a nice cigar (if you care to indulge), great acoustic music
by Shelly McCombie, historic whiskey tasting with the 1st Virginia Regiment at their Bloody Dirk 18th Century Tavern and a bonfire – all in a setting that will leave you speechless. It can’t get much better than that!”

Donna Holdorf, the executive director of the NRHC explained, “The Frontier Dinner is the National Road Heritage Corridor’s signature event and its only major, annual fund raiser. As a non-profit engaged in education and community development, every dollar we raise is important to help us fulfill that mission. It’s an enjoyable night and a great way to support the NRHC’s work. We have many “Friends of the Road” that come out every year.” Holdorf stated that the NRHC is pleased this year to have several sponsors supporting the event including: First Niagara Bank, and Somerset Trust. “We are gathering quite an eclectic selection of auction items – something for everyone for sure including an amazing sword honed by board member Clay Kilgore who is a third
generation blacksmith!”

“The NRHC’s Frontier Dinner continues to be one of my favorite events”, commented Chef Joe. “The NRHC is committed to a focus on ‘farm to table’ resources from the region, as am I – a celebration of the economic backbone of Pennsylvania – agriculture. From the fruit and vegetables, to the cheese and breads, entrees to dessert, everything served that evening will be PA grown or raised.” Guests can also indulge in a tasting of the Ridge Runner Distilleries selection of spirits and a fine cigar from Leaning House Cigars if they so desire. NRHC board member and owner of the Christian Klay Winery, Sharon Klay commented, “We have several events at the winery throughout the year, but we really enjoy this one because of its focus on the Historic National Road. At the winery, we’ve made an effort to acknowledge the important history of this area by choosing names for our wines that reflect historic events such as Fort Necessity, Jumonville Glen Red, Summit Mist, Stone House Red, Chestnut Ridge Sunset and Washington Tavern Red.” The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with the starters and dinner begins at 6:45 p.m. and, of course, includes wine & beer. All tickets must be purchased in advance and this year there will be reserved seating.

“The Frontier Dinner is an annual event which raises funds that are reinvested in the region as the NRHC works to accomplish its mission,” commented NRHC past board chair Ben Moyer. “Our guests always have a great time, from the food and the wine, to the bidding wars over much sought after Silent and Chinese Auction items, to sitting around the bonfire and devouring a gooey s’more! It’s truly a great way to celebrate the end of summer.”

Advanced ticket purchase is required

To purchase tickets, click HERE. For more info call 724-437-9877 or email
debbies@nationalroadpa.org