Heritage PA celebrates 30th anniversary

Twelve heritage areas offer unique visitor attractions while boosting Pennsylvania’s economy

Pennsylvania’s 12 Heritage Areas, spanning 57 of the Commonwealth’s counties, are celebrating their 30th anniversary this summer, offering a wide range of enjoyable activities and adventures through the state’s rich history.  The businesses, non-profit organizations, and community leaders committed to preserving Pennsylvania’s unique historic and cultural resources encourage tourists with varying interests to visit one or more of the areas.  There, they will have the opportunity to experience some of the most important and pivotal actions which have contributed to the nation’s formation and growth.

“The founding of the Pennsylvania Heritage Areas Program in 1989 gave recognition to the important role these historic events and accomplishments made over several centuries, from Southeastern Pennsylvania’s contributions to the founding of our Nation to the success of the first commercial oil well in the northwest corner of the state,” said Marilyn Black, Vice President of the Oil Region Alliance.  “The success of building and sustaining these vibrant regional tourism assets can be traced to hundreds of individuals and organizations that came together to welcome visitors and make their trips through history memorable and simple to navigate.”

The Heritage Areas Program is a national model that encompasses almost every major historical site, population center, and tourist attraction that Pennsylvania has to offer. It is a comprehensive, multi-faceted regional strategic initiative to conserve and enhance key resources and promote each region’s heritage for tourism development.

From an economic perspective, Pennsylvania consistently ranks near the top of states attracting cultural heritage visitors. In 2014, tourists spent an estimated 7.5 million days and nights in

Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas, purchasing more than $2 billion worth of goods and services. Seventy percent (70%) of this spending is purely reliant on heritage-related attractions. The total contribution of Heritage visitor spending to the state economy was 25,708 jobs and $798 million in labor income, according to a study by John M. McGrath, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and David Primm and William Lafe, January 2016.

“Pennsylvanians may be preparing for their annual summer trips to beaches, lakes or mountains.  We encourage them to take time to explore one or more of our Heritage Areas to experience the natural beauty of our state, the authentic stories behind the areas’ contributions to our Nation and the hospitality of their neighbors,” said Elissa Garofolo, Executive Director of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.  “They will find affordable and interesting things to do at every one of Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas, as well as people eager to celebrate 30 years of the Heritage Area program.”

The 12 Heritage Areas are managed separately and are as unique as the history, resources and communities they work to preserve, enhance and grow. Through partnerships and grass-roots planning efforts of a diverse group of leaders, the historic, cultural, natural, and scenic and recreation resources are preserved and developed to strengthen regional economies with a goal of increasing tourism, creating new jobs and developing investment opportunities.

The map above illustrates the 12 heritage areas through Pennsylvania.

Find out more about the 12 heritage areas by visiting www.heritagepa.com, or the individual heritage websites below.

Allegheny Ridge Heritage Area | mainlinecanalgreenway.org

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Area | delawareandlehigh.org

Endless Mountains Heritage Area | www.emheritage.org

Lackawanna Heritage Valley | lhva.org

Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor | lhhc.org

Lumber Heritage Area | lumberheritage.org

National Road Heritage Corridor | nationalroadpa.org

Oil Region National Heritage Area | oilregion.org

PA Route 6 Heritage | paroute6.com

Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area | riversofsteel.com

Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area | schuylkillriver.org

Susquehanna Heritage | susquehannaheritage.org

National Road Heritage Corridor Celebrates Historic Nation Road’s 200th Anniversary with Cookbook

To celebrate the Historic Nation Road’s 200th anniversary the National Road Heritage Corridor produced a cookbook – Grub to Gourmet, the History of Food Along the National Road.

The content covers both the history of the nation and the food associated with four periods – French & Indian War/ Whiskey Rebellion; Construction and Heyday of the National Road; Auto Touring; and present day. 

An added bonus are drink recipes from the same eras!

There are many sites to see across the National Road and many events hosted by partners and communities.  Annually, on the third weekend in May, the Road comes alive with wagon trains, artisans, ethnic foods and music.  This year was the 46th National Road Festival – don’t miss the 47th!  Follow the NRHC on Facebook www.facebook.com/NationalRoadHeritageCorridor/  to stay in the loop. 

Upcoming events include:

The Whiskey Rebellion Festival, July 11-14

Scenery Hill’s Great Gatsby Gala, July 27; and

the Taste of the National Road Dinner, October 26.

Learn more at (nationalroadpa.org/). 

Historic Preservation Celebrated in Oil Region

The Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism was proud to honor the 2019 Oil Heritage Region Historic Preservation Award recipients in a ceremony held Thursday, May 16 at the First Baptist Church in Franklin, PA.

The 2019 Oil Heritage Region Historic Preservation Award recipients (from left) Juliet Hilburn, Neil McElwee, Mother Elizabeth, Missy Wescoat, Lance Hummer, Noni Stanford, and Bob Joyce.

The 2019 winners are:

The Derrick / The News-Herald
Historic Appreciation: “Out of the Archives” Series
Nominated by: Allan Montgomery

Missy’s Arcade Restaurant, 216 Diamond Street, Titusville
Reconstruction: Missy Wescoat
Nominated by: Titusville Renaissance, Inc.

Keystone Community Education Council
Enhancement: Office space in National Transit Building, Oil City, PA
Nominated by: Emily Altomare

Titusville Iron Works, 315 South Franklin Street, Titusville
Adaptive Reuse and Preservation Stewardship: Bob Joyce
Nominated by: Titusville Renaissance, Inc.

St. James Memorial Episcopal Church, 112 East Main Street, Titusville
Preservation Stewardship
Nominated by: Titusville Historical Society

St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1145 Buffalo Street, Franklin
Preservation Stewardship
Nominated by: Historic Franklin Preservation Association

Juliet Hilburn
Preservation Education/Initiative: Ridgway Cemetery, Hydetown
Nominated by: Jennifer Burden

Former Salvation Army Building, 229 Elm Street, Oil City
Adaptive Reuse: Oil Region Alliance
Nominated by: Oil City Main Street Program

More than 150 Historic Preservation Awards have been given since 1997. To view the complete list of prior recipients, please refer to www.oilregion.org. See the section entitled: Oil Region National Heritage Area/Historic Preservation Awards.

Nature Inspires Art Along the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail

Artists along US Route 6 in Northern Pennsylvania are eager to show off their scenic surroundings by incorporating the natural environment into their work. Whether it is painting, photography, sculpting, and even culinary arts, these makers are inspired by nature to create their art.

This year, the PA Route 6 Alliance is highlighting the theme, “Open Your Senses on 6! Nature Inspires Art” through a poster, postcards and a video featuring some of the PA Route 6 Artisans’ pieces that were inspired in one way or the other by nature.

PA wilds photographer shares love of nature

The 2019 PA Route 6 Artisan Trail commemorative poster and postcard feature a beautiful autumn photograph of the dam at Lyman Run State Park in Potter County taken by 2018 PA Route 6 Artisan of the Year, Curt Weinhold. Weinhold is especially known for his photos of the forests, plants, waterfalls, trails and natural attractions in the counties within the PA Wilds region. His images of the Milky Way from the Dark Sky Preserve at Cherry Springs State Park have inspired countless others to sign up for his late-night photography classes. The postcards can be obtained from any PA Route 6 Artisan Trail member.

Other PA Route 6 artists share their stories

The works of several PA Route 6 Artisan Trail members are featured in a short digital exhibit that will air in certain sites on the trail as well as on the Artisan Trail section of the PA Route 6 website (www.paroute6.com/pa-route-6-artisan-trail-2019-digital-exhibit)

Naomi Teppich of the Wayne County Arts Alliance submitted a photo of sculpture of a birch bark.  “My interest in bark fragments stem from going on hikes in the woods where I find different shaped pieces,” Teppic explained of her work. “They look like art to me so I bring them to my studio, shape them out of clay and use my imagination to color these fragments. They are glazed, and then fired in an electric kiln”. 

Other images in the exhibit include photographs of natural and painted gourds from Danette Wightman of DRW Designs and 1 of a Kind Gourds; a photograph of a swan on the Allegheny Rive by Karen Heltzel of Moments in Time Studio in Warren; woodturning and cane carvings by Jack Northup of the Artworks in the Summit in Kane;  jewelry designed with natural elements by Dan Niebauer of Ralph Miller Jewelers and  Gallery;  and an abstract Impressionistic painting by Geoffrey Fowler of the Wayne County Arts Alliance.

The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail celebrates the talented artists, artisans and makers, who live in eleven counties of the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor. Over 500 artisans are represented by the galleries, retails stores and arts organizations that make up the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail. The Trail is managed by the PA Route 6 Alliance with funding support from the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.


Veterans Day Events Across PA’s Heritage Areas

Veterans Day 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the day the armistice was signed resulting in the end of World War I. Celebrate by attending a Veterans Day event in one of these 7 heritage areas and honor all of our veterans that have served our country in times of war and peace.

PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor
Sonestown, PA

Armistice Day (Veterans Day) Tribute and Remembrance of The Great War (WWI) (Nov 11)

Allegheny National Forest
Presque Isle State Park
Wayne County

100th Anniversary of WWI (Nov 10)

Lackawanna Heritage Valley
Lackawanna State Park

White Abolitionists, Black Fighters of Waverly (11/13)

Lumber Heritage Region
Irvine, PA

Veterans Appreciation Day (Nov 10)

Youngsville Fire Hall, PA

Second Annual Veterans Breakfast (Nov 11)

Warren, PA

4th Annual 4 Paws 4 Veterans Dinner (Nov 11)

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
Bethlehem, PA

SteelStacks Veterans Day (Nov 11)

Bethlehem, PA

Veterans Day Weekend at NMIH (Nov 10 & 11)

Susquehanna Heritage
Lancaster County

Toss for Troupes (Nov 10)

Elizabethtown, PA

Arts and the Armistice (Nov 11)

Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor
Chambersburg Heritage Center

Additional Funding Available through Façade Program Grant

In an effort to enhance the attractiveness of small towns within the PA Wilds and PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor regions, the Façade Program is helping commercial property and business owners improve the look of their buildings.

In addition to the 30 grants already awarded this year, the PA Route 6 Alliance and PA Wilds Region is giving more local businesses the opportunity to improve their exteriors. PA Route 6 Alliance Executive Director, Terri Dennison said  “A majority of the projects have been completed and our towns are certainly looking fantastic…We are in the position now to award 2-3 more projects that are ready to go.”

The deadline for applying for a grant is November 14, 2018 and funding is available for either façade improvements or signage.  For more information and a copy of the guidelines, visit the PA Route 6 website at http://www.paroute6.com/facade.

Knox-Kane Rails to Trails

Photo Credit: Bradford Era

On Friday, October 19th, the Lumber Heritage Region celebrated the completion of the Knox-Kane “Rails to Trails” project at a ribbon cutting ceremony in Mt. Jewett.  A product of years-long worth of efforts, this project focused on converting a historic, almost four-mile railroad system from Mt. Jewett to the Kinzua Bridge State Park. Now, as an accessible trail, the newly developed Knox-Kane stretch not only provides opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding but also for increased tourism and economic development.

Amongst those participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony were Cindy Dunn, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Janie French, executive director of the Headwaters Charitable Trust. Both Dunn and French were credited for helping secure project funding, with French saying “Without local support, this trail could not have been developed.”

Amongst the guest speakers, was Mt. Jewett Borough Councilman, Brett Morgan, saying  “It’s not often that a small community gets $1 million for a project, and it’s exciting to see what trails can be to a community,”.

For more information on the Knox-Kane Rails to Trails project, click here.

Discover Pennsylvania’s Elk Country

Also known as Elk Country, Pennsylvania’s Lumber Heritage Region (LHR) and is home to the largest wild elk herd in the northeastern United States. Whether you’re visiting the region for Elk watching, or to take in the spectacular views, you will not be disappointed.

LHR’s partner, the PA Wilds, has an Elk Country visitors experience that will keep you coming back for more. With some of the most magnificent wild lands east of the Mississippi, the Pennsylvania Wilds not only provides visitors with breathtaking beauty, but also has some of the best outdoor recreation activities in North America. Grab a locally-brewed beer at Straub Brewery or watch live demonstrations of chainsaw carvings at the Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, all the while being surrounded by breathtaking beauty and spectacular views.

To learn more, visit http://pawilds.com/landscape/elk-country/.

Celebrate the Beauty of the Schuylkill River at the Scenes of The Schuylkill Art Show

Devil’s Pool, oil on canvas by Maura Matthews

The Schuylkill River Greenways NHA has put out a call for artists to participate in the 15th Annual Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show.  This annual, juried event celebrates the beauty of the region with pieces created by some of the area’s finest artists. Hosted every fall, in partnership with Montgomery County Community College, artworks submitted are displayed in the West Campus gallery for viewing.

All submissions must be made on October 22 from 12 pm – 5 pm. The Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show will take place Oct. 31 – Dec. 14, 2018.

Visit this link for more information: http://www.schuylkillriver.org/Detail.aspx?id=1546

Celebrate The American Industrial Arts at the Festival of Combustion

With craft beer, food trucks, live music and an artisan marketplace, you won’t want to miss Rivers of Steel’s biggest event of the year! Join the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area at the Carrie Furnaces to celebrate the industrial arts Festival of Combustion this September!  Some of the region’s most skilled artists, makers and builders will be showcasing their crafts for you to enjoy. Watch as these artists perform live demonstrations of blacksmithing, glass-blowing, raku ceramics, welding, metal fabrication, and even custom automotive work!

In one of the main events of the festival, The Rivers of Steel’s skilled foundry team will fire up the furnaces and smelt iron, recreating the industrial process that the Carrie furnaces are best known for. Not only will festival-goers be able to witness one of the oldest industrial processes, but they will also be able to partake by carving their very own scratch mold to be cast during the iron pour! Attendees will have access to other hands-on activities including glazing raku-fired vases with Ton Pottery and printmaking with Katy Dement.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate; Kids under 18 get in free! For more information, or to book your ticket now, visit https://www.showclix.com/event/festival-of-combustion-.