News Round-up

Who says nobody’s interested in history anymore? Probably no one who bothers to read Trailheads, but allow me a rhetorical question. Sites on the Trails of History are always in the news (as are other historic sites and museums), and I’ve selected 3 recent stories to highlight this week.

In 2009, the world celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first successful well drilled for oil, which is commemorated at Drake Well Museum, one of the sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. This past week, the McClintock Well #1 celebrated its 150th birthday, surrounded by friends and well-wishers (I did actually write that without intending the pun—I swear—but now that I see it, I’m keeping it—sorry). McClintock has been producing oil continuously since 1861 and has belonged to the Commonwealth since 2000, when it was donated as an icon of the oil industry. It produces roughly 40 barrels a year, some of which is bottled for sale at Drake Well Museum. You can see local tv coverage here.

The Hazleton Standard Speaker featured an article last week about the successful completion (or soon-to-be completion) of a major restoration project at Eckley Miners’ Village. Ten historic worker houses have had asbestos removed, chimneys and foundations stabilized, and new (but historically accurate) siding installed. Guest blogger Bob Quarteroni reported on the project on Trailheads last January, and I just found (through a link on Eckley’s website) a news report from WNEP-TV 16 that I think is worth sharing.


On August 8, the Philadelphia Inquirer website featured a quick video interview (by Ginny Smith) with historian Irwin Richman, talking about the traditional German four-square gardens at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. Dr. Richman has written and lectured extensively on Pennsylvania German gardens (and many other topics of interest); he explains in the interview that the religion of the gardener helped determine the content of the garden—which links nicely to PHMC’s 2011 theme on religious diversity (see posts here and here).


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