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Pennsylvania History

 Pennsylvania history and genealogy

Our Current Pennsylvania titles include:

Johnstown, Pennsylvania: the Great Flood ... and afterward

This CD-ROM, which includes two books written shortly after the "great flood" as well as other Johnstown material,  is now available!!

Johnstown PA for more information.

 

 Minisink and Port Jervis

This CD-ROM, while concerned mainly with the portion of the Minisink region that falls in Orange County, NY, also contains information about the communities across the Delaware River from Port Jervis in Pennsylvania.

Minisink for more information.

 

Cushetunk Bicentennial - Cochecton, NY (1954). Those with an interest in the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River opposite Sullivan County, NY, will want to review this program and historical material as it also includes Pennsylvania material.  Please see our Sullivan County, NY page for more information.

 

The Episcopal Church in Lebanon County, PA (1903) by the Rev. Alfred M. Abel.  Includes the various churches and chapels, especially those associated with the Coleman family of iron industry fame.  19++ pages, including new photographs, in PDF format.  Download for $2.50

Lebanon County PA

 

The Molly Maguires, chapter 2 from Volume VIII of the History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes (1920).  A full chapter about an anthracite region group that has been identified with the union movement and has also been called a criminal conspiracy and a gang of Irish terrorists.  While the Mollies scarcely rate a footnote today, at the time they were taken quite seriously.  36+ pages, in PDF format.  Download now for $2.50

The Molly Maguires

 

The Johnstown High School Spectator – for the class of 1921 1/2, Johnstown, PA.  This document is a combination high school yearbook and literary magazine – evidently the magazine was a monthly publication during the school year – principally dedicated to the January 1922 graduating class of JHS.  Half-year graduating classes have not been common in the United States, and we have seen fewer yearbooks devoted to them, so this is an unusual document.  The cover was missing from the issue we obtained, and a portion of the page with the president and perhaps another officer of the class on one side, and the photos of two graduates whose names appear ahead of Bantly in the alphabet, are likewise missing.  110+ pages, PDF format, download now for $4.75.

Johnstown HS Spectator Class of 1921 1/2

 

The Harmony Society at Economy, PA, from Communistic Societies of the United States, by Charles Nordhoff (1875).  Many living today perceive the “flower power” communes of the 1960s as something new and different in America.  To the contrary, the United States has a long tradition of communes of various types, and Nordhoff made a study of them, visiting many of them of his era.  While the communes of the 1960s differed from those of a century and more earlier in philosophical underpinnings, in both centuries they were considered quite novel and more than a little scandalous. 36+ pages, PDF format, download now for $3.50.

The Harmony Society

(If this item is of interest to you, you may also be interested in the chapter about the colony at New Harmony, Indiana, from The Hoosiers.)

 

Schuylkill County, PA: 100th Anniversary. The Queen of the Anthracite Region” passed its 100th anniversary in 1911 and a Pottsville department store, Dives, Pomeroy and Stewart, celebrated the occasion with a brief county history.  Usually such ventures are underwritten by centennial commissions, or by history-minded individuals, but we will take it where we can get it.  This is largely an industrial history, which is not unexpected given the prominence of the coal mining business in that locale.  The Molly Maguires rate a mention, and the contribution of this county to the Union during the Civil War was considerable.  114+ pages, PDF format, download now for $4.75.

 Schuylkill County, PA 100th anniversary

 

The War of the Rebellion chapters from History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, by Franklin Ellis (1882).  This county history is detailed in its documentation of the county’s efforts in the Civil War, as the chapters in this selection show.  Chapter 17 is an account of Fayette’s first companies, the 8th and 11th Regiments, reserves.  Chapter 18 covers the 85th Regiment and the 2nd Heavy Artillery.  Chapter 19 details the 116th and 142nd Regiments.  Chapter 20 covers the 14th Cavalry, while Chapter 21 covers the 16th Cavalry.  In all cases, rosters of men from Fayette County are provided, along with casualty data, and in something not often seen in county histories, mustering in dates even for private soldiers.  43+ pages, PDF format, download now for $4.25.

 War of the Rebellion - Fayette County, PA

 

Iron, Coal and Coke - Economic Geology from the History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, by Franklin Ellis (1882).  This county history is unusual in the extent to which it demonstrates an appreciation of the role that iron, coal, and coke played in its development.  It is particularly unusual, given its publication date, in the extent to which it recognizes old, crumbling iron furnaces as historical artifacts worthy of documentation if not preservation.  Clearly the history of Fayette County is closely intertwined with its economic geology, but other counties elsewhere with similar connections with mining and industry do not pay the careful attention to the subject that this one does.  The color maps are particularly impressive and informative.  22+ pages, PDF format, download now for $4.00.

 Iron, coal and coke - Fayette County, PA

 

John Wanamaker's Guide Book to Philadelphia (1917).  Wanamaker’s Department Store, arguably the first department store in the nation, was a Philadelphia fixture for decades.  Although now Macy’s Center City, the store is still unique, if, for nothing else, such unusual refinements as the world’s largest pipe organ.  In Wanamaker’s heyday, such thoughtful details as this guide book about Philadelphia were the kind of thing they could be counted on to produce.  The book, nearly a century following its publication, is still a useful reference for Philadelphia and the surrounding area.  48+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $3.00.

 Wanamaker's Philadelphia

 

Philadelphia Historical Pageant (1912) It appears that around a century ago a magnificent civic pageant was written and perhaps staged commemorating the history of Philadelphia.  It must have been a remarkable spectacle, with horses, an orchestra and chorus, and a cast of characters that included military units.  The final year cited in the script is 1830, but the earliest is in the early 1600s with the discovery of Delaware Bay by the Dutch under Hendrick Hudson, with allusions to medieval times in the heralds that populate the prologue.  The booklet is subtitled “Book of the Words, October 7th to 12th 1912” and as well as being the script of the pageant includes a historical article for each of the eight episodes (some divided into scenes), the prologue and epilogue.  The drama itself is hard to view with today’s eyes as anything beyond ponderous, but the historical articles are fascinating.  Included are two color sketches for scenes in the pageant as they might have been presented.  57+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $3.25.

Philadelphia Historical Pageant (1912)

 

Boyd’s 1908 Street Guide for Philadelphia and Camden.   How much can there be in a street guide?  Just a bunch of streets, right?  Well, not really.  This small and well-thumbed volume contains, in addition to all the streets in Philadelphia and Camden a century ago, you’ll find the following: a listing of named buildings, hospitals, changed names of streets, a key to street numbers, cross streets for major streets by area, parks and squares, “suburbs” (one might call them neighborhoods today), ward boundaries, piers on the Delaware River, places of interest, an index of trolley lines, followed by details of the routing of each line (some ran all the way to Newark, NJ), and finally the Camden street guide.  A portion of the two pages defining ward boundaries in Camden is missing, along with the back cover.   148+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $4.00.

 Street Guide for Philadelphia and Camden

 

 

Other Pennsylvania titles we own:

  • Penn's Greene Country Towne:  Pen and pencil sketches of early Philadelphia and its prominent characters, by the Rev. S. F. Hotchkin

Rev. Hotchkin is remembered far better today as a historian of the Philadelphia area than he is for his career in the ministry.  Among his books were History of Germantown, The Old York Road, Bristol Pike, and Rural Pennsylvania.  He is also noted today as an architectural historian of the same area.  This volume of 216 pages includes numerous sketches and photographs, and is a useful adjunct to Philadelphia (and Pennsylvania) history.  Interestingly, the Hotchkin family generated a number of literary clergymen -- a distant cousin of the Rev. Hotchkin was another Rev. Hotchkin who produced a notable History of Western New York, which we published some time ago.

  • History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, with Illustrations, edited by Franklin Ellis (1882)

This 840+ page volume about a southwestern PA county will be published as a series of downloads, and we have now begun that process (see above). In addition to the usual county history, including chapters on the Revolution and the Civil War, there are histories of each borough and township, each of which is likely to be published as a separate download.  The chapter on iron, coal and coke is particularly good.  Each of the geographic chapters is supplemented with biographies of leading citizens, which we will include.  Some of them include genealogical information.

  • Philadelphia in the World War: 1914 - 1919

A new acquisition for us.  785 pages covering just about every aspect of the involvement of Philadelphia, PA in the First World War that we can think of.  It appears on first look to be very thorough and well researched and produced.  Almost certainly it will be a series of downloads.  Let us know if this -- or if some aspect of this -- is of interest to you so we can prioritize it.

 

 

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