Saturday, November 26, 2016

Industry in Pennsylvania

I have begun the daunting task of adding to my series of educational workbooks, a book on the history of industry in Pennsylvania. Does everyone know the three biggies? Read More

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Millerstown Holiday Craft Show 2016

J & D Wood Crafts
“Why did I pick this lane?” I wanted to park so I could go to the Millerstown Holiday Craft Show in Millerstown, Pennsylvania, but found myself trapped in my car in front of the Greenwood Elementary School where the craft show is held. Read More

Sunday, November 13, 2016

D. J. Ernst Books

From time to time, I stop at D. J. Ernst Books in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. I browse the shelves, looking for good source material to use when I write children’s educational workbooks. Mr. Ernst has a really good selection on Pennsylvania history. During my last visit, I found two books that I wanted and read more 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Serving Prisoners in Pennsylvania

Former Juniata County Jail
Recently, I read in my Bloomsburg alumni magazine that four Pennsylvania institutions have been selected to participate in a pilot program called Second Chances Pell. The program will allow qualified inmates from seven different prisons to receive money to attend college. Each must be due for parole within five years. Research shows that prisoners who become educated during prison have a higher rate of not returning there. The colleges participating are Bloomsburg University, Indiana University, Lehigh Carbon Community College, and Villanova University.

Reading this fact made me think about prison ministry. My own venture into that arena Read More

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Mansion, a General, and a Cannonball: Part Three

Early in 1815, the townspeople of Thompsontown, Pennsylvania, gathered around a large metal ball in the middle of the street.

“What could it be?” said one man wearing red suspenders.

Another man walked carefully around it. “It must have fallen from the sky.”

“Oh, something terrible is going to happen,” said a woman in a calico dress. Read More

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Mansion, a General, and a Cannonball: Part Two

On February 10, 1802, Louis Evans, age 24, from Montgomery County in southeastern Pennsylvania bought 541 acres of land near Thompsontown in central Pennsylvania. Two hundred of the acres had been an original William Penn grant.

Mr. Evans descended from one of six brothers who left Wales in the 1700s. His father was George Evans, Jr. and his mother was Elizabeth North, daughter of Roger North from Ireland.

After buying his land, Mr. Evans moved immediately to the area and began to develop his land. He built a read more

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Mansion, a General, and a Cannonball: Part One

Juniata County, Pennsylvania, has its share of historical mansions, including the 1794 Lily Manor and the 200-year-old Wilson House Bed and Breakfast, both south on Route 35. Another mansion lies east of Thompsontown on Route 333. “Selected stone and unusual length” are two of the phrases I found in old newspaper clippings to describe this place. The current sign reads, "General Evans House," but when it was built, locals used the word, “mansion.” read more