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Approved Markers

The following is a list of the approved state historical markers with the name of the marker, location and a brief description.


collapse Year Approved : 2020 ‎(24)
 Philadelphia Gay NewsPhiladelphia  Philadelphia 
First published in 1976, this early newspaper of the LGBTQ community was an outlet for intracommunication when few others were available. It served as a community-building vehicle at a time when the LGBTQ rights movement was still forming. At the outbreak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it became a lifesaving source for a community in need. It is now the most-awarded LGBTQ publication in the nation.
Berwyn School FightBerwynChester
From March 1932 until April 1934 African American families in Berwyn were embroiled in a segregation case regarding the education of black students. Tredyffrin and Easttown school districts had been integrated in keeping with the Public School Act of 1834. In 1932 those districts chose to segregate public elementary schools. Black families, supported by the NAACP and prominent black leaders, boycotted the schools and engaged in a two-year legal battle resulting in the reintegration of schools. The Mt. Zion AME Church was the central meeting place in this effort.
Black Student WalkoutsPhiladelphia  Philadelphia 
In November 1967 thousands of middle school and high school students organized a citywide student walkout, demanding a culturally responsive education. This was the start of youth organizing movements fighting for educational justice. The walkouts resulted in major changes to curriculum, hiring, and civic engagement in one of the nation's largest school districts, which in 2005 became the first to mandate an African American history course as a requirement for graduation.
Charles "Chuck" Cooper (1926-1984)PittsburghAllegheny
In 1950 Cooper was the first African American basketball player drafted by the NBA, paving the way for integration in the league. Cooper was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019. He played basketball at Westinghouse High School, was an All-American at Duquesne University following two years of military service in World War II, and played for seven seasons in the NBA.
Elwyn InstituteMediaDelaware
Elwyn was a leader in the movement to educate and train the mentally disabled, the first institution of its kind in Pennsylvania and one of the oldest in the nation. It had a model farm program and was pioneering in providing dental services. Founded in 1852 and named for a member of the first board of directors, Alfred Elwyn, the institution has adapted to changing needs and continues to serve those with intellectual disabilities.
Escape of Ona JudgePhiladelphia  Philadelphia 
Judge, an enslaved woman owned by George Washington and in service to Martha Washington, escaped from the President's House in Philadelphia in 1796. She was able to make her way to New Hampshire with the assistance of the black and abolitionist communities. Washington made attempts to retrieve Judge for the rest of his life, despite federal officials' refusal to help recapture her.
Fighter's HeavenOrwigsburgSchuylkill County 
In 1972 Muhammad Ali established this training camp, where he prepared for some the biggest fights of his career, notably Rumble in the Jungle and Thrilla in Manila. Future heavyweight champions Larry Holmes, Tim Witherspoon and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad began their careers sparring there with Ali. He hosted many celebrities at Fighter's Heaven, including Andy Warhol, Diana Ross and Tom Jones, and gave his famous interview with Dick Cavett there.
Frances Dorrance (1877-1973)PittsburghAllegheny
One of Pennsylvania's most influential archaeologists, Dorrance laid a foundation for the modern understanding of the archaeological heritage of the commonwealth. She founded the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeologists and in the 1920s initiated what would become the Pennsylvania Archaeological Site Survey, which currently contains records for more than 23,500 sites.
George A. Romero (1940-2017)PittsburghAllegheny
Legendary horror film director Romero chose to establish his production studio in Pittsburgh. His classic Night of the Living Dead (1968) was the first nationally successful feature film from Pittsburgh. The once controversial movie has been broadly recognized as a landmark in both the horror genre and independent filmmaking. Following its success, Romero kept his studio in Pittsburgh, rather than relocating to Hollywood, producing a dozen more feature films and mentoring filmmakers of the region.
George Croghan (1718-1782)MechanicsburgCumberland
An emigrant from Ireland in the mid-18th century, Croghan established one of the largest and most effective trade networks in America. He started a trading business in Cumberland County but soon became an Indian agent for the British in Ohio Country. His mastery of Indian relations allowed him to expand trade across the lower half of Pennsylvania and into Ohio. He also was able to negotiate with the Indians during the French and Indian War and the years leading up to the American Revolution.
Gloria Casarez (1971-2014)Philadelphia  Philadelphia
A Latinx champion for civil rights and LGBTQ activism, Casarez served as Philadelphia's first director of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender affairs. Her efforts established Philadelphia as the leader of LGBTQ rights protections in the nation. Her contributions span HIV/AIDS initiatives, transgender health programs, and affordable housing. This will be the first PHMC marker for a Hispanic American.
Holbert RacingWarrington TownshipBucks
Started in 1951 by Bob Holbert and continued with his son Al, this internationally successful racing business ran until 1988. Specializing in racing Porsches, the father and son team amassed 10 race series wins between them and numerous victories in the 24 Hours of Lemans. Bob Holbert is considered a legend of American racing and Al Holbert is in both the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Hysong v. Gallitzin School DistrictGallitzinCambria County
This 1894 court case allowed religious clothing, specifically that of nuns, to be worn in public schools. In 1895 the Pennsylvania legislature passed the Garb Law forbidding religious clothing in public schools, thereby reversing the ruling. Pennsylvania was the first to pass such a law, and many other states followed its lead. Pennsylvania remains the only state with a Garb Law as every other state has since rescinded theirs. Future Pennsylvania legislative and judicial challenges are expected.
Laurel Hill State ParkSomersetSomerset
A Recreational Demonstration Area (RDA), Laurel Hill was constructed between 1935 and 1941 by Civilian Conservation Corps workers as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. Pennsylvania had the most RDAs in the country, with five. Laurel Hill is the most intact example, retaining all of the original area types. It remains in use today and conveys the historical and architectural significance of this national program.
Lemoyne Archaeological SiteLemoyneCumberland
An archaeological project in 2005 uncovered a previously unknown Susquehannock Indian settlement in Lemoyne. The dating of this site to about 1610-24 helped to better define the dates of two other important and related Susquehannock sites in Lancaster County: Washington Boro and Schultz. The artifacts uncovered also led to additional understanding of early interactions between Native American groups and Europeans in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Liberty BellAllentownLehigh County
Fearing destruction by the British during a fateful point in the American Revolution, the Continental Congress voted to remove all the bells from Philadelphia. Just before the British began their occupation of the city in 1777, the Liberty Bell was transported clandestinely from Independence Hall to Northamptontown (Allentown today) and hidden in Zion German Reformed Church.
Nile Swim ClubYeadonDelaware
Nile was one of the earliest African American owned and operated swim clubs in the U.S. The story of its establishment is an important example of a marginalized group successfully working for equality. In the mid-20th century, Yeadon was a segregated community, but in 1957, three black men applied for membership in the newly opened Yeadon Swim Club. When they were denied, the black community worked together to raise the money to buy land and build a swimming club of their own.
PalestraPhiladelphia  Philadelphia
Built at the University of Pennsylvania in 1927, this gymnasium is considered one of the premier basketball venues in the nation because of its long association with college basketball. It hosted the annual Philadelphia Big 5 college matchups for many years as well as tournaments nearly as prestigious as the national championships. The venue boasts superior sight lines and the design served as a model for basketball arenas across the nation.
Parker's Landing PetroglyphsParkerClarion
In the Allegheny River Watershed, Native American engravings called petroglyphs remain on rocks and are only visible during the summer dry months. Archaeological investigations have confirmed that the creators of these engravings were prehistoric inhabitants of the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. This is one of the most significant petroglyph sites in Pennsylvania.
Pauline Hanauer Rosenberg (1863-1940)PittsburghAllegheny
In 1893 Rosenberg was one of the founders of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) during the World's Columbian Exposition. Although based in Pittsburgh, she was responsible for organizing NCJW chapters in several other Pennsylvania cities, including Philadelphia, as well as in Ohio and Washington, DC. She also served as president of the national organization whose work related to immigration assistance, social reform, and prevention of human trafficking was revolutionary.
Plastic ClubPhiladelphia  Philadelphia 
This art club was founded by a group of women artists in 1897 after they were denied membership in the Philadelphia Sketch Club, which was all male. It remains the oldest of its kind in the U.S. Some of the leading artists of the day were members, including Violet Oakley, Cecelia Beaux and Emily Sartain. The club promoted the women's professionalism and artistic abilities. It provided an outlet for exhibition, which led to recognition and important commissions for its members.
Sisters of Charity of Seton HillGreensburgWestmoreland
Established in 1870, this community of Catholic nuns was the last of the order founded by Elizabeth Ann Seton in Maryland in 1809. In addition to establishing Seton Hill University in 1918, the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill serves schools, institutes, hospitals, parishes and social service agencies throughout the U.S., Ecuador and South Korea.
Sylvania Electric ProductsEmporiumCameron
Sylvania was formed in 1924 to make radio tubes for the new vacuum tube radio receiver industry. During World War II, radio tubes were essential for field communications, radars, submarine detectors and weather balloons. The company received a contract to produce proximity fuzes for artillery shells, eventually supplying 400 million to the war effort. Women made up the majority of the workforce as their smaller hands allowed them to perform the detailed work required. Sylvania received the Army/Navy Award for Excellence in the production of war materials.
William Lightfoot Price (1861-1916)Rose ValleyDelaware
Architect Price designed nationally renowned buildings throughout the country and founded Arts and Crafts communities in Pennsylvania and Delaware. He produced Gilded Age mansions, landmark hotels, iconic railroad stations, and utopian communities. His firm of Price & McLanahan pioneered reinforced concrete buildings. The town of Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, is perhaps his most significant legacy.
collapse Year Approved : 2019 ‎(18)
Alien Gun Law of 1909HillsvilleLawrence
Following the 1906 murder of Deputy Game Protector L. Seeley Houk, allegedly by members of the Italian Black Hand organization, legislation was passed to disarm noncitizen immigrants in the commonwealth. The Pinkerton Detective Agency conducted the investigation. Although the law was challenged, it was upheld in the Supreme Court and remained in effect until 1967.
Anna T. Jeanes (1822–1907)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
A Quaker abolitionist and activist, Jeanes made plans for her substantial fortune to further several causes upon her death. Most notably, her contributions enabled the establishment of Jeanes Hospital, dedicated to cancer research, and the Jeanes Supervisors program, the precursor to the Negro Rural School Fund, which educated many African American teachers and students across the southern states.
Bethel Burying GroundPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
This early African American cemetery was established in 1810 by Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church after the burial ground at the church had been filled. The ground was purchased by church members and may be the first independent cemetery for the interment of the African American community. After the land had been sold several times, the Weccacoe Playground was built over the burials rather than having them relocated.
Charles Freemont West (1899–1979)Washington Washington
An African American athlete who won the National Collegiate Pentathlon Championship at the Penn Relays, West was named to the 1924 Olympic track team. While a student and football player at Washington & Jefferson College, he became the first African American quarterback in the Rose Bowl. When Washington & Lee College demanded that W&J bench West for the 1923 game because he was African American, West refused to sit out and was backed by coach John Heisman and the college administration.
Cynthia Catlin MillerSugar GroveWarren
An active organizer of the abolitionist movement in Warren County, Miller harbored many freedom seekers in her home. She founded the Female Assisting Society and the Ladies' Fugitive Aid Society. One of the leading planners of the 1854 Sugar Grove Convention, she hosted speaker Frederick Douglass in her home.
Dorothy Mae RichardsonPittsburghPittsburgh
Richardson was an activist from Pittsburgh's Central North side who in 1968 launched Neighborhood Housing Services, a progressive resident-led model of community development to combat poor and unsafe living conditions by changing financial lending practices in urban neighborhoods. Her program drew the attention of federal officials and led to its replication in 1978 with the founding of NeighborWorks America, a congressionally chartered nonprofit that supports community development.
Dr. Thomas E. Starzl (1926–2017)PittsburghPittsburgh
Starzl performed the first successful liver and kidney transplants and became the foremost authority on transplantation. He launched the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's (UPMC) transplant unit, which became the largest and busiest in the world. At UPMC, he developed the immunosuppressant drug that is used worldwide to prevent organ rejection.
FBI Office BurglaryMediaDelaware
The documents obtained during this 1971 operation by the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI exposed the FBI's civilian surveillance program, COINTELPRO. The program was created to investigate and disrupt dissident political groups in the US. Following the Washington Post's publication of some of this material, the FBI's questionable methods were uncovered and COINTELPRO was shut down.
Fruit Research & Extension CenterButler TownshipAdams
Established in 1918, the Fruit Research & Extension Center (FREC) conducted extensive research into diseases and pests attacking Pennsylvania fruit trees and developed treatments for them. FREC is credited with eradicating plum pox, substantially reducing losses due to pests, and increasing yields for more than a decade. It has affected fruit growers, distributors and consumers nationwide.
James Joseph "Jim" Croce (1943–1973)LyndellChester 
Successful singer/songwriter Croce's work rose to the top of national and international pop music charts for singles and albums in the 1970s. His songs have been covered by hundreds of performers. He is known as a folk storyteller, with such iconic hits as Time in a Bottle, Operator, I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song, and Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. He was killed in a tragic plane crash at age 30.
John Updike (1932–2009)ShillingtonBerks 
One of the most influential American writers of the 20th century, Updike was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He was inspired by his mother, who was an aspiring writer, and his home and hometown were included in many of his writings, most notably his Rabbit novels. He was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal.
Marianna Mine ExplosionMariannaWashington
This tragic incident occurred in 1908 and is one of the worst mining disasters in U.S. history. It gained national attention, catalyzed public awareness, and along with other accidents in the early 20th century led to the establishment of the United States Bureau of Mines (USBM). Before it was dissolved in 1996, the USBM conducted research and disseminated information on the extraction, processing, use and conservation of mineral resources.
PandenariumSpringfield TownshipMercer
Now a historic archaeological site, Pandenarium was a community of free manumitted slaves from the 1850s through the 1930s. Established as part of a small movement intended to afford economic independence through agricultural enterprise, this site offers a rare opportunity to study this type of community and adds to our understanding of the African American experience in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Memorial HomeBrookvilleJefferson 
Established in 1890, the Pennsylvania Memorial Home was open to Civil War veterans and their families, widows and orphans. It was the first veterans' home in Pennsylvania and one of the first nationwide that was so inclusive, serving as a model to others across the country. Local Women's Relief Corps member Kate Scott worked with social reformer Annie Wittenmyer to establish this facility and to urge Pennsylvania legislators to provide funding.
Thomas J. Gola (1933–2014)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Considered one of the greatest basketball players of the mid-20th century, Gola received numerous individual achievement awards, leading the LaSalle College team to victories in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and the NCAA Championship. He went on to play 11 seasons in the NBA and is one of only two players to have won the NIT, as well as NCAA and NBA championships. He represented the U.S. in the 1964 "Behind the Iron Curtain" tour and was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976.
Thomas Wistar Jr. (1798–1876)Abington TownshipMontgomery
Wister was a Philadelphia Quaker who served for nearly 40 years as a recurrent Indian commissioner during the administrations of seven presidents, from Zachary Taylor to Ulysses S. Grant. Wistar made more than 20 trips to western states to act as a negotiator. In the mid-19th century, the U.S. government considered two means of dealing with Native American populations: extermination or civilization. Wistar developed Grant's Peace Policy, based on empathy toward native tribes and "gradual civilization," which left a mixed legacy.
William J. Murtagh (1923–2018)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
One of the nation's leading preservationists, Murtagh was instrumental in the enactment of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and is considered a founding father in the field of historic preservation. He was also a leader at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the first keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. He received numerous preservation awards and served on the boards of national and international preservation organizations.
Women's Pa. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
This early animal welfare organization established the first animal shelter in the nation and became an inspiration and model for similar groups. Founded in 1869, principally by social reformer Caroline Earle White, the organization pioneered humane standards in animal capture and transport, housing and sanitation, employee training, and euthanasia. It also initiated educational programs and organized the nation's first junior humane societies.
collapse Year Approved : 2018 ‎(17)
Barney Ewell (1918-1996)LancasterLancaster
African American sprinter who won a gold and two silver medals at the 1948 Olympics. Although the 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of WWII while Ewell was in his prime, he was able to maintain the highest level of performance at an international level to qualify for and medal at the 1948 Olympics. Member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Benjamin Lay (1682-1759)AbingtonMontgomery
An early Quaker abolitionist, Lay wrote anti-slavery literature, boycotted products that used slave labor, demonstrated in the streets, and was vocal at Quaker meetings encouraging the immediate abolition of slavery. Due to his activism, the Quakers became the first religious group to outlaw slaveholding by their members. He also influenced the broader abolitionist movement in the US and Great Britain.
D.T.Watson Home for Crippled ChildrenLeet TownshipAllegheny
Facility at which patients were first to receive the Salk polio vaccine. By the 1950s it was among the nation’s preeminent facilities that treated children with polio and provided physical rehabilitation. Medical Director Dr. Jessie Wright worked closely with Jonas Salk to develop a safe and effective polio vaccine.
Dewey's Sit-InPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
One of the earliest LGBT rights protests in the build-up to the Stonewall Riots four years later.  Its success served to encourage the LGBT rights activism that followed.  The sit-in was also notable for its defense of the early transgender community.  It was an important episode in the history of U.S. democracy, political activism and civil rights.  
Eddystone Rifle PlantEddystoneDelaware
This 34-acre facility supplied nearly half of all infantry weapons issued to US forces during WWI, as well as over 600,000 rifles for the British army. It was the largest munitions plant in the US during WWI, employing 15,000 workers, 20 percent of them women.
Ham FisherWilkes-BarreLuzerne
Creator of the Joe Palooka comic strip that was syndicated nationwide for more than 50 years. Palooka was a prize fighting, clean living hero. The comic strip gained popularity during WWII, as the Palooka character enlisted in the Army. The strip served to encourage recruitment and to boost morale among American troops. It also served as a tool to sell war bonds and encouraged support of the war effort.
Isaac and Dinah Mendenhall (1806-1882), (1807-1889)Chadds FordChester
Quaker abolitionists who were active with the Underground Railroad, collaborating with Thomas Garrett and Harriet Tubman. The Mendenhalls were charter members of the Longwood Progressive Meeting, which broke from the more traditional Old Kennett Meeting in 1853 due to their anti-slavery activism. The meeting hosted national abolitionist speakers such as Sojourner Truth and William Lloyd Garrison. Dinah was part of a delegation that met with President Lincoln to advocate for the abolition of slavery just six months before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
John Philip Boehm (1683-1749)Blue BellMontgomery
Founder of the German Reformed Church in America, which developed into the modern day United Church of Christ. One of the most important aspects of his work was establishing governance for churches. He developed a church constitution 60 years prior to the US Constitution. He founded twelve churches and served at another eight as pastor.
Lois Weber (1879-1939)PittsburghAllegheny
The first American woman film director and a pioneer in early film making. In the era of silent films, she mastered superimposition, double exposures, and split screens to convey thoughts and ideas rather than words on title cards. She also used the nude female figure in the 1915 film Hypocrites and took on progressive and provocative topics, inciting both censorship and artistic praise.
McAllister Family of OpticiansPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Beginning in 1799, John McAllister began selling spectacles at his shop in Philadelphia. He became a skilled optician and clients included presidents Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Jackson, as well as other prominent individuals locally and throughout the country. John, Jr. was instrumental in advances in photography. John, Jr., and William McAllister worked and taught at the pioneering Wills Eye Institute. Five generations maintained this distinguished legacy through the mid-20th century.
Oliver Pollock (1737-183)MechanicsburgCumberland
A successful merchant and major financier of the American Revolution, Pollock endured bankruptcy and imprisonment. He became agent of the Continental Congress in the Spanish territory of New Orleans and became a friend of Governor Bernardo Galvez, who sent supplies to the Continental Army. Pollock accompanied Galvez in raids against the British on the eastern border. He is credited with financing the 1778 Illinois expedition of George Rogers Clark as well as that of James Willing against Loyalists on the lower Mississippi.
Philadelphia Flower ShowPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The largest and longest running horticultural event in the nation, the Philadelphia Flower Show features displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. Throughout its history this event has introduced many little-known species. At the inaugural show in 1829, the poinsettia was introduced to the American public. It has been honored multiple times as best in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association.
Richard Moore (1793-1875)QuakertownBucks
A Quaker abolitionist, active with the Underground Railroad. Moore’s home was a major station on the network. Moore claimed to have assisted more than 600 fugitive slaves in their escape, including William Parker who was involved in the Christiana Riot. Moore also helped a number of fugitives to find jobs and set up residence in Quakertown.
Ruth Plumly Thompson (1891-1976)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Author of 19 Wizard of Oz books, following the death of creator L. Frank Baum. Having earned a reputation as a talented author of children’s literature, Baum’s publisher solicited her to continue the official Oz series. She wrote one Oz book per year from 1921 through 1939, maintaining the series’ popularity through the release of the classic film.
Slinky ToyClifton HeightsPhiladelphia
Ubiquitous American toy invented by mechanical engineer Richard James in 1943. Following Mr. James’ religious conversion and nearly bankrupting the company in the early 1960s, his wife divorced him. He relocated to Bolivia and Betty James took over the business and turned it into a multi-million-dollar company with international distribution. She was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Slinky was listed on the Toy Industry Association’s “Century of Toys” for the 20th century.
Sunset ParkPenn Township Chester
Country and Bluegrass music venue that operated for over 50 years. Some of the biggest names in the business played here and it became one of the premier venues outside of Nashville. This venue helped to spread the popularity of this type of music nationwide. By the 1980s the mailing list included individuals in 48 states. Bluegrass icon Ola Belle Reed played here for over 20 years with the Sunset Park house band.
William J. McKnight, M.D.BrookvilleJefferson
Doctor, legislator and historian, McKnight introduced an Act in 1883 while senator that legalized human dissection, provided for unclaimed bodies to be distributed to medical schools for anatomical study, and made grave robbery illegal. The act served to advance the field of medicine and by extension, physical anthropology and forensic science. McKnight also authored several county histories and the History of Northwestern PA.
collapse Year Approved : 2017 ‎(18)
Dr. James Curtis Hepburn (1815-1911)MiltonNorthumberland
Medical doctor and missionary to Japan. Hepburn introduced western medicine to Japan and opened an academy that continues as a major university. He published an English/Japanese dictionary and developed a system of transcribing Japanese characters into the Latin alphabet called "Hepburn Romanization" still in use today.
Dr. Leon H. Sullivan (1922-2001)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
African American Civil Rights leader, Sullivan promoted anti-discrimination and advocated many charitable and self-improvement programs for blacks in this country. He advised a number of US presidents. He also was involved in the movement to end Apartheid in South Africa.  
Fairview ParkDelmontWestmoreland
Property purchased in 1945 which became the first amusement park in PA owned and operated by African Americans. The park offered African Americans recreational opportunities denied them at amusement parks from which they were excluded.
Hester Vaughn Trial, ThePhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
In 1868 a poor woman was accused of killing her infant, and was convicted at trial and sentenced to be hanged. The fledgling Women's Rights Movement led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton took up her cause and launched a media campaign claiming Vaughn had been denied a fair trial by a jury of her peers. Gov. John Geary pardoned Vaughn the following year.
Huber Coal BreakerAshleyLuzerne
Constructed in the 1930s by Glen Alden Coal Company, this breaker processed nearly 7000 tons of coal daily through the 1970s. To distinguish its product, the company sprayed color on its anthracite, creating "blue coal." It was one of the first to utilize Menzies cones to separate coal and was first to use aerial disposal of waste by-products.
Inez Mecusker (1855-1941)CorryErie
Noted soprano in the late 19th and early 20th century. Billed as the American Cantatrice, she appeared in Vaudeville, Broadway, and operas, and she toured with nationally-known bands, most notably, John Philip Sousa's.
James Bell's Tavern / Anti-Federalist MovementCarlisleCumberland
Colonial tavern that served as a meeting place for Anti-federalists during the development of the US Constitution. At the time, Cumberland County was the frontier of Pennsylvania.  Local residents believed in limited government and secure civil rights, and protested against eastern commercial, conservative domination. This can be seen as the birthplace of the Bill of Rights and the Democratic Party.
Jefferson Street BallparksPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Baseball fields where both the first National League game and the first inter-racial game were played. They operated from 1864 to 1891 during the time when baseball evolved from an amateur leisure event to a competitive professional sport and "America's pastime."
Jewish Hospital, ThePhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The Jewish population in Philadelphia expanded sharply in the mid-19th century. Jews that became sick or injured had to go to hospitals that did not accommodate their religious traditions. This hospital was opened 1866, the 3rd Jewish hospital in the nation. Although open to all, it provided kosher food and access to rabbis for the dying, and respected death and burial traditions of the Jewish faith.
John S. Trower (1849-1911)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
African American businessman who became one of the wealthiest blacks in the US by the time of his death in 1911. Primarily a caterer and restauranteur, Trower invested his profits in real estate, established a trade school for African Americans, and donated generously to religious and charitable causes. Noted in Booker T. Washington's The Negro Business (1907).
Marc Blitzstein (1905-1964)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia

One of the 20th century's most influential American composers and lyricists. Blitzstein was a contemporary of Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson and a mentor to Leonard Bernstein. His controversial 1937 musical The Cradle Will Rock made musical history when it was shut down by the government due to its pro-union themes. His translation of Threepenny Opera has been performed worldwide.

Mary Engle Pennington (1872-1952)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
She received her PhD in chemistry in 1895 and went on to become a leader in research and implementation of food preservation measures. She investigated and improved commercial refrigeration and transportation of perishable food, very important during WWI for providing food to soldiers. She is credited with inventing the egg carton to safeguard eggs from breakage.
MOVE Bombing, The (Jubilee School)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The black liberation group MOVE, founded in 1972 by John Africa, engaged in a conflict with law enforcement in 1978. A firefight erupted killing a police officer and injuring several on both sides. In 1985, when police tried to evict group members from a subsequent house they occupied, tragedy occurred. The City of Philadelphia, aided by the state police and the FBI, raided and bombed the residence when the group refused to vacate. These extreme measures resulted in an out-of-control fire that destroyed 61 homes and left about 250 homeless.  Ultimately, 6 adults and 5 children were killed.
PA Canal (Western Division)LeechburgArmstrong
Part of the PA Mainline Canal from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh which reduced the travel time between the two cities from 3 weeks to 4 1/2 days. Dam #1 at Leechburg supplied the remaining 37 miles to Pittsburgh with water and provided slack water for 7 miles above the dam. There are many PHMC markers for Pennsylvania canal systems, but few that recognize the western division of the Main Line canal.
Repasz BandWilliamsportLycoming
Founded in 1831, it is one of the oldest continuously operating community band in the US. The band played at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox and for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It was also present at two inaugurations for Presidents T. Roosevelt and Taft. The Repasz Band March, composed in 1897, has been performed nationwide.
Samuel V. Merrick (1801-1870)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Prominent 19th century manufacturer and businessman. He established Southwark Iron Foundry which became one of the largest and most advanced of its time. It built engines for important Civil War naval vessels. Merrick co-founded the Franklin Institute and was first president of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Simon Girty (1741-1818)PittsburghAllegheny
Frontiersman captured by the Indians as a youth in 1756, Girty lived among his Native American captors for several years, learning their language and culture. Following his release in 1764, he became an Indian interpreter for the British. During the American Revolution, he became the chief military representative of the British among the Native tribes in PA, OH, KY, WV, IN, and MI. A controversial figure, he fought against the US in the War of 1812.
Smith Memorial Playground and PlayhousePhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Claimed to be one of the first dedicated play spaces for children in the US, established in 1899. Richard and Sarah Smith were influenced by the American Playground Movement which began in the mid-1880s. The site is unique in that it has always operated as a private institution on public land, and has been racially and economically integrated - free and open to all.
collapse Year Approved : 2016 ‎(23)
Barbara GittingsPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Early LGBT leader who was instrumental in having homosexuality removed from its classification as a mental illness and promoting the inclusion of gay publications in libraries across the nation.
Baruch S. BlumbergPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Nobel Prize recipient in 1976 for identifying the hepatitis B virus and developing its diagnostic test and vaccine.
Century Farm ProgramTowandaBradford
Statewide program administered by the Dept. of Agriculture to recognize Pennsylvania farmers whose property has been in the same family for 100 years or more. Started in PA by the Bradford County Historical Soc. in 1949, it was adopted statewide in 1976.
Chief CornplanterOil CityVenango
Native American leader in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Cornplanter was a key negotiator with the PA government and was granted several tracts of land for Seneca settlement in northwestern PA.
Davies and Thomas CompanyCatasauquaLehigh
Originally organized as an iron foundry, the company began manufacturing iron plates for lining tunnels in the early 1900s.  It achieved widespread success providing the durable lining for famous NY City tunnels: Holland, Lincoln, Queens Midtown, and for other major tunnel lining projects. A segment of a Davies & Thomas PA Railroad tunnel was on display at the St. Louis Worlds' Fair.
Dr. Alice C. EvansLeRaysvilleBradford
Bacteriologist that discovered the correlation between the consumption of raw milk and brucellosis or "undulant" fever and published her report in 1918. She worked for the USDA promoting the pasteurization of milk to prevent the disease and instrumental in the development of pasteurization laws passed in the 1920s.
Dr. Anna Elizabeth BroomallChesterDelaware
Early woman OB/GYN. Her achievements include the expansion and improvement of nurse training, organizing one of the nation's first prenatal clinics and perfecting and promoting numerous birth-related procedures including episiotomies and Caesarian sections that led to a reduction in mortality and serious injuries.
Father John Christian Frederick HeyerFriedensSomerset
Heyer was a Lutheran pastor and first American Lutheran missionary to India. Heyer was instrumental in the founding of the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, the first of its kind in the US, and established several Lutheran parishes in western PA.
First Puddling Ironmaking Furnace in AmericaMenallen Twp.Fayette
The process pioneered in the US at this furnace in 1817 revolutionized the iron industry and greatly advanced the industrial revolution. The process also led to the formation of the nation's first workers' union in the metals industry, the Sons of Vulcan, the precursor of the United Steelworkers.
Fleetwood Metal Body CompanyFleetwoodBerks
One of the foremost custom car body manufacturers in the nation, Fleetwood started in PA in 1909 and remained here for 20 years before becoming a subsidiary of General Motors. The chassis produced by the company were installed on many of the finest American cars, including the self-named Cadillac Fleetwood.
Harvey PollackPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Basketball statistician for the NBA, Pollack developed a system of record-keeping adopted across the league. He coined the terms "slam-dunk," "rebound," "blocked-shots" and others that are now household words. Pollack revolutionized the way players were assessed that impacted recruiting, coaching, trading, and strategic play.
Hotel Brotherhood USAPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
One of the earliest African American labor unions, hotel workers established it in 1883 in Philadelphia. The organization began protesting pay inequities as compared to white workers. It also set up a benevolent aid fund for members. It spawned chapters in many major US cities.
Insurance Company of North America (INA)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The first incorporated stock insurance company in the nation, INA was established in 1792 as a marine insurer. In 1794 it became the first company to insure the contents of a building from fire. The company pioneered the Homeowners Insurance Policy in 1950, one of the most successful and imitated of all insurance products.
Jackie OrmesNew EagleWashington
The first African American woman cartoonist, Ormes produced a nationally syndicated column in the 1930s for the Pittsburgh Courier, featuring her Torchy Brown character. Although black, the character possessed a sophistication rarely seen in depictions of African Americans at the time. She went on to create similar comic strips that went against stereotype.
John S. FineWilkes-BarreLuzerne
Governor of PA from 1951 to 1955. His administration instituted the first permanent sales tax in PA, ended segregation of the National Guard, and opened the State Police to African Americans.
Jonathan LettermanCanonsburgWashington
Civil War doctor considered the Father of Battlefield Medicine.  Letterman designed a prototype medical supply wagon, devised a system of triage stations and mobile field hospitals, and instituted an efficient management system for supply distribution and patient evacuation. Many of his principles are still used in modern warfare.
Penn's Landing: Arrival Point of First AfricansPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The first slave ship arrived at the Philadelphia port in 1684, carrying African slaves to William Penn's newly established colony. In the early years of PA, the Quakers in power did little to discourage slavery. Many owned their own slaves and did not prevent the importation of slaves to the colony. Although PA is considered a leader in the abolitionist movement, slavery was an accepted institution in the state's early history.
Pepper Hill Fire of 1938SinnemahoningCameron
An untrained Civilian Conservation Corps unit was sent to fight a forest fire that turned to tragedy. The unit was comprised of boys in their late teens; seven of them and a supervisor were killed by the fire. This incident is used as a case study in training today and principles of wild land firefighting were developed as a result.
Philadelphia Ronald McDonald HousePhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Established in 1974, the institution houses the families of hospitalized children for free. In a cooperative effort between Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Eagles and McDonalds, a nationwide campaign was launched to raise money for and build the first Ronald McDonald House. There are now over 350 houses at most major hospitals throughout the US and in 38 countries.
Ruth McGinnisHonesdaleWayne
Billiards phenom who was the Women's Pocket Billiard Champion of the World from 1932-1940. McGinnis toured the US with Willie Mosconi and defeated some of the best pool players in the nation, mostly men. In a widely publicized exhibition match she soundly defeated the great woman athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias.
Stephanie Louise KwolekSouthwestern PATBD
A polymer scientist who invented Kevlar. Kwolek worked as a chemist for Dupont for 40 years. In 1975 Dupont made Kevlar bullet-proof vests available to law enforcement agencies. This protective gear has become critical to the safety of law enforcement personnel world-wide.
The Dixie HummingbirdsPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Nationally recognized soul gospel music group, they were on the cutting edge of the genre for 30 years. Their cover of Paul Simon's hit Loves Me Like a Rock, the original of which they recorded with him, won a Grammy Award in 1973. The band was featured in the NY Times and TIME magazine and they have influenced artists such as: the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and James Brown. The band was a recipient of a PA Governor's Award for the Arts in 2006.
William W. ScrantonScrantonLackawanna
Governor of PA from 1963 to 1967. He focused on public works, the Peace Corps and other economic aid, and fiscal responsibility. He went on to be an advisor to presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, and Ford, an ambassador, and a UN representative.
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