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Historical Markers

Each year the PHMC partners with local non-profit organizations to install markers which promote Pennsylvania history. For more information visit

Initially, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's predecessor, the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, erected bronze plaques on boulders or stone monuments. When the Pennsylvania State Archives, The State Museum of Pennsylvania and the PHC combined in 1945 to form the PHMC, the modern Marker Program was born. Can you name all the makers in your neck of the woods?

Cresson Tuberculosis Sanatorium. Dedicated May 2014. Text: PA's anti-tuberculosis campaign, led by Dept of Health Commissioner S.G. Dixon, included 3 state-run sanatoria. Est 1913, Cresson was a model for the nation. It was first to be racially integrated, run a school of nursing & offer an elementary school. Its high elevation was considered beneficial for providing therapeutic fresh air to patients. Built on land donated by Andrew Carnegie, 40,000 patients were treated from 1913 to 1964.

George Nakashima (1905-1990) historical marker in Bucks County, PA. Text: Internatially acclaimed woodworker, architect, and leader of the American craft movement, his unique furniture style celebrated the inherent beauty of wood. Here, he created an environment integrating landscape, architecture, and interior design.

Baltimore Mine Tunnel Disaster. Dedicated Jan 2014. Text: Near here, on June 5, 1919, an explosion killed 92 and injured 60 when a fallen trolley wire contacted a cart carrying miners and kegs of blasting powder. One of the deadliest industrial disasters in Pa. history, it attracted international media and organized labor attention. A resulting US Bureau of Mines investigation led to the prohibition of transporting miners and explosives in the same rail car.

Historical Marker Commemorates Mine Tunnel Disaster

William Lewis (1751-1819). Marker text: Philadelphia judge, lawyer, and abolitionist, Lewis played an important role in the drafting and passage of the 1780 "Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery." It was the first abolition legislation in America. Lewis maintained an anti-slavery stance throughout his life as a counselor for the Pa. Abolition Society, defending the rights of slaves freed under this Act. Historic Strawberry Mansion, built in 1789, was Lewis's summer home.

Black Boys Rebellion. Dedicated June 2013. Text: This conflict began in 1765 on the site of the Widow Barr's house west of here, when British troops from Fort Loudon skirmished with a group of white settlers, wounding colonist James Brown. "The Black Boys," led by James Smith, opposed renewed trade relations with the Indians due to recent attacks, often disrupting British supply shipments to western forts. The incident is considered by many to be the first armed resistance to British rule.

Black Boys Rebellion | Conococheague Institute Blog

Pennepack Baptist Church. Dedicated June 2013. Text: It was founded in 1688 by Welsh and English Baptists led by Rev. Elias Keach who sought the religious freedom of William Penn's colony. It was the first permanent Baptist church in Pa. and mother church of Baptist congregations in the mid-Atlantic region. The nearby Pennypack Creek was utilized for baptisms. The cemetery's first recorded burial was in 1692. The existing 1805 church is built on the original 1707 meetinghouse foundation.

Mason-Dixon Survey. Dedicated Aug 2013. Text: Here, in 1763, the southernmost point of Philadelphia was determined as the starting point for the survey of one of the most important borders in the nation. Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon took scientific measurements of a degree of latitude, elevating professional surveying standards. The survey ended a land dispute begun by William Penn and Lord Baltimore. Western Pa. Indian wars and severe weather delayed completion of the line until 1768.

Surveyors Commemorate the Mason-Dixon Line

Camp Elder Civil War Paroled P.O.W. Camp. Text: After the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, over 2,000 Union prisoners were held at a makeshift camp here, awaiting exchange for Confederate prisoners. Retreating armies often issued battlefield paroles to captured enemy soldiers, who were then held by their own army. The community welcomed these men and tended the injured for several weeks until the Federal government declared the paroles invalid and returned the prisoners to their regiments.

August 2013. Adam J. Bernodin III, chairman of the ABA historical marker committee, left, and Jim Klock, treasurer of the Ashland Area Historic Preservation Society, celebrate after unveiling the state historical marker recognizing the Ashland Boys' Association on Hoffman Boulevard in Ashland, Saturday. (Jacqueline Dormer/Times-Shamrock)

Ligonier resident Joe Greubel (right), also known as Ice Cream Joe, and others celebrate the unveiling of a historical marker on Ligonier St. in Latrobe on August 23, 2013. The marker recognizes that the first documented banana split was created in Latrobe by David Strickler in 1904. (Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review)

Little Lithuania, USA. Dedicated August 2013. Text: A center for Lithuanian settlement since the late 1800s, Schuylkill County's population has the greatest concentration of Lithuanian ancestry in the US. The coal industry drew many of these immigrants. The local Knights of Lithuania, among the nation's oldest chapters, celebrates and preserves its ethnic heritage. Rev. Andrius Stupinskas who led one of the first Lithuanian American Catholic congregations (1872) is buried in St. George cemetery.

Scotland School for Veterans' Children. Dedicated July 2013. Text: Established in 1895 as PA Soldiers' Orphans Industrial School, the state-run institution provided primary & secondary education to veterans' children in a residential setting. About 10,000 boys & girls were instilled with a sense of patriotism that led many to pursue careers in the military. Students excelled in academics & sports until the school's 2009 closing. The Cadets & Red Devils teams won numerous championships.

Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades. Text: Founded in 1888 by philanthropist Isaiah V. Williamson to teach underprivileged young men "some trade, free of expense" via a character-based curriculum. With trade apprenticeships disappearing in the US in the late 19th century, it was a model in vocational education. It is the only trade school in the nation providing full scholarships to all students. The campus contains the largest existing collection of buildings designed by Frank Furness.

A historical marker was dedicated on May 1, 2013 for Patrick C. Boyle, a pioneering oil industry journalist, editor, and publisher. The nomination was sponsored by Oil Region Alliance and the ceremony included the Boyle family as well as Drake Well Museum administrator Melissa Mann.

Old Brick Capitol - The first State Capitol on this site was designed and built by Stephen Hills, 1819-1821. It was first occupied by the Legislature on January 2, 1822, and was used until destroyed by fire, February 2, 1897.