Carbon County

I'm not sure how commonly this is known, but did you realize that every one of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, in addition to being home to many other markers, has a PHMC marker of its very own? I've been trying to figure out the best way to talk about these, but as is so often the case, I'm probably overthinking the matter and I'm just going to treat them like the other markers.

The marker for each county is found in the vicinity of the county courthouse, and the community where the county courthouse is located is known as the county seat. (The lone exception to this rule is Philadelphia County, which consists entirely of the city of Philadelphia - it is its own county seat.) So if you haven't had occasion to wander past the courthouse of a given county, odds are you've never seen one of these markers.

Rock Ford, Lancaster, Lancaster County

Happy April! Pennsylvania is finally starting to get warm(ish)!

First, another shout out to Karen Galle, the director of the PHMC’s historical marker program. She recently updated their official blog with some info about new markers that are being erected this year, thus ensuring that I will continue to have blog subjects for years to come, and at the very end she gave a lovely shout-out to MarkerQuest! You can read the post, which is quite interesting, here.

If you read my post last year about the First Reformed Church of Lancaster, you may remember that I said I'm in that city at least once a year for Zenkaikon, the local annual gathering of pop culture enthusiasts. We were together once again at the end of March, so a big hello to any of my Z-pals who are reading this! While I was there with my usual guest star party members Rachel and Andrea, we took some time between panels to collect a few more signs for this blog. Today's subject was unexpected - we stumbled upon it while traveling between our hotel and the convention, and of course made the detour to get photos.

Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Northampton County

A special shout-out hello to Karen Galle, the director of the PHMC’s historical marker program, who recently emailed to say how much she's enjoying MarkerQuest! She suggested that I start including the county in the name of each blog post as well as the community, which makes sense to me, so thank you for the idea.

Words might be my bread and butter, but in today's post, I rely more heavily on photographs than I normally do. That's because it's sort of hard for me to adequately describe the treasures of the Moravian Archives.

First School Slate Factory, Slatington, Lehigh County

Looking at my schedule, this actually should have been posted last week. I have a really good reason for not posting last week, though: I forgot.

What I mean is, I got my weeks mixed up. The last few weeks have been spent moving house, and as anybody who has ever moved knows, it eats up your whole life for a little while. Now things are calming down, and the dust is settling (and getting vacuumed up), and I can start concentrating on other things again, like this blog. The first thing I notice, as I begin work, is that I'm off track, so thank you for your patience.

For this first post written in my new residence, I'm going back to the county of my birth, to the hometown of my grandmother and her sisters. Slatington gets its name from the local deposits of slate, which have been used over the years to make many things. In particular, it's been used to make school chalkboards, which is what today's post discusses.

Hanover Resolves, Grantville, Dauphin County

My apologies to anyone who missed me updating on schedule two weeks ago - we had some very bad weather and it affects me pretty intently. We're having some this week too, but I couldn't let another 'blog day' go by without an update.

Today's post is a slightly odd one, however. I don't have any photos to share except for the picture of the marker itself. But I did learn some interesting things while writing this, and I hope you find them interesting too.

Pilger Ruh, Bethel Township, Berks County

I've mentioned in previous posts that my good friend Rachel used to work for Historic Bethlehem before she moved out of state. One thing she told me is a running joke for the staff and volunteers is that "Count Zinzendorf is everywhere." The Count, as you may remember from my post about the first house of Bethlehem, is the one who gave that city its name and was extremely involved in the Moravian movement of the 18th century.

It's really not an exaggeration to say that he's everywhere, either, given the number of times I've come across his name in my work. However, while I'm used to him cropping up during research in Northampton County, I wasn't expecting to find his name on one of the markers in Berks County, more than seventy miles away.

Fort Deshler, Whitehall, Lehigh County

Hello and Happy 2019, history fans! I'm looking forward to another year of sharing with you the fascinating stories of our beloved commonwealth. To start us off, I'm back in my native Lehigh County for a marker which I pass almost every day.

A few months ago I told you about Fort Allen, up in Carbon County, which was built during the French and Indian War to help protect the local settlers from Native American raids. In fact, Pennsylvania was home to quite a number of similar forts, most of which are gone. One of these stood in Whitehall, near what today is Route 145, and it was called Fort Deshler.