Mini-Grant Opportunity

The Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor has announced a second funding opportunity for nonprofits and municipalities along the historic Lincoln Highway in Westmoreland, Somerset, Bedford, Fulton, Franklin, and Adams Counties. Deadline for application is March 9, 2018. Direct any questions to Olga Herbert at (724) 879-4241.

CLICK HERE for grant information, guidelines, and the grant application.

Winners from Third Annual Nature Art Showcase Announced

Attendees at last weekend’s Third Annual Nature Art Showcase cast ballots for the “People’s Choice” awards while they viewed more than 70 items displayed in the main lobby of the Barrow-Civic Theatre in downtown Franklin during the Franklin On Ice festival.

The Council on Greenways and Trails is pleased to announce that the top vote-getter with 40 votes is a multi-media art entry entitled “Into The Woods” by Paul La Pierre, Sr. of Knox, PA.  Mr. LaPierre utilized raw timber as a very tall frame to contain a clear-glass covered photograph he had taken of a summer woods scene.  As his prize, he received a pottery vase in a lily design provided courtesy of Campbell’s Pottery Store in Cambridge Springs.

The next highest number of “People’s Choice” votes was 29, cast for John Carbone’s “Nature’s Ice Sculptures” photograph which captured frozen water droplets and their reflections in a flowing winter stream.  Mr. Carbone resides in Clarion, PA.

Other runner-ups were art items submitted by Mike Weber of Grove City, Amy Hahn of Cambridge Springs, and Thomas Siverling of Cochranton.  Weber’s “Truth Seeker” is a photo- graph printed onto metal showing an individual walking into Rockland Tunnel on the Allegheny River Trail, carrying a single light; it received 25 votes.  Hahn’s “Barn Owl” blends several types of stained glass into a realistic depiction of a perched barn owl; it received 24 votes.  At 22 votes, Siverling’s “Through The Trees” is a black/white photograph illustrating natural lighting.

Representatives of the Council on Greenways and Trails selected “Happy Go Lucky,” a colored pencil rendering by Janine Stiffler of Tionesta of a raccoon, to be featured in the art shirt produced from this year’s event in the coming months. CGT has traditionally produced a new shirt each year; still available for purchase are blue heather shirts with Susan McGuire’s “Two Mile Run” watercolor and black shirts with John Carbone’s “A Glimpse Into the Soul of a Dandelion.”  The items are available via

The Nature Art Showcase was sponsored by Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts, Barrow-Civic Theatre, Chicken Coop Studio 306, Erie Arts & Culture, Franklin Fine Arts Council, Oil City Arts Council, Oil Region Alliance, Oil Region Coalition of Artists, Penn Soil RC&D Council, Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce, Titusville Council on the Arts, and Victorian City Art & Frame.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Black, Treasurer of the Council on Greenways and Trails, at the Oil Region Alliance, (814) 677-3152, Extension 105;

“The Context and Celebrity of Coal Oil Johnny” Workshop

The Oil City Library will be the site for a workshop from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Saturday, February 10 to explore the celebrity “Coal Oil Johnny.”

This workshop, presented by oil historian Neil McElwee of Oil City, will discuss 1859 – 1869 in the Oil Creek Valley, especially the communities where John Washington Steele and the McClintock and Moffitt families resided. Johnny married Eleanor J. Moffitt of Dempseytown in 1862.

John Washington Steele, a.k.a. Coal Oil Johnny, was born in 1843 near Sheakleyville, Mercer County, and adopted by Culbertson McClintock and his wife Sarah McKnight McClintock in 1845. The McClintocks made their home on the west bank of Oil Creek. Their property, which was a strong oil producer in the 1860s, made John a wealthy young man. Coal Oil Johnny’s antics in Philadelphia, some true and some embellished, were made famous across the country through gossip and newspaper coverage.

Registration for the workshop is $15/person or $25 for two people, and will include workshop materials and refreshments. Register by February 7 by contacting Jennifer Burden at the Oil Region Alliance, 677-3152, Extension 116 or at

This program is part of a year-long series of public programs and activities is being coordinated by the nonprofit Oil Region Alliance, which owns and operates the Coal Oil Johnny House located today in Rynd Farm at the south tip of Oil Creek State Park, just east of Route 8 north of Rouseville, Pennsylvania. Proceeds are being earmarked for the ongoing maintenance and operation of this circa 1850 farmhouse.

For more information about the McClintock family or to schedule a private tour of the Coal Oil Johnny House, please contact Ms. Burden.

Nature Art Showcase is Free to Public during Franklin on Ice

The public is welcome to attend the free indoor Third Annual Nature Art Showcase in downtown Franklin during the February 2 and 3 Franklin On Ice festivities.  This combination art exhibition and art sales opportunity features diverse artistic styles and topics, each featuring outdoor recreation, nature, or scenes from Venango, Clarion, and Crawford Counties.

The Showcase is coordinated by the Council on Greenways and Trails, with administrative support courtesy of Penn Soil Resource Conservation & Development Council.  It is held in the comfortable lobby of the Barrow-Civic Theatre on Friday evening, February 2 from 5 until 7 pm and on Saturday, February 3 from 10 am until 7 pm.

Artists may still register one or two entries for this year’s event.  Desired are 2-D and 3-D original art pieces.  Typically displayed are photography, sculptures in wood and metal, paintings, drawings, mixed media pieces, carved furniture, jewelry, coasters, watercolors, mosaics, and fabric works.

Attendees will vote for a “People’s Choice” award.  At the 2017 Nature Art Showcase, there was a tie for the “People’s Choice” award, which was therefore shared by Clarion County’s Jack Carbone for his close-up photograph of a dandelion and by Crawford County’s Amy Hahn for her glass mosaic of a black bear.

Artist participation is also free, although advance registration is required in order for the items to be included in the printed Exhibition Booklet which all attendees receive.  Registrations received by January 16 will appear in the booklet, while later entries will be recognized on an insert sheet augmenting the booklet.  Each artist sets the retail selling price for the items which are for sale on site.  Artwork registration instructions and forms are available on line at, or by calling Mrs. Marilyn Black at the office of the Oil Region Alliance, (814) 677-3152, Extension 105,  Completed registration forms are to go to the attention of Sherry Moore at the Penn Soil office, (814) 726-1441, Extension 1;

Sponsors of the Third Annual Nature Art Showcase include the Barrow-Civic Theatre, Erie Arts & Culture, Franklin Fine Arts Council, Oil City Arts Council, Oil Region Alliance, Penn Soil RC&D Council, Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Victorian City Art & Frame.

Explore the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail

The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail celebrates a variety of makers, from fine winemakers and distilleries to wood carving artists and colorful glassware makers. Learn more about these artisans and makers along the trail and plan a visit today. Find more information at PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor’s website HERE.

Ring in the New Year at Gateway Lodge with a Special Travel Package

Take advantage of the Gateway Lodge New Year’s Eve Package, December 29th – January 1st.

Ring in the new year at the Gateway Lodge in the Lumber Heritage Region. The package includes three nights in a suite, breakfast each morning, a five-course dinner on New Year’s Eve with live music, dancing appetizers, and a midnight toast.

Click here for the details and to make a reservation.

Join in on the Family Fun at PEEPSFEST®

Saturday, December 30, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday, December 31, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm


Join the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor for family fun at PEEPSFEST®, the annual two-day New Year’s Eve festival celebrating the fun and excitement of the PEEPS® Brand at the iconic SteelStacks in Bethlehem, PA.

Each year, fans arrive from all over the country to enjoy family-friendly activities and marvel at the PEEPS® Chick Drop – a 4-feet, 9-inches tall, 200-pound lit PEEPS® Chick that descends at 5:15 pm on Dec. 31 to commemorate the beginning of an exciting new year. PEEPSFEST® celebrates the sweet marshmallow candies made in the Lehigh Valley by Just Born Quality Confections.

Click here for more information.

Celebrate 5th Fridays with HeritagePA

As we greet the new year, make a resolution to support your local creators and makers. Use this extra Friday to take in the history, heritage, and creativity of Pennsylvania while supporting local businesses and organizations. For some ideas, check out the four events below happening along the National Road and Route 6, as well as in the Schuylkill River, Oil Region, and Endless Mountains heritage areas.

National Road Heritage Corridor:
Visit the towns along the National Road & Shop Local

Oil Region National Heritage Area:
Explore the Venango Museum of Art, Science and Industry

PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor & Endless Mountains Heritage Region:
Discover Local Art and Products at the first ever Makers Fest

Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area:
Immerse Yourself in Local Creations at the Walk in Art Center

Extend the 5th Friday weekend in the Lumber Heritage Region and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.

Lumber Heritage Region:
Ring in the New Year at Gateway Lodge with a Special Travel Package

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor:
Join in on the Family Fun at PEEPSFEST®

Here are the upcoming 5th Fridays happening through 2018: March 30, 2018; June 29, 2018; August 31, 2018; November 30, 2018. Look out for more information and events on these dates in the future.

Announcing Stewardship Fund for Coal Oil Johnny House

A stewardship fund established to help finance the ongoing preservation and operation of the Coal Oil Johnny House is being introduced during a public December 12 Birthday Party celebrating its namesake’s 174th birthday.

The two-story peg-n-post farmhouse is situated today at Rynd Farm at the south tip of Oil Creek State Park, on a parcel leased by the nonprofit Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry, and Tourism which acquired the building in 1999.  It was constructed on the west bank of Oil Creek in approximately 1850 by Culbertson and Sarah McClintock, who adopted John Washington Steele and his sister Permelia.  The McClintock farm became one of the highly productive oil farms during the hustling and bustling years after Drake’s initial successful 1859 well upstream along Oil Creek.

The McClintock-Steele-Waitz House carries the names of the three most famous families who owned it and resided therein.  Steele is better known by the nickname given him by Philadelphia journalists to reflect his over-the-top spending of the family’s petroleum proceeds during two years of outlandish living away from his wife and young son who continued to live in the house and were assisted by her family (the Moffitts) from Dempseytown.  Larry and Carole Waitz of Rouseville are the third generation of the Waitz family to have owned this property.

The Coal Oil Johnny House Stewardship Fund will support the operation and maintenance of this simple wooden building, which is a house museum open by appointment.  The fund will be directly administered by the Oil Region Alliance.

The public is invited to join in the 174th Birthday Party and educational program entitled “Coal Oil Johnny’s Times” which will occur on Tuesday, December 12 at 7 p.m. inside the Venango Museum of Art, Science & Industry at 270 Seneca Street in downtown Oil City.  Adult admission is $5, with students free of charge when accompanied by an adult.  The guest speaker is historian Neil McElwee.  Birthday-style refreshments will be served.

While advance reservations are not required, it would be helpful if likely guests would RSVP to the attention of Mrs. Marilyn Black at the Oil Region Alliance office, (814) 677-3152, Extension 105,