Discover Pennsylvania’s Elk Country

Also known as Elk Country, Pennsylvania’s Lumber Heritage Region (LHR) and is home to the largest wild elk herd in the northeastern United States. Whether you’re visiting the region for Elk watching, or to take in the spectacular views, you will not be disappointed.

LHR’s partner, the PA Wilds, has an Elk Country visitors experience that will keep you coming back for more. With some of the most magnificent wild lands east of the Mississippi, the Pennsylvania Wilds not only provides visitors with breathtaking beauty, but also has some of the best outdoor recreation activities in North America. Grab a locally-brewed beer at Straub Brewery or watch live demonstrations of chainsaw carvings at the Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, all the while being surrounded by breathtaking beauty and spectacular views.

To learn more, visit http://pawilds.com/landscape/elk-country/.

Celebrate the Beauty of the Schuylkill River at the Scenes of The Schuylkill Art Show

Devil’s Pool, oil on canvas by Maura Matthews

The Schuylkill River Greenways NHA has put out a call for artists to participate in the 15th Annual Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show.  This annual, juried event celebrates the beauty of the region with pieces created by some of the area’s finest artists. Hosted every fall, in partnership with Montgomery County Community College, artworks submitted are displayed in the West Campus gallery for viewing.

All submissions must be made on October 22 from 12 pm – 5 pm. The Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show will take place Oct. 31 – Dec. 14, 2018.

Visit this link for more information: http://www.schuylkillriver.org/Detail.aspx?id=1546

Celebrate The American Industrial Arts at the Festival of Combustion

With craft beer, food trucks, live music and an artisan marketplace, you won’t want to miss Rivers of Steel’s biggest event of the year! Join the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area at the Carrie Furnaces to celebrate the industrial arts Festival of Combustion this September!  Some of the region’s most skilled artists, makers and builders will be showcasing their crafts for you to enjoy. Watch as these artists perform live demonstrations of blacksmithing, glass-blowing, raku ceramics, welding, metal fabrication, and even custom automotive work!

In one of the main events of the festival, The Rivers of Steel’s skilled foundry team will fire up the furnaces and smelt iron, recreating the industrial process that the Carrie furnaces are best known for. Not only will festival-goers be able to witness one of the oldest industrial processes, but they will also be able to partake by carving their very own scratch mold to be cast during the iron pour! Attendees will have access to other hands-on activities including glazing raku-fired vases with Ton Pottery and printmaking with Katy Dement.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate; Kids under 18 get in free! For more information, or to book your ticket now, visit https://www.showclix.com/event/festival-of-combustion-.

2018 Greenways Awards Recipients Announced

Oil City, PA – The public is invited to attend a free ceremony on Wednesday, August 15 at which the annual Greenways Awards will be presented by the Council on Greenways and Trails.  This event will begin at 4 p.m. at Oil Creek Memorial Landing, located on Route 8 North in Oil City adjacent to the Dollar General store.

These annual awards celebrate individuals, groups, and businesses which reach out to assist the communities of Clarion, Crawford, and Venango Counties to enhance or protect greenways and trails, which can be parks, land and water trails, hiking /walking paths, scenic and cultural resources.  The property where the greenway is located may be private or public.

The Thomas Allen Greenways Partner of the Year Award will be presented to Tom Jennings, recognizing his talent and expertise in organizing the Oil Creek 100 Trail race held in Oil Creek State Park.  This year the event will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. To date, it has introduced thousands of people to greenways in the Oil Region National Heritage Region with over 450 runners and their families participating annually each autumn.  This award is sponsored by the Franklin Industrial and Commercial Development Authority.

Clarion County Chapter of the North Country Trails will be receiving the 2018 Greenways Neighbor of the Year Award for their work developing the new Clarion Loop Trail.  This 1.5 mile loop connects Main Street in Clarion to the Clarion River; it has quickly become an asset to the community with many recreational enthusiasts using it daily.  This award is sponsored by the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism.

The James E. Holden Greenways Volunteer of the Year Award is co-sponsored by the Holden family and the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce.   Michael O’Neill will be receiving this award for his work on the Rail 66 Country Trail.

All award recipients will receive framed certificates issued by the CGT, plus native serviceberry trees will be planted in their honor in an active greenways project site of their choice within the three-county area. For best tree survival, the actual tree plantings occur in the autumn; a custom bronze plaque made by Franklin Bronze Plaques is also positioned at the base of each of these award trees.

Refreshments will be served at the ceremony; there people planning to attend are asked to RSVP by calling Kim Harris, Awards Chair, at 814-677-3152; Ext. 120, [email protected]  For more information about CGT, please see www.nwpagreenways.org.

Celebrate 5th Fridays with HeritagePA

Pennsylvania’s 12 Heritage Areas are chock-full of U.S. history. Use this extra Friday, just before America’s birthday, to take in the history, heritage, and creativity of PA while supporting local businesses and organizations. For some ideas, check out these two events below happening along the National Road and PA Route 6.

National Road Heritage Corridor:
Visit the Towns Along the National Road & Shop Local

PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor: 
Visit the War Memorials and Historical Sites Along Route 6

Coal Oil Johnny House Free Open Houses Scheduled – June 24 & July 25

Oil City, PA – The historic McClintock-Steele-Waitz House, also known as the Coal Oil Johnny House, located at 167 Old Bankson Road inside Oil Creek State Park at Rynd Farm, will be open for free guided tours twice this summer.

The first Open House is scheduled for Sunday, June 24 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. The Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad will be operating steam locomotives this day, and the Coal Oil Johnny House is great vantage point to view the train coming into the Rynd Farm Station. The second Open House is set for Wednesday, July 25 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Through a special lease agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the nonprofit Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism owns this peg-n-post frame house, even though it sits on land owned and managed by the Bureau of State Parks within the Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Originally constructed on the west bank of Oil Creek downstream from its current location, this historic home was disassembled, transported, and reassembled in 2001 by the Oil Region Alliance by contractor, Gustafson General Contracting.

This historic property is named for three families who resided therein. Culbertson and Sarah McClintock built the home circa 1850, for them and their two adopted children, Permelia and John Washington Steele. In 1864, then 21-year-old John inherited the farm, home, and substantial oil royalties. It was during Steele’s notorious two-year-spending spree in Philadelphia and New York where journalists coined the nickname “Coal Oil Johnny” for him. After heavy spending, he went bankrupt and lost the property. The house changed hands frequently in the 1870s, until being purchased by the Waitz Family. In 1999, the Oil Region Alliance purchased the house from members of the Waitz family.

During the Open House, local re-enactors will portray members of the McClintock and Steele families. Guided tours of the house and light refreshments will be provided during the Open Houses; book sales will also be available on site. For more information or to schedule a private tour of the Coal Oil Johnny House, please contact Jennifer Burden, Historian-Educator, Oil Region Alliance, (814) 677-3152, Ext. 116 or [email protected]

Senator Scarnati Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from PA Route 6 Alliance

Galeton, PA – The PA Route 6 Alliance honored Senator Joe Scarnati with a DO 6 Lifetime Achievement Award on June 7, 2018, in his Harrisburg office.

The Board of the PA Route 6 Alliance recognized Senator Joe Scarnati, PA Senatorial District 25 & Senate President Pro Tempore with the honor, stating that the Senator has been a true friend of economic and community development, heritage tourism and recreational efforts in the Northern Tier for many years.

According to PA Route 6 Alliance Executive Director, Terri Dennison, when PA Route 6 became a dedicated Pennsylvania Heritage Area, Senator Scarnati provided support and assistance in establishing the organization that would manage the Heritage Corridor.

Dennison added that many of the popular attractions along Route 6 within his district benefited from his involvement; noting that several would be lost if he did not champion the cause including Lyman Run Lake in Potter County. Senator Scarnati supported the repairs needed on the Kinzua Bridge. When a portion of the bridge was destroyed by tornado in 2003, he helped secure funding for the restoration and reinvention of the state park, including the new Visitor Center. He was a key proponent of the renovations at the PA Lumber Museum, supported the development of the visitor center near the PA Grand Canyon in Tioga County, and continues to champion the future of Denton Hill State Park.

The DO 6 Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a person or agency who exemplifies outstanding leadership and advances our mission through heritage development.

PA Route 6 Alliance is the managing entity of the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, one of the twelve designated heritage areas in the state.

PASSED: Smucker’s Bill to Preserve Susquehanna Valley Approved by House

Washington, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s (PA-16) legislation – the Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act – that would designate Lancaster and York Counties a National Heritage Area (NHA).

“I’m thrilled for the residents of the Susquehanna Valley that this legislation is now another step closer to becoming law,” said Rep. Smucker. “This designation would help us maintain our safe and clean environment, attract more visitors, stimulate our local economy, and preserve natural resources and historical landmarks. This bill is the result of a collaborative effort, driven by constituents, and I’m glad to have the support of many in our community who want to support and promote our region of the commonwealth. I encourage the Senate – where this legislation has been introduced five times – to get this legislation to President Trump’s desk on behalf of the people and communities we represent.”

“Heritage Areas have been, for us, somewhat problematic,” said House Committee on Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop. The chairman continued, “in each of these areas, Mr. Smucker has done an incredibly good job to make sure those problems will not exist… So what Mr. Smucker has done here is a Heritage Area done the right way for the purpose and the right intent.”

“This is a great milestone towards the National Heritage Area designation of Lancaster and York Counties,” said Susquehanna Heritage President Mark Platts. “We appreciate Congressman Smucker’s leadership in getting this bill through the U.S. House of Representatives. The Susquehanna National Heritage Area will honor our region’s place in American history, harness the economic power of visitors, grow business, and create jobs in our communities.”

The Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act passed out of the House Committee on Natural Resources on April 18 with unanimous, bipartisan support.

When testifying to the committee, Columbia, Pennsylvania Mayor Leo Lutz said:

“Along the Susquehanna, a tradition of public and private collaboration has helped our region prosper from heritage and outdoor tourism. My town has positioned itself as a gateway to this activity, for we believe the river is our future as well as our past. A National Heritage area will greatly boost this progress and promote the Susquehanna as a destination for heritage and outdoor travelers, especially kids and families.”

The following local organizations support this National Heritage Area:

  • Amishview Inn & Suites/Miller’s Smorgasbord/Plain & Fancy Farm
  • Borough of Columbia
  • Bube’s Brewery
  • Colony Packaging & Machine
  • Downtown Inc.
  • Discover Lancaster
  • Farm & Natural Lands Trust of York County
  • Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County
  • Historic York, Inc.
  • Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Lancaster County Board of Commissioners
  • Lancaster County Conservancy
  • Lancaster County Parks & Recreation
  • Lancaster County Planning Commission
  • Lancaster Farmland Trust
  • Landis Valley Museum
  • LancasterHistory.org
  • Long Level Marina
  • Northern York County Historical & Preservation Society
  • PPL Corporation
  • Pennsylvania State Grange
  • Preservation Pennsylvania
  • Rivertownes PA USA
  • Shank’s Mare Outfitters
  • Susquehanna Glass
  • Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • York County Board of Commissioners
  • York County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • York County Department of Parks & Recreation
  • York County Economic Alliance
  • York County History Center

BACKGROUND
Courtesy of Susquehanna Heritage

What is a National Heritage Area?
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are places where natural cultural, historic, and recreational resources form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from human activity shaped by geography. They tell nationally important stories about our nation and are representative of the national experience through physical features that remain and traditions that have evolved within them.

Since President Ronald Reagan designated the first NHA in 1984, community groups, businesses, local governments, and Congress have established 49 NHAs across the nation to preserve, promote, and celebrate their heritage, culture, and natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

What is the goal of National Heritage Areas?
NHAs draw visitors to local heritage and outdoor recreation attractions and businesses. They encourage public and private partners to collaboratively plan and implement programs and projects that preserve, enhance, and celebrate America’s defining historic places and landscapes.

NHAs work with communities to conserve natural resources, landscapes, and historic places; strengthen community identity and economic vitality; educate residents and visitors about the region’s history; and attract heritage and outdoor tourism to promote economic vitality.

What are the Benefits of National Heritage Areas?
As a NHA, the region will benefit from enhanced national identity and exposure and better access to National Park Service assistance. A 2012 study by the Alliance of National Heritage Areas and National Park Service showed that NHAs contribute $12.9 billion annually to the national economy and support 148,000 jobs. The economic benefit of NHAs in the Northeast Region was $5.4 billion annually and 66,880 jobs.