Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Henz History Center
Heinz History Center

Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center

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Heinz History Center

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life Reopens This Weekend

Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life will celebrate its 40th season on opening weekend this Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3.

More than 14,000 visitors flocked to Avella, Pa. last season to see the new enclosure on the 16,000-year-old Rockshelter, the earliest site of human habitation in North America. The new observation deck allows families and large groups to explore the oldest and deepest parts of the Rockshelter with trained, on-site interpreters who explain what life was like for North America’s first inhabitants.

Alongside the Rockshelter, a National Historic Landmark,
Meadowcroft also boasts a new 17th century Indian Village that provides visitors with a glimpse of life in Western Pennsylvania prior to the arrival of European settlers. Visitors will explore a recreated walled village and experience hands-on activities of everyday life in a prehistoric Indian village.

The Eastern Woodland Indian Village allows visitors to travel 400 years in the past and explore the interior of a wigwam, inspect carefully recreated prehistoric artifacts, and try their hand at using an atlatl, a prehistoric spear thrower.

To start planning your trip to Meadowcroft, please visit http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/meadowcroft.aspx.

Meadowcroft Celebrates Ruby Anniversary

Forty years ago this June, Meadowcroft first opened its doors to the public and made a reality out of Albert and Delvin Miller’s vision to preserve our region’s rural heritage.

As a unique asset to the Western Pennsylvania region, Meadowcroft joined forces with the Heinz History Center in 1993, with long-term development plans for the outdoor museum and world famous archaeological site.

The first phase of development was completed last spring at Meadowcroft Rockshelter - the oldest site of human habitation in North America - with the opening of a new, visitor-friendly enclosure and the addition of a recreated 17th century Indian Village.

Future plans for the National Historic Landmark include a complete renovation of the visitor center and the addition of new program areas. The result will be a complete look at how people have adapted to the land over the past 16,000 years and shaped their environment in Western Pennsylvania.

Happy 40th anniversary to Meadowcroft!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Help the History Center celebrate 130 years!

As the oldest cultural institution in Western Pennsylvania, the History Center has become a major cultural asset in the region, an important economic generator, and an integral part of the region’s heritage tourism strategy.

The museum traces its roots back to 1879 with the formation of a group called the Old Residents of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania and later, the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Help the History Center celebrate 130 years throughout 2009 with a wide range of award-winning exhibitions, educational activities, publications, and outreach activities.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania

By: Sherrie Flick, editorial assistant, Senator John Heinz History Center

Recently received Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania
edited by Jennifer Baron, Greg Langel, Elizabeth Perry, and Mark Stroup. [Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2009, 204 pp., SC, $29.95] Pittsburgh turned 250 years old in 2008 and what better way to celebrate than with photographs of its landscape’s signs? From New Model Bakery to the YMCA to Walsh’s Lounge and Bar, nostalgia and love shine forth from neon tubing as well as billboards and flaking brick walls. Four-color images with insightful captions and mini-essays are scattered throughout and make a city proud.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Publications and Book Reviews

By: Brian Butko, director of publications, Senator John Heinz History Center

One main feature of the History Center’s blog will be publication and book reviews written by our Publications Division. You’ll still be able to enjoy regular reviews published in the History Center’s magazine,
Western Pennsylvania History, but now you’ll know right away when books of local interest are published. These will take the place of the very short reviews currently in the magazine.

What’s local interest? Geographically it’s Western Pennsylvania from the Mason-Dixon Line north to Erie, and from about Bedford to the Ohio border and sometimes including Youngstown or northern West Virginia. Topically the History Center will also cover works that may not be specific to the region, but encompass larger issues such as the French and Indian War or the steel industry. The Publications Division receives a wide variety and sometimes we’ll include those that are personal favorites too such as highway history from me or regional food from History Center Editorial Assistant Sherrie Flick.

Just received is The Seneca Restoration, 1715-1754: An Iroquois Local Political Economy by Kurt A. Jordan. [University Press of Florida, 2008, 426 pp., HC, $69.95] From the Society for Historical Archaeology comes this comprehensive look at the Senecas, challenging the popular notion that they and others in the Iroquois Confederacy were in decline by the late 17th century. Occasional photos, maps, and charts enliven the story.

Also just received is a fun and informative video, Fill ’er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations. [Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Public Television, 2007, 30 minutes, DVD, $19.95] Like the accompanying book, this program succeeds by going beyond just a statewide focus to make the history, architecture, and stories behind gas stations enjoyable for a broad audience. The imagery and old movie clips are likewise absorbing.

Look for the Pittsburgh Signs book review coming soon from Sherrie!


Welcome to the Senator John Heinz History Center’s new blog!

We are excited to provide you with engaging content related to Western Pennsylvania, including book reviews, museum curator articles, artifact highlights, and more. You can also stay up-to-date on the History Center’s
exhibitions, family-friendly events, and other exciting happenings.

History Center wants to hear from you, so visit our blog regularly and share your comments.

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