HARRISBURG, Pa., March 17, 2011, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Innovations in agriculture, the discovery of a 12,000-year-old mastodon, the early days of the oil industry, and a community's challenge to the Fugitive Slave Act are among the 13 new historical markers approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) at its March 16 meeting.
The new markers, selected from 54 applications, will be added to the nearly 2,200 familiar blue-with-gold-lettering signs that dot roads and streets across Pennsylvania.
Since 1946, the PHMC's historical markers have captured the memory of people, places, and events that have affected the lives of Pennsylvanians over the centuries. The signs feature such subjects as Native Americans and settlers, government and politics, athletes, entertainers, artists, struggles for freedom and equality, factories and businesses, and a multitude of other notable topics.
Nominations for historical markers may be submitted by any person or organization and are evaluated by a panel of independent experts from across the state and approved by PHMC commissioners at their spring meeting.
More information on the Historical Marker Program including application information is available online at www.phmc.state.pa.us.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Media contact: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639
Editor's Note: The following is a list of the newly approved state historical markers with the name of the marker, the location and a brief description:
Camp Michaux, Cook Township, Cumberland County
Formerly an iron ore mining site and CCC camp, it became a POW camp during World War II. It was used as an interrogation center to gather intelligence key to developing Allied military policies.
Magdalena House/River Brethren, Conoy Township, Lancaster County
Site of the establishment of the River Brethren denomination, subsequently Brethren in Christ, in the late 1770s. This sect is one of the earliest indigenous American religious denominations.
First County Agricultural Extension Office, Shellsburg, Bedford County
Established in 1910 by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in Bedford County, it was the first agency of its kind in the nation. The County Agent provided practical advice on farming and gardening as well as consumer economics and nutrition to rural residents.
Kidnapping and Rescue of Rachel and Elizabeth Parker, Nottingham, Chester County
In 1851, shortly after the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, two free black sisters were kidnapped by bounty hunters, who claimed they were runaway slaves. Members of the community and state government officials rose to their defense.
Marshalls Creek Mastodon, Marshalls Creek, Monroe County
One of the most complete and best preserved mastodon specimens from Eastern North America, the Marshalls Creek Mastodon provides evidence and aids in understanding of prehistoric animal life during the Cenozoic Era. The skeleton was discovered by accident in 1968 and is on permanent display at the State Museum.
McDonald Oil Field, McDonald, Washington County
The largest producing oil field in the world in the early 1890s, this area in southwestern PA, quite a distance from the traditional "oil region," had short-lived but significant impact on the U.S. oil industry.
Patrick C. Boyle (1846-1920), Oil City, Venango County
An early oil scout, Boyle was a pioneering oil industry journalist, editor, and publisher, creating the petroleum industry's most influential trade publications
Monongahela River Navigation System, Elizabeth, Allegheny County
This system of locks and dams connects southwestern PA with the nation's extensive inland river navigation system managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Mason-Dixon Survey, Philadelphia
Starting point of the survey which led to the establishment of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Robert Aitken (1734-1802), Philadelphia
An early colonial printer, Aitken printed the first English-language Bible in America. Due to the embargo on Bibles from England during the Revolutionary War, Aitken's edition was the only version in English available to colonists.
Giovanni's Room, Philadelphia
One of the nation's earliest gay book stores and the oldest still in existence, Giovanni's Room served as an educational and community resource for early civil rights efforts.
Red Star Line, Philadelphia
The International Navigation Co., an offshoot of the Pennsylvania Railroad, created the Red Star Line to compete with the port of New York and stimulate commerce in Philadelphia. Operating 54 steamships, it was one of the largest lines operating between Europe and America.
U.S. Sanitary Commission Great Central Fair, Philadelphia
Created in 1861 by President Lincoln, the U.S. Sanitary Commission coordinated efforts of volunteers that wanted to contribute to the Civil War effort. The Great Central Fair was held in Philadelphia to raise money for the war, and Lincoln spoke at this event.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission