We Love Visitors!

cyclists visit academyEight cyclists visited the Tuscarora Academy Museum on Sunday, May 8th while biking in the county on a three day 100 km/day ride.

They are members of the Lehigh Wheelman Association which is the largest cycling organization in the Lehigh Valley.  Ron Helmuth who planned the three day ride has been coming to Juniata County for many years staying in a family owned cabin near East Juniata High School.

After touring the Academy they had lunch before getting back on their bikes to complete the ride.

Want to visit yourself?  The Tuscarora Academy is open Sundays (June – August) from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – OR – by appointment.  For directions, click HERE.

Editor’s Note: As a cyclist myself, I love to hear of stories of great trips planned on two wheels!

Help Solve a Mystery!

mystery-photoEvery once in awhile, it’s fun to help out a fellow historian!  Take a look at the photo included with this post.  For all of you born in the 1800’s (ahem), maybe this will jar your memory.

This photo has been hanging at the Historical Society with the hopes that someone could help identify the building, its location, or even any of the well-dressed folks hanging around outside.

Use other buildings in the photo for clues.  Note the beautiful church in the background.

Anyone know of someone researching the KOSER family?  That’s obviously a big clue, too!

Think you know something that may solve the clue?  Leave a message here – OR – contact the Historical Society at jchs1931@juniatacountyhistoricalsociety.org.

Let’s get this mystery solved!

Carlisle Indian Industrial School Presentation

Carlisle Indian SchoolA presentation on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School will be held 1-3 p.m., March 5, 2012 in the lower level conference room of the Juniata County Library in Mifflintown.

During a time when the United States government was willing to spend $1 million to eradicate a single Indian tribe out west, Captain Richard Henry Pratt established the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Pratt’s enlightened idea was to “save” native children by turning the “savages” into white men and women.

It was attended by more than 12,000 Native American children from more than 140 tribes, and was the model for nearly 150 Indian schools.

Critique the school’s plan to “Kill the Indian, save the Man” as you explore what it means to be stripped of your cultural heritage through forced assimilation.

Presenter Matthew March, Education Curator, Cumberland County Historical Society, will explore what it means to be stripped of your cultural heritage through forced assimilation. The program will include artifacts, period clothing and photos.

Attendance is limited to 40. Reserve by Feb 29 with the Juniata County Historical Society, 717-436-5152, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Tuesdays or Wednesdays. The presentation is free but donations are welcomed. The snow date is Mar 12.

Hollywood Comes to Juniata County

movie_clipart5Have you heard?  Our humble Juniata County is looking to make the leap to the silver screen – and it’s all based on a publication you can get from the Historical Society – Juniata Justice!

Juniata Justice is the true story of a murder that occurred in Susquehanna Township, Juniata County in 1900.  It’s a great story line that fits the mold of great movies:  affairs, suspicions and upstanding citizens that were driven to commit crimes (or where they?).

A local filmmaker, Lucas Fultz, is hoping that this film will become a reality – but he needs your help!  A fundraiser is planned on Friday, March 9th at the Central Juniata EMS Building.  The fundraiser has a $5 cover charge and starts at 8:00 p.m. and will be showcasing some local bands, including:

  • Click Clack Boom
  • The Heggs
  • The Backroad

For more information or to make a donation, contact Lucas Fultz.

Local Crop Circles in the 1800’s?

Barn with circle on bankOk Farmers or Historians (or Farmer Historians) – here’s your chance to help solve a mystery!

Jim Bohn has been writing a soon-to-be released book about a 19th Century, itinerant German, pen-and-ink drawing artist named Herman Markert entitled Herman Markert, The Picture Maker.

Little is known about Herman Markert; however, he left a rich legacy in his artwork.  The drawings bearing dates indicate Herman was in Pennsylvania in the 1870’s and 1880’s.  Before and after those dates, his whereabouts and life information remains a mystery.

One type of artwork that will be showcased shows property renderings with elaborate aerial perspective of farms – detailed enough that they can be considered a pictorial inventory of everything owned by the farmer (from buildings to livestock to carriages and crops).

One of the pen-and-ink drawings includes the barn pictured in this post.  THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN HELP!  Notice a mysterious ring/symbol on the ramp leading to the entrance.   Presumably, this is done in the dirt/grass (but could be a wooden ramp).  No one is sure what that represents.

Do you happen to know:

  • Was this a standard symbol/practice done by farmers in the late 1800’s?
  • Is it a symbol representative of something else?
  • Could it be marks left by a mechanical device such as a grinding wheel for grain?
  • Why is the mark on the incline and near the door of the barn?
  • Are these animal tracks – perhaps an animal helping to turn a mechanism?
  • Could these be alien circle crop marks?

Any and all help and/or suggestions are welcome.  Feel free to post your thoughts and/or answers below!

Also, if – by chance – you happen to have your very own Herman Markert drawing (OR any information on this artist), please share!

Finally, if you’re interested in the upcoming book, you can contact Johanna Sayre – who is editing/producing the book for Mr. Bohn.