Articles 2017-11-05T17:54:35+00:00

Articles

These articles by Robin Van Auken run the gamut from topics such as Inspiration, Writing, Publication and Promotion. Other topics, such as Archaeology, Sports,  Travel, History, Science and more, creep in.  Robin is a writer of local history books and contemporary fiction. She lives in  the Highlands of Pennsylvania, and has advanced degrees in Archaeology and Communications.

Also included in this library are contributions by historians and authors Lou Hunsinger, Jr., and Joan Wheal Blank. These articles were once part of the Historic Williamsport website operated by Robin. They’re now part of the News of Yesteryear series. Enjoy the variety.

  • To see Robin’s articles, keep scrolling below. They are mingled in with Lou’s and Joan’s.
  • To see Lou’s articles and contact him directly, CLICK THIS LINK.
  • To see Joan’s articles and contact her directly, CLICK THIS LINK.
  • A visit to Meadowlark Botanical Garden, Virginia

    Find the Beautiful, the Strange at Your Local Botanical Garden

    Botanical Gardens Have Historic Roots I am not a botanist, but I enjoy spending time at Botanical Gardens. According to Wikipedia, the inception of botanical gardens is linked to the history of botany, and most 16th and 17th century scientific gardens were [...]

  • Self-Sufficient Author: Eager-Beaver Writer

    The Eager-Beaver Writer

    Are you an Eager Beaver Writer? Does this describe you? This person has wonderful intentions, and after riding the wave of motivation, promises to: Wake up early to write Write 1,000 words per day Learn how to use Scrivener Build an author’s website The Eager Beaver [...]

  • Use BOTH Sides of Your Brain in Harmony

    Use BOTH Sides of Your Brain in Harmony Does the left side of your brain dominate your actions, or the right? Are you logical, organized and methodical, or are you intuitive, spontaneous and creative? Or, do you use both sides of your brain in [...]

Browse the Library

Wholehearted Author Podcast: Session One with Diane Langley

Diane Langley is the author of "Life Changes," a small book with enormous wisdom. From Diane's page on AMAZON: Quite often, people don't know what to say when challenged in a time of transition. They lose their voice. They yearn to have a conversation with someone they trust. We know that life events and relationships can become very complicated, and pain can last for years. It's a vulnerable place to [...]

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Don’t Let Fear Paralyze You

I live with the fear that all raccoons have rabies. Or distemper. Or cooties and other germs. They’re cute, but I avoid them. This despite having a childhood friend who had one as a pet. I used to cuddle “Ricky,” until he hit raccoon puberty. One day, Ricky left and he didn’t come back, listening to the call of the wild, instead of my friend at the back door. [...]

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Muncy Heritage Park

Muncy Heritage Park Muncy Heritage Park is an archaeological treasure along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River Kneeling in the weeds in what would become Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail, Bill Poulton brushed aside debris. He knew the old well was near the defunct canal, but after decades of neglect, tiger lilies, poison ivy and oak trees had overgrown the small patch of land. He [...]

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Find the Beautiful, the Strange at Your Local Botanical Garden

Botanical Gardens Have Historic Roots I am not a botanist, but I enjoy spending time at Botanical Gardens. According to Wikipedia, the inception of botanical gardens is linked to the history of botany, and most 16th and 17th century scientific gardens were devoted to growing medicinal plants. The concept of a botanical garden evolved to encompass, "displays of the beautiful, strange, new and sometimes economically important plant [...]

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Out of Nowhere? Generating New Ideas

How do you generate ideas? Has it ever been a priority for you? Or do you simply wait for an idea to surface, not wondering how it formed? You may be interested in the concept of producing ideas on demand, and the techniques you can use to hurry them along. I am. I'm a "thinker." I love to spend time researching and thinking about things. I hyper-focus on a [...]

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The Eager-Beaver Writer

Are you an Eager Beaver Writer? Does this describe you? This person has wonderful intentions, and after riding the wave of motivation, promises to: Wake up early to write Write 1,000 words per day Learn how to use Scrivener Build an author’s website The Eager Beaver Writer burns out, generally in the first week, because motivation doesn’t endure without a constant injection of enthusiasm. Setting far-reaching goals is a sure-fire way [...]

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Useful Guide to Free Photos, Media and More

As a writer, you're not always concerned with visual or audio artwork. It's often secondary to the Muse dictating the story to you. As a Self-Sufficient Author, however, you need media for marketing your author brand, so how do you find it and use it legally? The Ultimate Guide to Free Photos, Media & More was too ambitious, plus it wasn't an achievable goal, so I created A Useful Guide [...]

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Reawaken Your ‘Sense of Wonder’: Remembering Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson The spirit of Rachel Carson lives on, instilling in the Earth's human population awareness of its fragile environment and an urgency to protect it from toxins. Although it's been five decades since the publication of her runaway bestseller, "Silent Spring" (1962), Carson remains one of the greatest nature writers of America and one of America's Top 100 Scientists according to a Time magazine poll. "The beauty [...]

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Register Your Author Website Domain Before It’s Gone

Claim Your Name Now Register Your Author Website Domain Before It's Gone What are you waiting for? An invitation? If you haven't registered your name with ICANN as a domain for your Author's Website, then you better get a move on. I have a unique name, and there are still several people in the United States with the same name. Lucky for me, I'm tech savvy and I registered [...]

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Why I Broke up with Smashwords

Why I Broke up with Smashwords Fall In Love with D2D Excuse me, please, but this is a "Rant Post." I've been struggling with the dreaded Meatgrinder at Smashwords for years. In fact, it's been a battle since I self-published my first novel, DISTRACTED. The problem with the Meatgrinder is, it requires you to upload your book as a Microsoft Office file, with no formatting (or minimal). Smashwords also [...]

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Use BOTH Sides of Your Brain in Harmony

Use BOTH Sides of Your Brain in Harmony Does the left side of your brain dominate your actions, or the right? Are you logical, organized and methodical, or are you intuitive, spontaneous and creative? Or, do you use both sides of your brain in harmony? Scientists have studied brain-injury patients for years and have determined that both hemispheres can affect personality. Did you know, however, that it is possible [...]

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We Know We Have to Market Our Books, But What’s the Best Way to Do It?

We Know We Have to Market Our Books, But What's the Best Way to Do It? Let's face it, there's too many types of social media applications, and software subscriptions, and email providers, and landing pages and funnel pages and squeeze pages and ad nauseum, to learn how to use all of them. Trying to find our way through the business of Internet marketing is a minefield, and we're wary [...]

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Easy on the Hooptedoodle

If you've never read Elmore Leonard's Rules for Writing, you're in for a treat. Justified's Timothy Olyphant and creators Graham Yost and Elmore Leonard, right, with their Peabody Award at the 70th Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon. Image courtesy Stemoc, Flickr. Leonard was an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. His earliest novels, published in the 1950s, were Westerns, but he went on to [...]

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Devil’s Den

The Devil's Den in Florida is a dramatic freshwater spring, and popular for scuba diving and snorkeling. To reach the Den, visitors must descend narrow, limestone steps to the karst. Lycoming College Nautical Archaeology class visit the Devil's Den, Florida Lycoming College archaeology students got a rare view into a prehistoric cave structure created by an underground river while diving at Devil’s Den [...]

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Doing the Difficult

I recently had a great, and at the same time miserable, experience. I'm working towards my Advanced Open Water PADI Scuba Diving certification, and completing the Deep Dive is one of the tasks I selected. I knew it would be tough, and I dreaded it. I had to build up my confidence. I should have built up more, specifically, my lung capacity and energy level. I was sucking wind [...]

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Solo Camping

I spent a week solo camping, as a way to kick start my writing this summer. I viewed solo camping as a "Writing Retreat." My Constant Companion: Chubbers, an Australian Shepherd-Husky Mix. Confession: I wasn't alone. I brought my constant companion, my dog, Chubbers. My husband and the cat can get along without me for a few days. She can't. Feeling ambitious, I took half a dozen books with [...]

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National Archives Releases Civil War Documents, Photograph

National Archives Releases Civil War Documents, Photograph Interested in the ephemera of the Civil War? The National Archives has released thousands of documents and photographs from the American Civil War, and Wikimedia Commons is organizing them. Civil War Photo: Captain Harry Page, Quartermaster. "The Halt." Here's just one of many photos of U.S. History in the category: Virginia, Army of the Potomac Headquarters. [...]

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Kids Dig ‘Arch in the Park’

Muncy Historical Society, Northcentral Chapter 8, Lycoming College Unite to Offer One-of-a-Kind Archaeology Experience to Area Youth MUNCY -- Arch in the Park is a hands-on heritage program designed by students for students. Organized by communication students at Lycoming College, Arch in the Park is an archaeological outreach offered by Muncy Historical Society, Northcentral Chapter 8 and Lycoming College's archaeology department, under the direction of Robin Van Auken with Hands [...]

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Grit Chronicles: Suffrage in Williamsport

On occasion, I share historic news reports and here's one of interest, in honor of Women's History Month. People don't often think of Suffrage as a community effort, but without commitment on the local level, the 19th Amendment would never have passed. Thanks to the dedication of women in smalltown America, as well as the "Silent Sentinels" who picketed the White House and went on Hunger Strikes in our nation's [...]

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World of Little League Museum videos

 Hands on Heritage assisted the World of Little League Baseball Museum cast and videotape local children in the "Where in the World of Little League Museum" series to celebrate the 2015 Little League World Series.The videos were part of a social media campaign. The videos were posted on Facebook, once per day during the annual Little League Baseball World Series. If you're interested in viewing a video sample, watch it [...]

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Our Milestone: 35 Years Together

We celebrated a milestone in the Van Auken family: our 35th wedding anniversary. I made a short video for my sweetheart that summarized some of the adventures we've had this past year, and I'm looking forward to many more. Van Aukens observe 35th anniversary Lance and Robin Van Auken Mr. and Mrs. Lance Van Auken, South Williamsport, observed their 35th wedding anniversary Feb. 14, [...]

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Muncy Heritage Park Offers River Access

Muncy Heritage Park offers river access. MUNCY — River enthusiasts, canoeists and kayakers have another gorgeous access point to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, this one overlooking a significant historic site: the Last Raft Crash Site at Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail. Muncy Heritage Park offers river access. Muncy Historical Society built the trail, another phase of the organization’s Master Plan for its Heritage Park and [...]

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Get a Great Night’s Sleep

Have you, your family, or a friend ever had difficulty sleeping? For years, I've struggled with going to sleep and remaining asleep. I would lie awake for hours, agonizing over my "To Do" list or tasks I hadn't completed. Drift Off to Sleep I've found a solution that works for me, and it's been working for more than six months. It's similar to guided meditation. It's called self hypnosis. I've [...]

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Small Changes Ripple Outward

Small Changes Ripple Outward I spent a delightful 12 minutes watching a Ted Talk by Shawn Achor, a psychologist who teaches about positivity and its effect on happiness. Shawn Achor(Photo courtesy Alexismbr, Wikimedia Commons) Not only did I laugh most of the the time, but I was inspired to pause the video (so yes, it took longer than 12 minutes to watch) to [...]

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Hands on Heritage: Keeler Company

  Hands on Heritage: Keeler Company The E. Keeler Company, manufacturers of boilers, etc., conduct Quo of the old industries of the city. The business was established in 1864 by J. Heathcote & Company, who conducted it until 1877, when it was incorporated with a paid-up capital of $50,000, the executive officers being George W. Sands, president; Isaac Barton, treasurer, and A. G. Anthony, secretary. The E. Keeler Company manufactures [...]

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Hands on Heritage: Market Square

Hands on Heritage: Market Square This 1875 photograph shows the southwest corner of Market Square in downtown Williamsport. Bustling with downtown traffic despite the muddy thoroughfares, Williamsport's booming lumber trade summoned entrepreneurs eager to capitalize on the region's wealth and new construction. The block featured a ticket office for the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad Company, a hardware store and a pianoforte maker. Michael Ross, an indentured servant of Scottish origin, [...]

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Ask a Curator Day

We're all curious about what goes on behind closed doors, and that's true for museums and galleries and historical societies, as well as private residences. Spencer F. Baird, the first Curator of the National Museum and second Secretary of the Smithsonian, oversaw the development of the Smithsonian as the national museum of the United States. My favorite closed doors are at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution in [...]

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Kitchen Sink Bars

I like the portability and stability of Lara Bars when I'm in the field. They hold up well in the backpack, and they're not outrageously expensive. They are a treat, however, and when I'm shopping, I'm already spending more than most people because I'm choosing organic, whole foods. I'm not shopping for candy. But when I get a hankering, I have to satisfy it and it has to be sweet and chocolatey [...]

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Williamsport: Boomtown on the Susquehanna

Williamsport: Boomtown on the Susquehanna (Robin Van Auken and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2003) This book relates the history of Williamsport, as well as many towns and boroughs of Lycoming County. Williamsport, a struggling frontier village that grew into a town with a taste for success, eventually molded itself into a magnetic and vibrant city. Thousands were employed as lumberjacks, and others worked in sawmills, planing mills, or furniture [...]

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The Story of Little League Baseball®

Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball By Lance and Robin Van Auken Play Ball by Robin Van Auken Play Ball! The Story of Little League® Baseball is the remarkable story of Little League® Baseball, from the first diamond in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to the playing fields of the world. On any given spring evening, 360,000 children around the world can be found on the dusty mounds and grassy [...]

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Little League Baseball World Series

The Little League Baseball World Series (Robin Van Auken, Arcadia, 2002) This book is a photographic companion book to Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball (Penn State University Press 2001). It profiles more than five decades of the World Series. In 1947, when the first Little League Baseball World Series was played, there were 17 teams in two states. Since then, Little League has achieved global recognition and [...]

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Lycoming County’s Industrial Heritage

Lycoming County's Industrial Heritage (Robin Van Auken and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2005)  This book reviews Northcentral Pennsylvania’s rich industrial history, first in lumber and then in manufacturing. After the Lumber Boom, many company towns collapsed. Boards of trade were created to entice manufacturers to the region. During the first half of the twentieth century, Lycoming once again prospered with hundreds of new entrepreneurs and companies. The book documents [...]

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Muncy Postcard History Series

Muncy (PA) (Postcard History Series) (Robin Van Auken, Arcadia, 2006) Muncy Postcard History Series by Robin Van Auken examines the small river town of Muncy, Pennsylvania. Founded shortly after the French and Indian War, Muncy was the earliest European settlement in the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna River. By 1769, land speculator Samuel Wallis had acquired more than 7,000 acres, so he sold much of this land to pioneers [...]

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Crash Site Remains Worst Airline Disaster in Lycoming County History

Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 crash site One man's quest to memorialize the victims of the worst airline disaster in Lycoming County history, the crash of Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 on Bald Eagle Mountain, is coming to an end. The crash site has received designation from the Commonwealth as an official archaeological site. In addition, plans are under way for a monument to be installed onsite. Shane Collins' personal efforts [...]

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Thinking Like Leonardo

Thinking Like Leonardo I've been pondering the concept of a New Renaissance. I've been wondering if it's possible to think like Leonardo da Vinci. On the topic, Parade magazine's resident genius Marilyn Vos Savant once wrote she would: "... found a school for art and music, dedicated to bringing back the classical beauty in sight and sound that – transfigured by contemporary imagination – could make the modern world a glorious [...]

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Just Below Your Feet

Just Below Your Feet is Stephanie Bowen, right, and Sara Griggs A year ago, during American Archaeology Field School, one of my students asked about Cultural Resource Management in Pennsylvania. I told her about CRM and about PA Act 70, which has devastated professional archaeology in the Commonwealth, and encouraged her to research the topic as an independent study, a capstone project for her American Studies major. As [...]

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Grant Supports World of Little League ®

Pennsylvania Historical Museums Commission Grant Supports World of Little League ®   Language professionals are among those who teamed up with the World of Little League® Museum and Official Store for the audio tour guide project that is now available in eight languages. The interactive, multilingual audio tour guide is among the most recent attractions at the Museum, which reopened in 2013 following a $4.3 million renovation project. The tour walks through [...]

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Birthplace of Little League Baseball® Listed in National Register of Historic Places

Birthplace of Little League Baseball® is on the National Register of Historic Places | PlayBallBook.com Birthplace of Little League Baseball® Listed in National Register of Historic Places As the celebration of the 75thAnniversary of Little League® comes to a close, the organization’s first home, Carl E. Stotz Field at Memorial Park in Williamsport, Pa., better known as, The Birthplace of Little League Baseball® has received the distinction of [...]

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Crash Site Remains Worst Airline Disaster in Lycoming County History

Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 crash site One man's quest to memorialize the victims of the worst airline disaster in Lycoming County history, the crash of Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 on Bald Eagle Mountain, is coming to an end. The crash site has received designation from the Commonwealth as an official archaeological site. In addition, plans are under way for a monument to be installed onsite. Shane Collins' personal efforts [...]

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Sailing Resources

Here are a few interesting and helful links:   Calculator: Converting miles to nautical miles Sailing checklist: Make sure you've got everything before leaving the dock Marine Survey & Design Co.: An outstanding marine surveyor BoatUS Finance: Compute loan cost of a new boat Boating Reviews: Test your nautical knowledge; online exams Boat Reviews A-W: Jack Hornor, NA, reviews sailboats for BoatUS US Sailing Course: More sailing lessons online [...]

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Sailing Checklist

Sailing Checklist Ibuprofen Water Hat/visor Sunglasses Sunscreen Lunch Towels Dry clothes Mainsail Jib Mainsheet Dock lines Sail ties Boom vang Radio GPS Cell phone Camera Gerber tool Toolbox (hand tools) PFDs (3) Boat cushions Boat tie-down straps (2) Binoculars Charts, Maps Compass Masthead float First Aid kit Fire extinguisher Zip ties (extra) Marine tape Spare rings/shackles/cotter pins Zip loc baggies Boat ladder Rudder and tiller Boat hook Silicone Flashlight [...]

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Lights, Action, Camp!

Lights, Action, Camp! Camping in the dark isn't fun. Sure, you have a fire, but when you're sitting around the campsite, especially if you have a canopy or awning, a string of lights not only increases visibility, it creates ambiance. Now, we're not full-time RVers with a awning; we're part-time campers with a canopy set up next to our travel trailer. We purchased the canopy at Dick's Sporting [...]

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Crash Potatoes

Crash Potatoes I know, they're completely unacceptable when you're living the Paleo lifestyle, but they're okay on special occasions when you're adhering to the Primal lifestyle. Crash Potatoes are cooked potatoes that are smashed, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, then topped with a little cheese. In this instance, I've used blue cheese crumbles. Then you place them [...]

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Grub Hub Camp Kitchen

Grub Hub Outdoor Camping Kitchen If you're in the market for a camp kitchen, you should be looking at the Grub Hub Outdoor Camping Kitchen. This amazing, patented contraption is easy to setup and is packed full of features. The price isn't for the faint of heart -- it retails on the manufacturer's website for $399. We'd been contemplating some time of outdoor kitchen setup, but hadn't settled [...]

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Paleo Carnitas and Plantain Tortillas

I tried a recipe from my newest Paleo cookbook purchase, the The Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean's Guide to Paleo Cuisine, and even though it didn't look like the lovely lavendar tortilla in Simone Miller's outstanding new book, it turned out okay. Actually, my tortillas were downright awesome. The recipe is simple: plantains, bacon grease, eggs, lime juice and salt. As I was making them, I considered adding various spices to [...]

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Kabobs!

Kabobs with a honey-mustard dipping sauce. I love my Shish Kabob Set. It has simplified life and added a yummy dimension to my cooking repertoire. It isn't that time consuming and the ingredient list is simple -- boneless (organic) chicken thighs, Mayan onions, peppers and mushrooms. I cut the thigh into chunks about the same size as the veggies and slide them on the skewers. The holder folds [...]

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Primal Pizza

One of the things most people miss when launching the Paleo Lifestyle is pizza. I searched the Internet and tried various recipes for pizza crusts, and several were alright. Then I discovered Against The Grain Pizza Shell, a frozen pizza crust at my grocery store, and it's been my go-to crust for several months. The problem is, it's made using Canola Oil, which is downright disgusting and horrific when you're [...]

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It’s Not Easy

I'm not going to lie to you. Going Paleo isn't easy, and it isn't cheap. But, it's the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family, and you can start doing it right now. My journey begin in September 2013, and I haven't looked back. It wasn't a struggle for me. I embraced the Paleo and Primal lifestyle wholeheartedly, once I realized it existed. Like most folk, [...]

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Simple Salad

Simple Salad It's not difficult to stick with the Paleo Lifestyle (and Primal) when you have so many foods available, and simple recipes like the salad above. Keeping quality ingredients on hand is key, and keeping your imagination stimulated with reading recipes, scanning Pinterest boards, and following your favorite chefs on Facebook. Making salads "back in the day" used to be a pain in the rear, but not [...]

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Granola

Granola I love the sweet and salty taste of homemade granola, and every so often I make a batch. I can't have this stuff in my house all the time or I'd never lose weight. The beauty of granola is the mish-mash of ingredients. It really is a garbage of goodness. You can use anything you like since it's basically trail mix that you bake awhile and then [...]

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Play Ball Like a Girl!

Although this video isn't specifically about Little League, I've heard the words "You throw like a girl" used as a slur at the ball park too often. It's my wish that fathers and brothers, uncles and grandfathers, coaches and managers, and especially players would consider this taunt hurts more than the individual it's aimed at. According to Lauren Greenfield, filmmaker and director of the #LikeAGirl video, "In my work as a documentarian, I [...]

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Play Ball! Little League Playoffs Unite Families

Play Ball! Little League Playoffs Unite Families A reporter spent the day at day at a North Carolina Little League Baseball field during the playoffs. She spoke with parents and coaches, asking how they keep up with the “hive of activity” the tournaments cause, writing about it in an article, “Little League baseball playoffs are a family affair.” One team, along with a gaggle of parents, family members and [...]

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Play Ball! Little League Shouldn’t Inspire Fear

I read  a Times Herald column by Jeff Edelstein, "When it comes to 5-year-old Little League baseball, I was 100 percent wrong," and it summoned memories of steamy summer days at Cross Bayou Little League, in Largo, Fl. I can sympathize with him, as he watched his 5-year-old son get hit by a line drive. Harlem Little League Baseball Opening Day Did I ever experience this fear? No. Not [...]

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Outdoors with Jerry Zeidler

I first met Jerry Zeidler while on assignment for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. At the time, he was a  Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation officer and I visited his office for background on an article. We chatted and became friends, not only because of his helpful advice, but because he was a fellow writer and an award-winning professional photographer. As a recent transplant to Pennsylvania, having moved from Florida in February [...]

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‘Little League: A History’: WVIA Original Documentary Film

Little League: A History By WVIA-FM on YouTube The WVIA Original Documentary Film, "Little League: A History" (premiere June 9, 2014 on WVIA-TV) chronicles and celebrates Little League's 75-year contribution to American culture and to the quality of life for millions more around the world today. More than 2 million young people play some form of Little League baseball or softball. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers manage, coach, or in [...]

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Now He Can Sleep

I mentioned in a previous post that I love my Cabela's mesh chair, but my husband can't nap in them as I can. At 6', he's too tall. His head presses onto the frame, making him uncomfortable if he tries to sleep. This prompted a recent trip to Gander Mountain, another outdoor supply chain we frequent. I don't have a photo of them in use, but I snagged one [...]

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Useful Hammocks

Useful Food Hammocks I love a good camping hack, especially one I've made. I purchased these useful hammocks from Camping World, but the small wooden rods they came on were useless to me. My camper is a retro, teardrop-shape and the kitchen has a curved ceiling. I couldn't use the cup hooks provided to hang the rods. How the hammocks hang I picked up an attractive, adjustable, [...]

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Social Media Symphony

My coffee is getting cold because my hands are busy conducting my morning ritual — a social media symphony — to pick up the mug. I’m typing non-stop, my fingers hovering over the keyboard, pausing briefly to click the mouse and flip from one Internet browser tab to another. In my mind, I can almost hear the music. The cool blue trumpet of Facebook as I “like” and “comment” [...]

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My New Obsession: Narrowboats

Historic working narrow boats on the Macclesfield Canal in Cheshire, England. The leading boat, Forget Me Not is hauling the un-powered butty Lilith. This became a familiar operating pattern once motors began to replace horses. (Source: Wikipedia. Image is Public Domain)I've been spending a bit of time on the Internet, reading websites and watching v ideos that feature Narrowboats. In fact, you might say I'm obsessed with these cunning boats. [...]

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Courtship Customs

Here in the Highlands of Pennsylvania, we've been blanketed with snow and freezing temperatures. The snow is more than two feet deep and has been for weeks. We're thinking of Spring and the end of this blasted winter. Next week, we expect warming breezes of 40 degrees and more. That means most of the snow will melt, the river will rise and flood, sprouts will burst forth on hardy trees, and [...]

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Play Ball Videos: What People Love about the Little League World Series

Play Ball Videos: What People Love about the World Series What do visitors at the 2013 Little League Baseball World Series enjoy most about the event? If you think "Baseball" is their favorite thing about the World Series, think again.       Have you read Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us with your suggestions or questions.

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Cabela’s Cool Chairs

Cabelas Cool Chairs I admit it, I can't go by a Cabela's without stopping. This time, however, I saw the chairs I wanted and couldn't make up my mind to buy them. They were a bit pricey. When I got home, I couldn't stop thinking about them, so I looked online. Holy cow, they were $10 cheaper apiece when I ordered them online. Great decision. I have to [...]

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Play Ball Videos: Eliska Stejskalova

Play Ball Videos: Eliska Stejskalova Eliska Stejskalova of the Czech Republic, played at the 2013 Little League Baseball World Series. She is only the 16th girl to play in the series since girls were allowed to play Little League in 1974.   Have you read Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us with your suggestions or questions.

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No Alcohol Here, Mr. Ranger

Not that we break the rules (wink), but many campgrounds and parks do not allow alcoholic beverages. When they do, we prefer to bring along a chilled box of wine. Well, minus the box. We're so pleased that Vintners have made great strides in packaging wine in vinyl bags and wrapping them in cardboard boxes. These come in handy in two ways: we can drop a bag in the tiny refrigerator and [...]

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Play Ball Videos: The Book

  Play Ball Videos: The Book  Have you read Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us with your suggestions or questions. This year, Little League Baseball® observes its diamond anniversary, and fans are celebrating with an updated book, Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball and a one-hour, original documentary film, Little League: A History. “Play Ball!,” the best-selling history of Little League [...]

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Play Ball: The Story of Little League Baseball

PLAY BALL! THE STORY OF LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL® le="text-align: center;">Lance and Robin Van Auken   Lance Van Auken, center, and Steve Kenner, left, discuss the filming of "Mickey" at the Little League World Series complex with screenwriter and best-selling author John Grisham.   “‘Play Ball!’ is a delightful walk down the storied history of Little League Baseball. For those of us who played the dreams of your youth, it [...]

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Day One of Detox

Day One of Detox. Just wait 'til my husband gets home, smells dinner simmering on the stove, and then discovers it's VEGETABLES. Poor guy. I even made him a bowl of oatmeal this morning, but he "forgot" to eat it. I think he just wanted to me to save a step tomorrow.

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Lost No More: Alvira and the Ordnance

In 1942, after America entered World War II, its citizens were asked to sacrifice much for the war effort. Gasoline, sugar, butter and silk were rationed and entire communities rallied behind scrap and tire drives. One community, however, sacrificed much more: The entire village of Alvira walked from their homes and farms in the shadow of smoke and flames. Seized by the U.S. War Department by eminent domain, Alvira was [...]

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Williamsport: The Grit Photograph Collection

Williamsport: The Grit Photograph Collection (Van Auken, Robin and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2004) This book is a look through 100 years of Grit newspaper history. Dietrick Lamade, a German immigrant and self-made man who settled in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, published Grit a Sunday-morning staple and America’s favorite family newspaper. The first year of Grit was one of adversity and uncertainty, but Lamade came up with innovative ideas, such as [...]

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The Best Coffee Press Ever

We stopped at Cabela's and browsed through its camping department, looking for useful items. This Gsi Sports Javapress was very impressive, especially because it came in two sizes -- wussy (30 oz) and normal (50 oz). We liked it so much, we brought it out of the camper and use it in the house. Regular coffee press glass containers can only withstand so much abuse before they give out and you're [...]

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On the Boardwalk

My birthday rolled around last week and I was alone, if you can call being on the Coney Island Boardwalk alone. I was in NYC, and since I couldn't be with family, I decided to visit the iconic landmark. I was a bit self-conscious sitting by myself at a picnic table eating a world-famous Nathan's hotdog, but a ice-cold Corona helped wash down my lunch and my angst. As I [...]

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Heritage Downloads

My History Is America's History This free eBook, "My History Is America's History: 15 Things You Can Do to Save America's Stories," is a guidebook to help families and individuals to explore family history and discover how our own family stories connect to the history of our nation. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF (LARGE FILE) Personal Timeline Use this guidebook to document your life, from childhood through adulthood. CLICK [...]

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Public Archaeology

Public Archaeology As a historical archaeologist, I work with museums and non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, public and private schools, and avocational archaeology groups.  Services I offer include: Field trips Field schools Hands-on heritage programs Historical research, oral histories Ethnographic research and interviews Interpretive exhibit, video development National Register assessments, nominations Testing, data recovery programs I also am an instructor at Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA, teaching archaeology methods [...]

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The Advocates Marched On

March is Women's History Month, and to celebrate, here's an awesome chronicle from the Library of Congress on Suffrage: 100 Years Ago Today: "A Declaration of Independence We Celebrate," The Washington Herald, March 3, 1913   In March 1913, more than one parade occupied the nation's attention during President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration in Washington, DC. The day before the official swearing-in, thousands of "suffragists" from around the country, including famous [...]

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Social Applications

If you are considering adding social media and other interactive elements to your public relations and marketing plan, here is a comprehensive list of the more popular and effective applications. The bottom line is that all of these are free on a basic level. As you require more services, you can subscribe to paid plans. Most are very inexpensive. If you're not comfortable using these services and need assistance establishing [...]

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Why I Use WordPress and Why You Should Too

Why I Use Wordpress And Why You Should Too I use Wordpress for all of my websites, and all of my college students create one during their time earning their Media Writing minor. Perhaps you want to use WordPress but you're not sure how to go about it? A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON WORDPRESS WordPress is a popular Content Management System (CMS) used by companies, large and small, as well as individuals. There [...]

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Use Google Apps for Increasing Productivity

Use Google Apps for Increasing Productivity Try Them They're Free   If you're not using Google, then you need to consider all that this amazing company has to offer. Most amazing of all is that it is free, open-source and easy to use. There are literally hundreds of How-To videos available online for everything Google has to offer, so there's no excuse why you can't learn how to use it [...]

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Interview: Tina Klinesmith Blog

Author Interview Posted on January 30, 2013 by Tina Klinesmith Posted in Real Work I’m really excited to have fellow romance author (Robin Van Auken, writing as Madeline Sloane) with us this week to talk about her upcoming project, Incandescent. If you haven’t read her other romance novels, be sure to check them out on her website Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Maybe what you like [...]

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The Man Who Invented the Future: Jules Verne’s Legacy

The Man Who Invented the Future: Jules Verne's Legacy Jules Verne It's been more than 100 years since the world mourned the passing of Jules Verne, "the man who invented the future." He died March 24, 1905 in Amiens, France. I've been thinking about Verne lately, and have decided to explore his genre. I'm outlining a new book in the Steampunk Romance genre that should be great fun [...]

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Man of Grit: Dietrick Lamade and the Williamsport Grit

Americans recall the Grit Sunday newspaper with nostalgia. For more than 100 years, this popular weekly delivered news, features, fiction, coupons, and comics to families across the nation. One million children have sold it, some for a few weeks, and some for several years. A newsboy delivers Grit to a rural customer. Many look back with pride on the experience when, as young entrepreneurs, they knocked on the [...]

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Snow Daze

It's been an interesting week in the Northeast United States. In just a few days, we've had more than a foot of snow in the Pennsylvania Highlands. It's the kind of snow that lays thick and wet and weighs down the evergreen boughs. It's a pretty picture, but it's a pain in the rear for anyone traveling. We live on the side of a mountain and need four-wheel drive trucks [...]

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‘Last Flight Out’ Is A State of Mind

Which way to go? When leaves begin to fall and the temperatures drop, my thoughts generally turn towards sunny locales and my favorite sunny spot, Key West. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. If you haven’t visited the Keys, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s filled with unique shops and galleries and restaurants, and of course many, many bars. Around the corner from its [...]

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Grit Salesmen

Grit’s Happy Ambassadors: Its 30,000 Boy Salesmen February 1962 “Here’s your copy of Grit, Mrs. Jones.” Every week similar welcomed words are echoed hundreds of thousands of times from coast to coast by an army of eager, bright-faced boys. They are the happy ambassadors for America’s Greatest Family Newspaper. Actually, Grit’s distribution through the Little Merchant system gives each boy a business of his own. In conducting it for his [...]

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Interview: Dee Ann Waite Blog

Thursday, July 5, 2012 I first met Robin Van Auken (writing as Madeline Sloane) on Goodreads. You see, I'm preparing to launch my first novel and needed some advice on pre-launch marketing. So I closed my eyes and threw a dart and it landed on her. I asked my question and was instantly impressed with Ms. Sloane's friendliness and willingness to help a fellow author. She made me feel as [...]

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DIY Writer’s Retreat

Who needs heat? Drink coffee and write, write, write! Scheduling time to write creatively is a difficult task for most authors. It’s a selfish endeavor, hiding from the world, shirking responsibilities, ignoring the family. But it’s also a necessary endeavor. Without writing time, we don’t produce books. If we don’t produce books, we don’t make money. I don’t know about you, but writing books is my business, so [...]

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Water Tower Square Once Home to C. A. Reed Paper Products

One of the most thriving commercial office and warehousing locations in the Williamsport area is the Water Tower Square at 1000 Commerce Drive, near the foot of Chestnut Street in Williamsport. It occupies the site of the former C.A. Reed Paper Products Company. C.A. Reed Paper Products Company was a flourishing part of Williamsport’s commercial landscape for more than 75 years. John Nittinger uses a machine to [...]

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Andrew Boyd Cummings: Donor of Brandon Park

'A Noble and Generous Act'   For many years thousands of people in the area have enjoyed the peace and beauty of Brandon Park. One man made this possible. A man whose name is now virtually forgotten—Andrew Boyd Cummings. Cummings was born in Williamsport in 1807, the last son of James Cummings, one of Williamsport’s earliest prominent men. James Cumming ran one of the city’s earliest [...]

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Stewards of the Past

Loch Ness, Scotland I thwarted my husband’s vacation plans. Days before he purchased tickets for a Caribbean cruise, I suggested Scotland. In the blink of an eye, I wasted months he spent researching itineraries. Gone were his plans to lounge poolside on the lido deck, dine on all-he-could-eat buffets and enjoy nightly live entertainment aboard a floating mega-mall. He tossed them aside in an instant when I pointed [...]

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Books by Van Auken

  "'Play Ball!' is a delightful walk down the storied history of Little League Baseball. For those of us who played the dreams of your youth, it brings back mighty memories. For those of us reluctant adults who still dream, it's a wonderful reminder of what might have been." —John Grisham Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball by Lance and Robin Van Auken This book charts Little League's [...]

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Burning Socks a Mariner’s Tradition

This week, we’ll burn our socks. It’s a tradition in the maritime community to celebrate Spring, which begins in the Northern Hemisphere on the vernal equinox, March 20, 2012, at 1:14 a.m. EST. So why do we burn socks? Despite the fact that we’re landlocked, we love boats. We also qualify because, until last year, we owned a sailboat. But, more importantly, we love warm weather, bonfires and beer. Yes, beer. [...]

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Canfield Island

Canfield Island overlooks the Susquehanna's West Branch Canfield Island is a recent addition to the Susquehanna shoreline, having been added during the 19th century during Northcentral Pennsylvania's lumber boom. But, before sawyers toiled in the mill, processing logs into lumber, American Indians called the area home. In fact, for the past 4,000 years or so, people have traveled to the river's edge at Canfield, following the seasons as [...]

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The Heritage Trail

Archaeologist James Bressler visits Riverfront Heritage Park named in his honor. A stroll along the James P. Bressler Heritage Trail on Canfield Island is invigorating and educational. It's also tranquil, this quiet spot along the Susquehanna River's West Branch. The trail is part of Loyalsock Township's Riverfront Park and is dedicated to James P. Bressler. A scholar and educator beloved in his community, Bressler carved a niche for [...]

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Lycoming Remembers Muncy Abolition Riot

Arrival of Europeans in Africa, by Nicolas Colibert (1750 - 1806). Engraving after a drawing by Amédée Fréret, Paris, 1795 made to celebrate the first abolition of slavery on 4 February 1794 . By Lou Hunsinger Jr. Williamsport Sun-Gazette The issue of the abolition of slavery excited great passions throughout the United States during the pre-Civil War period. Lycoming County was no exception. This was amply demonstrated in [...]

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10 Ways to Improve Your ‘Likability Quotient’

(NOTE: This is a re-post of a blog article by Kristen Lamb, used with permission by the author.) Suh-weet! A couple weeks ago, I had a post about how to sell fiction. We explored the WHY behind the BUY. The same tools that will sell car insurance or bank accounts won’t work for selling books. Fiction is emotional, and often we will purchase based off [...]

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Writers’ Prompts #WritersPrompts

Writers' Prompts I teach communications and I've discovered that most of my students respond positively to writers' prompts. Sometimes they end in a paragraph or two, sometimes and entire essay. I'll be collecting writers' prompts and posting them here. If you wish, feel free to add some below in the comment area. Also, feel free to share these prompts with other writers. An excellent source of inspiration is [...]

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Junying Kirk

SUPPORTING AUTHORS ONE READ AT A TIME: Junying Kirk, author of "The Same Moon," was born and grew up in the turbulent times of Cultural Revolution. A British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University in 1988, followed by further postgraduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. When she is not traveling to various Courts and Police Stations across the UK as a professional interpreter, she [...]

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Virtual Book Tours

If you’re an author with a book needing promotion, contact us about being a host along your Virtual Book Tour, also known as a Blog Tour. We’re happy to be a part of your marketing efforts as our mission to Support Authors One Read at a Time. In addition to a blog post, we are happy to include your photo, a photo of your book, a YouTube-based video book trailer, [...]

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Interview: Supporting Authors One Read at a Time

Supporting Authors One Read at a Time Robin Van Auken (writing as Madeline Sloane) is the author of Distracted, East of Eaton and West Wind. She discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on the popular Supporting Authors One Read at a Time blog by author Eri Nelson.   Q: Where are you from? A: I live in the highlands of northern Pennsylvania, but I’m close to several [...]

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Hobie Makes Kayaks

Hobie Mirage Kayaks Hobie, a leading catamaran design company, expanded and introduced a line of sit-on-top kayaks, fishing kayaks and float cats. One of its more useful boats for use on local creeks, lakes and rivers is the pedal-driven Hobie Mirage Kayak. A river reputed to be “a mile wide and a foot deep,” Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River’s depth is due to its age. During millions of years of [...]

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I Don’t Wanna Be a Stink Bug

Stink Bug (Pentatomidae Pentatoma Rufipes) I'm a bad influence. The other day, my dear friend dropped by with a cheesecake and said she could only stay for a few minutes. She had promised her "peace rally" friends she would join them and bring dessert. Instead, she sat on the deck with me and my husband for a couple hours, eating cheesecake for dinner and sipping wine while [...]

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School Days

Working with Muncy Historical Society and the students (past and present) of Muncy Jr/Sr High School, historian Robin Van Auken created a 30-minute DVD oral history project that features 35 alumni and current student interviews. Historical Society volunteers and Muncy students collaborated on this important project as one component of the 75th anniversary celebration of Muncy’s High School. Since the release of the DVD, several alumni have passed away, reinforcing [...]

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Pennsylvania’s Forests

Pennsylvania Route 554 Pennsylvania’s forests reflect a history of choices — from peaceful coexistence between humans and the forests to the massive harvesting of the forests in the late 1800s. Pennsylvania’s borders encompass 17 million acres of forestland, almost 4 million acres of which are publicly owned. However, more than 12 million acres are under private ownership. Which of today’s choices will affect Pennsylvania’s forests tomorrow? THE LUMBER [...]

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Lumber Heritage

Woodhicks The Lumber Heritage Region holds a key to the rich heritage of Pennsylvania’s forests–from the struggles of the pioneers to the cut-and-run practices of the early lumber industry to the conservation efforts that led to the managed forests of today. Pennsylvania’s forests reflect a history of choices — from peaceful coexistence between humans and the forests to the massive harvesting of the forests in the late 1800s. [...]

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Mighty Susquehanna

The Susquehanna is a shallow river that flows about 440 miles, from Cooperstown to the Chesapeake Bay. Nearly 200 years ago, canals were used to transport goods and people instead of the river. Canal boats would use the river where it was deeper, or where dams had raised the water level. The Susquehanna, stretching approximately 440 miles from New York to Maryland, is the longest river on the East Coast. [...]

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Shawn Gardner

Shawn Gardner Artisan Shawn Gardner, of Fair Chase Designs, presents on prehistoric technology and Native American art. This is presentation is suitable for people of all ages, including families and school-aged children. Gardner lives in Montoursville, often presents programs to people who visit his teepee on school field trips. He also offers seminars and classes. Gardner specializes in making custom bows, arrows, quivers, antler and bone carvings, and [...]

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Barbara Barnes

Barbara Barnes' art vessels reflect a keen appreciation for nature in shapes and colors. She uses interactive glazes, often firing multiple times until she gets the results that mimic the hues of earth, flora, fire and water combined. She is an avid gardener and often wanders her gardens and woods for inspiration. Barbara Barnes Barnes operates Emerald Falls Pottery. There, she creates her stoneware vessels and teaches wheel-thrown [...]

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Joy McCracken

Joy McCracken Joy McCracken is a spinning and weaving expert. McCracken demonstrates the craft of creating fabric from animal hair to students. One of her specialties is drop spindle spinning, an early technique for making yarn without a spinning wheel. When she heard how the women of Bolivia used drop spindles as they were fetching wood and water for their families, McCracken asked for a basket filled with [...]

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Downsizing

The New Canoe She’s gone. Dan picked “To Blave” up one bitter, cold day in April and headed for Wisconsin. He sent us a note; he and his son finally went sailing after picking up a new battery and repairing the gas tank. Meanwhile, we bought a 14-foot, red Old Town canoe and have been going out to Bald Eagle Lake in Northcentral Pennsylvania. We wanted something simple [...]

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Muncy Historical Society

Muncy Historical Society   Muncy Historical Society and Museum of History, a not-for-profit, all volunteer organization founded in 1936, focuses on preservation and conservation of the rich history and heritage of Muncy and surrounding communities – its people, businesses, education, arts, traditions and folklore – by sponsoring educational programs and activities, through research and publication of our history, and interpretation of the museum’s collection for the community, including [...]

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A Monument to Exodusters

DUNLAP, Kansas -- On a lonely, country road in Dunlap, Kan., a monument to the memory of Exodusters soars. An engraved stainless steel plaque stretches between two pillars of limestone and marks the family farm of a freed slave. Built by Jack Davis, whose family bought the farm more than a century ago, the monument honors the thousands of African Americans who fled the lower Mississippi Valley for Kansas, [...]

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Choosing the Perfect eReader for the Zombie Apocalypse

May 21 came and went and we did not experience the predicted Rapture, but we're still on alert for a Zombie Apocalypse. (See my blog entry "Shoot! It’s Either Judgment Day or a Zombie Apocalypse.") You'll recall that while some Christians kissed their loved ones goodbye and were waiting for Judgment (thank you Family Radio Worldwide for that scare), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was busy handing [...]

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Shoot! It’s Either Judgment Day or a Zombie Apocalypse

Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse Between predictions of the Rapture and the looming threat of a Zombie Apocalypse, now more than ever people need to escape into good books. Hmmm … maybe they need good books as they make their escape, as well. The news this week has been troubling. First we have Fox News reporting on the "end of the world as we know it" because [...]

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Hardwired to Be a Hero

As romance writers, we call the women of our stories "heroines" but do we regard them -- and their journey to love and happiness -- as heroic? We should if we plan on telling a good story, because everyone is a hero and everyone's story is the "heroic journey." Some of us are at the beginning of the journey, some are in the middle, while others are nearing the end. [...]

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Moving On

We sold our Precision 15K, an excellent starter sailboat. Hold on, I have to wipe a tear from my eye. It moved to Wisconsin. A local judge there wants to use it on a lake. We corresponded for a few months and I sent him a little video of “his new boat.” Made it harder to let her go. It came with galvanized Performance tilt trailer, a like-new [...]

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Van Wagner

Van Wagner Since he was a child, Van Wagner has been singing, strumming, rambling, and picking his way through the hills of Pennsylvania. With more than 100 original songs under his belt, and co-production of nine albums, Van has developed a unique style of musical expression. He has performed several times in Europe as well as all over the United States. His style is a [...]

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Mighty Susquehanna

The Susquehanna River is a shallow river that flows about 440 miles, from Cooperstown to the Chesapeake Bay. Nearly 200 years ago, canals were used to transport goods and people instead of the river. Canal boats would use the river where it was deeper, or where dams had raised the water level. The Susquehanna, stretching approximately 440 miles from New York to Maryland, is the longest river on the East [...]

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Revolutionary War Traitor?

Fort Muncy The Revolutionary War era was a bloody and trying one for the early settlers of Lycoming County. One of the most important men of this period was Samuel Wallis, regarded as a hero by many, but also an anti-hero. Wallis was one of early Lycoming County’s largest landholder, owning thousands of acres of land including some of the land that would later become the city of [...]

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The Brady Legend

Conflict between American Indians and white people escalated during the last two decades of the 18th century. War -- both declared and undeclared -- made for "dark and gloomy days," according to historian John F. Meginness in his 1,268-page tome, "History of Lycoming County" (1892).

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Historical Mix-Up

Richard and Miriam Mix, experts on regional history as well as America's past, authored a book, “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport,” which contains colorful postcards and illustrations of pre-World War I Williamsport and the region, and was published by the Lycoming County Genealogical Society just in time for the City of Williamsport's bicentennial in 2006.

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Gov. William Packer

Gov. William Packer Williamsport and Lycoming County have contributed many outstanding men and women to the field of public service during the years at the local, state and federal levels. One of the most distinguished of these was William Fisher Packer, who served as the 14th governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Packer is the only Lycoming County resident ever to serve in that high office according to [...]

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Tunnison Coryell

The life of Tunnison Coryell, one of Lycoming County's and Williamsport's most notable men of accomplishment and finance in the 19th century, spans the period of Williamsport evolving from a sleepy frontier village to a city of diverse great industries. John F. Meginness writes in his "History of Lycoming County," "Tunnison Coryell was closely associated with the progress and development of Lycoming County for more than half a century." Coryell [...]

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West Branch Canal

The transportation of goods, services and people was a rough and inefficient undertaking in the Susquehanna Valley in the early 1800s. This would change with the advent of the West Branch Canal in the 1830s. Colonial and later state officials envisioned the idea of canals as far back as the mid-18th century.

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Daniel Repasz

Repasz Band America's oldest band in continuous existence bears his name, but Daniel Repasz didn't join the group until nine years after it was formed. Historian Mary Russell researches Repasz in a Lycoming County Historical Society Journal article, "Williamsport's Musical Heritage," and so does Jeffrey Dugan in his master's thesis, "The Bands of Williamsport." Dugan was director of the Imperial Teteques Band, and cites from the Repasz Band's [...]

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Sum of Its Parts

In addition to Williamsport, Lycoming County consists of a number of important municipalities. A brief history of each, accompanied by historical photos, follows in the first of two parts. The second installment will be published May 22.

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William Hepburn

If Michael Ross is noted as the founder of Williamsport, William Hepburn can be regarded as the "Father of Lycoming County." He is as firmly a part of the genesis of the county as Ross is of the city. In fact, Ross and Hepburn's lives would become intertwined. Hepburn was born in Donegal, Ireland, in 1753 and came to this country in 1773 or 1774. He lived for a time [...]

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Widow Smith's Walk

While Michael Ross was settling the City of Williamsport, selling parcels of land to frontier families and immigrants, another enterprising resident of the West Branch Valley was being hoodwinked from her home and business. Widow Smith's Walk Catherine Smith, an old woman "of great business tact and energy," had erected gristmills and sawmills on White Deer Creek. According to John F. Meginness' "History of Lycoming County," Smith "was [...]

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A Heroic Duo

Rachel Silverthorn warns the settlers (WPA mural) While Gen. George Washington's Continental Army fought the British, settlers along the Susquehanna River also considered themselves at war with the displaced Indians. Conflicts escalated daily. Rumors of a planned massacre of settlers were taken seriously. In August 1778, the Big Runaway began along the West Branch of the river and settlers fled from their homes with barely the clothes on [...]

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The ‘Great Runaway’

Muncy Farms: Home of Samuel Wallis Samuel Wallis was among the giants of early Lycoming County history -- probably the largest landholder in the area in the last 30 years of the 18th century. According to John F. Meginness' monumental "History of Lycoming County" written in 1892, Wallis was "the most energetic, ambitious, persistent, and untiring land speculator who ever lived in Lycoming County. His energy was marvelous, [...]

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Long Reach

  Coin found at Long Reach Archaeology Dig Historic preservation is an admirable, though difficult, goal to obtain. Preservation works best in communities that have programs managed at the local government level. In 2003, Williamsport's City Council considered an amendment to a zoning ordinance that would result in new historic preservation sections within the city; it also would regulate and protect properties outside the Historic District. The ordinance, [...]

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Rewards for Indian Scalps

During the tumultuous years leading up to the French and Indian War, early settlers in Northcentral Pennsylvania had two choices: They could leave the fertile valleys of the Susquehanna, or take their chances with sporadic Indian raids during which farms were destroyed and entire families would be slaughtered.

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Indians of Susquehanna

Indians of Susquehanna Prehistoric Indians skillfully managed the natural bounty of the Susquehanna River region by living in accordance with the seasons. They hunted, fished, gathered nuts, berries and other wild foods, and they cultivated corn, beans and squash. According to archaeologists, Indians were successful in populating the New World for more than 16,000 years -- perhaps as long as 30,000 years. Indians of Susquehanna: Paleo-Indian Very little [...]

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Lycoming County: Williamsport Firsts

Scott Barn in The Narrows, Lycoming County Williamsport, Pennsylvania is a small metropolis with a dramatic history. Famous throughout the world for its impressive forest products, it once boasted more millionaires per capita than any American city. A hale and hearty pioneer village on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, early settlers found it a wild and romantic region with a thriving Indian population. Covered with an [...]

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Boat No. 2

I admit it -- I've been waffling. There are so many awesome boats available and every time I go to a boat show I fall in love with a new one. Or one that's not suitable for our lifestyle. Lance, however, has not waffled. He's rolled his eyes a few times (a lot of times), and he'll admit he's impressed by the loveliness of the Gozzard, or the practicality [...]

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Writer’s Retreat in the Mountains

I've just returned from a Writers' Retreat in the Shenandoah Mountains. While there, I shared a cabin with Janice (see her in the photo at left), a former newspaper editor who needs to get back to her writing roots. I took this photo of her on the porch of our cabin. It was a six-hour drive to a place that looked -- well, almost exactly like the place I left. Let [...]

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What’s Holding You Back?

What's Holding You Back? Let's say you're a writer and you've been working on a new book. Is it close to being finished? Have you worked with a professional editor to smooth out the rough spots, clean up your grammar and fix the punctuation? What's holding you back from self-publishing it? Just asking because the sales statistics for self-published authors have skyrocketed. According to Amazon, its peak [...]

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Moving On

We have agreed to sell our Precision 15K, an excellent starter sailboat. Hold on, I have to wipe a tear from my eye. It's moving to Wisconsin in the spring. A local judge there wants to use it on a lake. We've been corresponding for the past few months and I sent him a little video of "his new boat." Makes it harder to let her go. It came with [...]

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Birthplace of ‘Grit’

Famous in the 19th century for its lumber products, Williamsport, Pennsylvania is a small mountainous town. Situated on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, its residents enjoyed easy access to virgin forests of hemlock and white pine. It once boasted more millionaires per capita than any American city. Its legacy is Millionaires Row, Victorian-era mansions that line the city's old residential neighborhood. Hands on Heritage: Market Square, Williamsport [...]

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Sunday Grit: A Newspaper Legacy

Sunday Grit Make room on the shelf for another book about local history. Written by author Robin Van Auken and published by Ogden Newspapers, parent company of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, “Sunday Grit: A Newspaper Legacy” is the fourth volume in a limited edition, commemorative series about area newspapers. Richly illustrated, the new 136-page book features nearly 200 images, many never seen before. Van Auken traveled to Grit headquarters [...]

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My History Is America’s

If you've ever wanted to know who you are and where you came from, you're not alone. More than 100 million Americans are looking for their roots, a remarkable explosion in genealogical research inspired, in part, by author Alex Haley who discovered his own "Roots" three decades ago. In fact, family research and genealogy is one of America's favorite leisure-time activities. The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, located at the [...]

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An Affordable Way to Sail

Daysailing, also called dinghy cruising, has been described as "a magical way of exploring new coastlines and experiencing nature at close quarters." You don't have to wait until the bank account is full and until you have plenty of time for sailing to enjoy a daysail in your small boat. Trailerable boats are easy to acquire and inexpensive to maintain. Some have cabins, some are simply large cockpits with a [...]

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Newport in the Winter

Newport, RI NEWPORT, RI – Seagulls surf the bitter wind off Narragansett Bay as a lone lobster boat chugs home. By January, the blue bay in Newport, the “Sailing Capital of the World,” is empty and few people remain in the small coastal town. The lovely 12-meter yachts used in the internationally famous America’s up Race have been stored for the winter, and most of the seasonal residents [...]

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A Sense of Wonder

The spirit of Rachel Carson lives on, instilling in the Earth's human population awareness of its fragile environment and an urgency to protect it from toxins. Although it's been 40 years since the publication of her runaway bestseller, "Silent Spring" (1962), Carson remains one of the greatest nature writers of America and one of America's Top 100 Scientists according to a Time magazine poll. "The beauty of the living world [...]

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Head for Mile Marker Zero

KEY WEST— It is time for the annual migration of snowbirds. Houses are secured, SUVs are packed, and neighbors are waved farewell. Those fortunate enough to have a lifestyle that allows them to trade views of white snow for white sand are heading south. The rest of us are left behind, envious, while these snowbirds (nix avis) head down Interstate 95 to Florida, often staying for several months. [...]

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Snorkeling the Tortugas

DRY TORTUGAS – If you can swim – okay, if you can float – then you can snorkel and the best snorkeling in North America is at Dry Tortugas National Park, nearly 70 miles west of Key West. Its shallow waters have spectacular views and are perfect for beginners and experts. The Dry Tortugas is a cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand. The area [...]

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Don’t Miss the Boat Shows

MIAMI BEACH – The traffic had stalled on Collins Avenue, also known as A1A. Drivers didn’t seem to mind; their eyes were glued on the mega yachts moored in the nearby canal, part of the Miami International Boat Show at the Sea Isle Marina. Sailboats, including luxury multi-hulls, were sequestered a few miles away at Miamarina at Bayside. Smaller powerboat dealers and others in the marine industry vended in [...]

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Too Cold in New England?

ANNAPOLIS, MD – If winter winds on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island aren’t your cup of tea, then consider heading south to the Chesapeake Bay and spend a weekend in historic Annapolis, Md. Founded in 1649, Annapolis once served as the capital of the United States when the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, was signed there. It is Maryland’s capitol city and home of the U.S. [...]

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Visit Annapolis Offseason

The Maryland State House is the oldest in continuous legislative use in the United States.  Visit Annapolis Offseason ANNAPOLIS, MD – If winter winds on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island aren’t your cup of tea, then consider heading south to the Chesapeake Bay and spend a weekend in historic Maryland. Visit Annapolis offseason Founded in 1649, Annapolis once served as the capital of the United States when the Treaty of [...]

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eReaders for Sailors

eBooks are emerging as a true friend of the sailor: they're useful, entertaining and you can have thousands on your virtual bookcase without adding weight or taking up valuable space on your boat. If you don't know much about eBooks, this is a primer. An e-book reader, also called an e-book device or e-reader, is an electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books [...]

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Which eReader Do You Need?

The eReader is emerging as a true friend of the reader: they're useful, entertaining and you can have thousands of eBooks on your virtual bookcase without taking up valuable space. If you don't know much about eReaders, consider this a primer. An eBook reader, also called an eBook device or eReader, is an electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books and periodicals. The [...]

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Knots and Do Nots

There’s value in sailors learning how to properly tie a knot because a bad thing can happen with poorly tied knots: The boat could drift away. A short walk down a long pier on Cayuga Lake revealed an assortment of knot-tying techniques, mostly sloppy and dangerous. Wrapping a line (that’s what sailors call ropes) around and around a cleat until it’s a mass of cordage won’t guarantee that the [...]

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Trailer Sailing in the Northeast

Living in Northcentral Pennsylvania is advantageous for land-locked sailors. In addition to several large lakes and reservoirs nearby, boaters can use the Finger Lakes of New York. Trailering a boat from Williamsport to the Finger Lakes is easier than it sounds. It’s little more than a one-hour drive on U.S. Route 15 from Williamsport to the New York border, and then 45 minutes more to Seneca Lake in Watkins [...]

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Consider Trailer Sailing

Trailer sailing works for powerboats and for sailboats   Living in Northcentral Pennsylvania is advantageous for land-locked sailors. In addition to several large lakes and reservoirs nearby, boaters can use the Finger Lakes of New York. Trailering a boat from Williamsport to the Finger Lakes is easier than it sounds. It’s little more than a one-hour drive on U.S. Route 15 from Williamsport to the New York [...]

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Hobie Makes Kayaking Fun for All

Hobie, a leading catamaran design company, has expanded and introduced a new line of sit-on-top kayaks, fishing kayaks and float cats. An interesting boat for use on local creeks, lakes and the Susquehanna is the pedal-driven Hobie Mirage Kayak. The equinox in March afforded local boaters with the opportunity to burn their socks over an open fire while upending a beer. It’s an Annapolis-born tradition of welcoming spring, and although [...]

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Daysailing

Daysailing can be a solo activity or a sport, such as racing around the bouys Daysailing, also called dinghy cruising, has been described as "a magical way of exploring new coastlines and experiencing nature at close quarters." You don't have to wait until the bank account is full and until you have plenty of time for sailing to enjoy a daysail in your small boat. Trailerable boats [...]

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Swallows & Amazons

Swallows and Amazons: a sailing adventure series for children -- and adults Barbecued Billygoats! You mean you haven't read Swallows and Amazons or any of the other books in the 12-volume series? Technically, we're all supposed to read these books when we're children, but if you haven't don't worry — you'll still enjoy messing about in boats with the crews of the Swallow and the pirates of [...]

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‘Madame’ Montour

New World history is filled with tales of frontier adventure, and here in the Susquehanna Valley, one of the most interesting tales is that of "Madame" Montour and the lost village of Otstonwakin. Her life is sketchy, almost mythic, but historians have confirmed that "Madame" Montour did indeed, lead an adventurous life on the French and Native American frontiers. She was born Isabel Couc, circa 1667 at Three Rivers, (Quebec) Canada, the [...]

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Learn to Sail the Right Way

Learn to Sail Captain Gardner Lloyd of Flagship Sailing We made the decision to learn how to sail and to purchase a sailboat in 2005 so we took Basic Keelboat (BKB 101) sailing lessons with Flagship Sailing in Clearwater, Florida. Captain Gardner Lloyd taught us the fundamentals aboard a Catalina 22. We learned to hoist sails, tack and gybe, practiced MOB drills and docking skills on [...]

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Lycoming Presbyterian: Lycoming County’s oldest church

Lycoming Presbyterian Church The year was 1792, George Washington was unanimously re-elected President of the United States, Thomas Mifflin was serving as the first Governor of Pennsylvania, both the U.S. Post Office and the U.S. Mint were established, there were 15 states in the Union, the most recent being Kentucky, and "The Farmers’ Almanac" was published for the first time. Internationally, France was in the throes of revolution, [...]

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Ray Keyes

Ray Keyes The man who dominated the sports scene in Northcentral Pennsylvania for more than 50 years was neither an athlete nor a sports executive but a sportswriter. That man was Ray Keyes. Although his name was inextricably linked with Williamsport and its environs for more than 50 years, Keyes was actually born in Canandagiua, N.Y. on Nov. 16, 1916. He moved to the Williamsport area with his [...]

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Joe Lockard: Pearl Harbor Hero

Joe Lockard One of the radar operators who vainly tried to warn about the approach of Japanese aircraft during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, died recently at the age of 85. George Elliot of Port Charlotte, Fla., died there Dec. 20. Elliot, along with Williamsport native Joseph Lockard, operated a mobile radar unit at Opana on the northern tip of Oahu on the day [...]

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Trolleys: A Williamsport mass transit staple for 70 years

Williamsport Trolley The most enduring and perhaps best remembered form of mass transit in Williamsport were the trolleys. Their 70-year run is still commemorated today with the running of the Herdic, Weightman and Stotz trolleys. The era of intra-city transportation began with the trolleys or streetcars in the late 1850s and early 1860s. The "Lumber Boom" that started to take off during that time gave rise to wealthy [...]

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Peter Herdic: Industrialist, Entrepreneur, Innovator

Peter Herdic If you wrapped Donald Trump, John D. Rockefeller, H.L. Hunt and Benjamin Franklin all into one man, you’d have Peter Herdic. He looms over Williamsport’s “Lumber Boom Era” like a colossus. Herdic arguably has left a greater imprint on the posterity of Williamsport and Lycoming County than any other man. Born in Fort Plains, New York, on December 14, 1824, he became fatherless twice. In 1837, [...]

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History of Avery $ Drycleaners

In 1926, Leal Raymond Avery and his brother, Harland Wesley "Bake" Avery, were given approximately $5,000 from their mother, Harriet "Hattie," to help start Avery $ Drycleaners in Williamsport, PA. The main plant (present day Bull and the Barrel Tavern on High Street) was built in winter of 1926 and operations began on Feb. 8, 1927. Within a short time, the Avery brothers owned and operated 12 different stores throughout [...]

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The Center: Serving community diversity for more than 85 years

One of the most durable community institutions in the Williamsport area is The Center, formally known as the Bethune-Douglass Community Center at 600 Campbell St. The Bethune-Douglass Community Center was founded on April 7, 1918. It first operated as a branch of the YWCA in a frame house at 429 Walnut St. It was named for two giants of African-American history, Mary McCleod Bethune and Frederick Douglass. By [...]

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Ten Hours or No Sawdust: Sawdust War of 1872

America in the 1870s was rife with labor strife and turbulence. The lumber camps and sawmills of the Williamsport area were no exception. In 1872, Williamsport’s “lumber boom” was in full flower and great fortunes were being made by a select few. Unfortunately, the great wealth did not make its way to the working men who helped to bring this great moneymaking resource to market. The lumber workers [...]

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Daniel Hughes: Giant of Freedom Road

Daniel Hughes The story of the Underground Railroad in Lycoming County contains many heroic and courageous persons but none towers over the story so literally and figuratively, as does Daniel Hughes. The Underground Railroad ran from the American South through the northeastern states to Canada from the 1790s until the Civil War. Lycoming County, because of its strategic location, was one of the most important stops on the [...]

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Spooky Lycoming County

Almost every area has its own ghostly and haunted tales. Lycoming County is no exception. Many of these spooky tales are steeped in local Native American legend and superstition. Even the area of the valley of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River has otherworldly aspects to it. The area once was known as Otzniachson, or area of the "people of the Demon's Den." Count Nikolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf, an [...]

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Schools Through the Years

8-Square School was the first public school in Lycoming County Multi-million dollar physical plants, computer labs, swimming pools, gymnasiums and various bits of audiovisual equipment make a modern day school in Lycoming County a virtual palace of learning, but it wasn’t always this way. The first schools in Lycoming County had the humblest of origins. The first schoolhouse in Lycoming County was built in what is now Moreland [...]

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Allen P. Perley

West Branch National Bank In  past ages the history of a country was the record of wars and conquests; today it is the record of commercial activity, and those whose names are foremost in its annals are the leaders in business circles. The conquests now made are those of mind over matter, not man over man, and the victor is he who can successfully establish, control and [...]

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Lycoming County, Williamsport Firsts

Russell Tavern served as the first courthouse of Lycoming County, PA. According to historians, when founder Michael Ross surveyed the 111 acres that became Williamsport, he could not have imagined that his small community would grow from a one-building village to the county seat of Lycoming. During its first 100 years, the region experienced quite a few "memorable firsts." They include: * The first white man to [...]

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Plain Talk for a Nation

The following is a reprint from Grit: America’s Greatest Family Newspaper Plain Talk for a Nation January 7, 1945 The United States Army has suffered a major setback in Western Europe. This must be admitted, no matter how the terrific battle in Belgium swings from now on. The Germans have achieved a major objective, the disruption of the planned United States drive into the rich Saar coal basin and the [...]

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The Office of the Coroner ~ Then and Now

“In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” ~ Benjamin Franklin   Yes—it is certain. Our days on this earth are numbered. Most of us will live a long, interesting, and fulfilling life. Some of us, unfortunately, will die suddenly, mysteriously, or violently. In those cases, that is the time when the county Coroner comes into the picture.   A Little History Lesson Even before they were known [...]

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Williamsport streets paved with wood at one time

Peter Herdic Today we take for granted smoothly paved streets for our vehicles to safely travel on but it was not always so. For many years, before the advent of asphalt paved streets, streets could be a muddy, rutted horror, particularly in the spring and in the fall.One of the first attempts to change this in Williamsport occurred in the summer of 1868 when Peter Herdic, one of the [...]

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Thomas Cooper: A Remarkable Lycoming Judge

"Knowledge is power. To a nation it is wealth. To individuals it is a virtue."These are the words of arguably the most remarkable man to ever preside over a Lycoming County courtroom. That man was Thomas Cooper. He was a bundle of contradictions. On the one hand he was a brilliant and enlightened man who was comfortable in the fashionable salons of French Revolutionary Paris. On the other hand he [...]

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The Lycoming County Prison: Then and Now

Throughout history, the question of how to punish criminals has been answered quite differently. Throwing the misdeed-doer in jail has not always been the solution. Corporal punishment, forced labor, and social ostracism were methods more often used in medieval Europe, in England and colonial America. But by the 18th century, the first prisons in the independent United States were known as “penitentiaries” to denote their prisoners as religious “penitents,” serving [...]

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Lycoming Hangings a Spectator’s Event

Executions weren't always such a subject of controversy. Individual counties handled the grim task themselves in many cases. Lycoming County was no exception to this but, surprisingly, the first hanging conducted under the auspices of the county judiciary did not occur until 1836 some 41 years after the county was organized in 1795. 'Murder at Muncy Creek' details the Earls murder trial. The lurid story of [...]

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Courthouse Bell Rings Once Again

The original location of Hedderly bell was the first Lycoming County courthouse, which was built in 1804. A bell has begun ringing in downtown Williamsport recently – and it is one that has been silent for some time. The Lycoming County government maintenance department has repaired the bell in the tower at the courthouse by correcting some corrosion issues with the piston that rings the bell. The [...]

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Salladasburg and its founder

One of the most picturesque towns in the western part of Lycoming County is Salladasburg. It also is the home of the noted Cohick's Trading Post, a Lycoming County institution.Captain Jacob Sallade founded Salladasburg in 1837, laying out lots for the town and building Lutheran and Presbyterian churches there. Larry's Creek Bridge Located on Larry's Creek and named for its founder, Salladasburg was incorporated as a borough on Jan. 12, [...]

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Prohibitionism a formidable influence in past area politics

One of the most influential political movements in America and in Lycoming County in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was the Prohibition movement. Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Not Touch Ours, satirical photograph of teetotaller women, still from c. 1890s movie filmed in Edison's Black Maria studio The guiding light for this movement in Lycoming County was a Williamsport dentist named Dr. C.W. Huntington. Much of the information [...]

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Lycoming United Way: more than 80 years of caring

Saturday will be the Lycoming County United Way's annual Day of Caring. It is a day in which volunteers perform various types of needed work at many of the United Way's member agencies' facilities.The Lycoming County United Way has been in the business of caring for more than 80 years, beginning in 1922 as the Community Chest.The origins of what would later become the Lycoming United Way occurred at a [...]

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The Herdic Cab: A variation on a transportation theme

When most people think of Peter Herdic they think of an industrialist, a wheeler-dealer and entrepreneur who had much with the development of Williamsport as a major economic center. Most people don't think of him as a transportation innovator.According to an article in the Fall 1973 edition of the Journal of the Lycoming County Historical Society, in 1878 Herdic invented a form of bus or coach that would later be [...]

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Friends for Freedom in Pennsdale-Muncy

It is no accident that one of the main centers of the Underground Railroad in Lycoming County was the Pennsdale-Muncy area. This was an area in which many members of the Society of Friends or “Quakers” lived. In fact there was, and still is, a Quaker Meeting House there. Members of the Society of Friends were among the most ardent abolitionists and most active conductors of the Underground Railroad. The [...]

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John D. Musser: A Muncy Civil War Hero

The Grand Army of the Republic was an organization of Civil War veterans located in towns and cities throughout the Northern States of the Union. It was the Civil War equivalent of the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars.Muncy had the second largest G.A.R. Post in Lycoming County. These posts were named for various local Civil War heroes. The Muncy post was no exception.It was named for Lieutenant Colonel [...]

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James Pollock: ‘In God We Trust’

When you look at your coins with the inscription “In God We Trust,” know that a former President Judge of the Lycoming County Courts was responsible. That judge’s name was James Pollock, whose career would span a broad canvas of public service.Born in Milton on September 11, 1810, he was educated at the Kirkpatrick Academy in Milton, which was an educational institution that his mother, Sarah Pollock, had helped to [...]

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Fred Plankenhorn

Remember the days of sock hops, school dances and DJs spinning "hot wax"? Fred Plankenhorn does. He was right in the middle of all that and is still keeping memories alive after 46 years. As a teenager Plankenhorn always wanted to be a disc jockey. When he was a sophomore in high school he approached the venerable Ev Rubendall, dean of Williamsport radio at WRAK, about being a disc [...]

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Early railroads in Lycoming County

The arrival of the railroads in Lycoming County came fairly early but it was somewhat tentative.The first railroad in the Williamsport area was the Williamsport and Elmira Railroad, which was incorporated by the Pennsylvania legislature on June 9, 1832. But it would not be until 1839 that the railroad was fully operational.According to an article in the April 1986 edition of "Now and Then," the journal of the Muncy Historical [...]

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When Johnny Went Marching to War

Civil War Soldiers' Monument in Muncy Cemetery. Lycoming County, like other areas across the North, answered President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops to put down the rebellion by the Confederate states with great patriotic fervor. Within 12 days of the Confederates firing on Fort Sumter, Lycoming County mustered three companies consisting of 244 men for service to the Union. Interestingly, the first Civil War-related Lycoming County [...]

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Christmas of 1942

A war was raging across the globe and there were many vacant chairs at dinner tables that Christmas of 1942. They were vacant either through the absence of a loved one serving his country in some far flung place across the world, or sadder yet the chairs may have been made permanently vacant to due death from war action. On the world scene that Christmas the gallant forces of the [...]

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A Renovo Mystery

The following is a reprint from Grit: America’s Greatest Family Newspaper A Renovo Mystery Dec. 15, 1882 A newsboy delivers Grit to a rural customer. RENOVO -- Patrick Shelly, a well known citizen who held the positions of town council, high constable and tax collector, was found dead along the water's edge of the West Branch River opposite Renovo Hotel this afternoon. Blood was found on the snow [...]

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Henry Johnson: The Soldiers’ Suffragist

An obscure state senator from Lycoming County may have played a pivotal role in helping to gain President Abraham Lincoln re-election in the tough election campaign of 1864. That state senator's name was Henry Johnson. Henry Johnson Henry Johnson was born in Newton, New Jersey, on June 12, 1819. He came from a distinguished background. His great-grandfather was Revolutionary War hero, General Daniel Brodhead, who served in [...]

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Charles A. Rubright

There were numerous Lycoming County soldiers held prisoner by the Confederates during the course of the Civil War. Charles A. Rubright is one of the most notable examples. Rubright was born in Prussia on May 14, 1842. He and his family moved to America in 1845, settling in Jarrettsville, Maryland. Rubright's father died in 1850 and his mother re-married to Daniel Dorman and in December of 1856 and they [...]

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Greenwich: Where Time Begins

Royal Navy Hospital, Greenwich GREENWICH, England – This is where East meets West. This also is where Time begins and when the New Year begins, this is where the first clock chimes the midnight hour. Each day at 12:55 p.m., the Greenwich Time Ball atop the Royal Observatory rises half way up its mast signaling the time to ships along the Thames. At 12:58 it rises all [...]

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James H. Perkins: Father of the Susquehanna Boom

One of the most important men of vision and entrepreneurial skill that helped to develop Williamsport and Lycoming County into a major center of commerce was Major James H. Perkins. His foresight and boldness helped to make Williamsport the “Lumber Capital of the World” in the mid- and late-nineteenth century.Perkins was born at South Market, New Hampshire, on March 13, 1803. After learning to work as a millwright and machinist [...]

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Presidential visits to Williamsport

 Williamsport has always been the most important crossroads community of Northcentral Pennsylvania. This strategic position has yielded many visits by important and distinguished personages, among these several U.S. presidents, vice presidents and presidential candidates.Before he became president, the only native Pennsylvania president, James Buchanan is said to have visited Williamsport on several occasions.On May 28, 1892, the 23rd president of United States, Benjamin Harrison, visited here on his way to [...]

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D. Vincent Smith

From the 1890s to the early 1950s, D. Vincent Smith was a familiar sight throughout Northcentral Pennsylvania with his box camera and heavy-duty bicycle, wearing his knickers, sneakers and scoop cap. He left behind a priceless photographic heritage. Smith was born July 24, 1875, in the Nippenose Valley, the son of James W. and Mathilda Homan Smith. He likely learned photography from his father, James, who began taking photographs [...]

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Your Ticket to Rome

ROME, Italy – Despite best intentions to relax and to slowly wander the city and ruins, a visit to Rome is guaranteed to cause anxiety because there is so much to see and so little time to see it all. One of the busiest – and most vibrant – city in the world, Rome defined civilization 2,000 years ago. Today, it’s a breath-taking mixture or new and ancient, [...]

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Tony Smith’s Small Boat

ANNAPOLIS, Md — Tony Smith, designer and builder of the 28-foot Telstar trimaran and the 35-foot Gemini catamaran, has retired and has hit the road — as promised — traveling the countryside with his wife, Sue. The couple are hauling a modified Telstar to the Pacific Northwest, according to an article “Three Hulls on the Road” by Peter Nielsen of Sailing Magazine. Read the article here and watch an interesting [...]

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Finding a Small Boat

To Blave We purchased a Precision 15K in March 2006 after investigating small, trailerable boats that we could tow with our Chrysler Sebring. We can only tow 1,000 pounds, so the boat had to be light. As new sailors, however, the boat also had to be seaworthy. After learning how to sail (read about it here), We began to search for a new trailer sailer in winter, [...]

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Lakes Great for Beginners

The temperature simmered in the mid-90s last Sunday, but it did not deter the sailors from a rendezvous at Rose Valley Lake. As the bass boats trailered out, sailboats took their spot. There seems to be a mutual agreement – sailors do not disturb the fishermen in their early morning forays, and fishermen clear out when the sun zeniths. It was a near-perfect day, sunny with a light [...]

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Small Press Publishers Fill the Niche

  Dedication and faith are the foundations of many small press and independent publishers. By printing primarily what interests them and focusing on authors they trust, this group is growing rapidly. Whereas many major publishers consolidate and lose money on book returns and operating costs, small presses flourish because their books meet high standards for appearance and content, and are handled efficiently and profitably. According to a Publishers Weekly [...]

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Small Publishers in the Making

If you've thought of small publishing houses as recent developments in the print world then you might be surprised to learn that the small publisher has been around for centuries. Some of history's most famous authors and books have the small publisher to thank for their successes. From wall paintings in caves to the home-office printing press, the small publishing house continues to deliver some of the best stories [...]

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The ‘Great Cyclone’ of 1892

This area has had more than its share of significant weather events, the most notable being the various floods that have plagued the valley during the years. But there have been other types of weather events that have been memorable such as severe windstorms. A recent horrific storm was the “Tornado of 1985,” which claimed several lives in the Elimsport area, but there have been others as well. One [...]

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