secthead Resources

Historically Speaking

Introducing Joanna Karomfily, Archives Intern Print Email
Written by Joanna Karomfily, Archives Intern   
October 6, 2016

Written by Joanna Karomfily, Archives Intern

Hello, My name is Joanna Karomfily and I'm a new intern at for the fall semester. I'm still in high school at Hempfield, but finally a senior and happy to be able to spend time in a place where people appreciate history and culture the way I do. I'm very into color guard, Dance Theater, youth group, playing piano, and reading. I'm glad my opportunity to spend a day job shadowing at this organization has led to an experience volunteering that I'm likely to never forget. I've just finished my first project, writing detailed but brief descriptions of letters written from 1850-1854 by David B. Hackman.

Read more: Introducing Joanna Karomfily, Archives Intern
Farmers' Fair Collection: "It Ought to be a Great Fair"! Print Email
Written by Heather Tennies, Director of Archival Services   
August 12, 2016

written by Elizabeth McIlhenney, Archives Volunteer

1913 premium book cover is home to the extensive Farmers' Fair Collection. The collection contains premium lists, fliers, stock certificates, entry blanks, and much more memorabilia from Farmers' Fairs in Lancaster county spanning many years. The earliest premium list being from 1888. In many of the earlier premium lists, there is a written introduction discussing the fair and its importance. 

In the 1888 premium list, in an introductory "To the public" section, the unknown author writes, "with the richest agricultural district in the world (the tobacco crop alone having reached $3,000,000 in one year) it ought to be a great fair." $3,000,000 in 1888 is equivalent to 75,000,000 in 2015, which is quite a hefty sum of money. The fair featured many different exhibitions in 1888, from departments listing premiums for horses, cattle, sheep, and swine to embroidery, painting and decorative art, carriages, agricultural implements, ladies' handiwork, and food items such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. There were also "Grand Special Premiums" listed. For example, in the 1889 premium list, The New Era Publishers offered a contest for the "best loaf of bread made and baked by a farmer's daughter under fifteen years of age," the "best specimen of improved breed of fowls, raised by a farmer's son or daughter under 15 years of age," and other offerings. Many other "Grand Special Premiums" were offered by other companies, such as B.J. McGrann's contest for "$50 in money to a lady of 21 years or under, city or county, writing the best essay on "Corn and its Uses."

Read more: Farmers' Fair Collection: "It Ought to be a Great Fair"!
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Our Blogs

The History Bucket


Because the world is a bucketful of questions.  And someone's gotta answer them

While working with the object collections of we come across many questions.  Visit here to see some of the more unusual stories that we have uncovered.

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Historically Speaking


The staff and volunteers of the Archives Department at never know what they'll find when working on the documents and records in the collections.  Fortunately, when they do discover something noteworthy they are very willing to share!

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Marianne's PhotoBlog


Because pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes they need an interpreter.

You know that cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words? Ok, well, imagine the stories going on in my head after cataloging several hundred photos every single day!

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Wheatland: A Love Story

Who would have guessed that a young lady would fall in love with an old President and his old house?

One Young Lady, One Old House, Two Hundred Years of History

I’m Jennifer Walton, Museum Associate at President James Buchanan's Wheatland, and I love an old President and his old house! Over the past nine years, I’ve learned quite a lot about both, and I would love to share it with you!

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