FALL 2009

FALL 2009
Exelon Grant Program
Scenes of Schuylkill River
Heritage Area Art Show
& Sale
Gateway Centers
Trail Updates
Fairs & Festivals
New Arcadia Book
Schuylkill River
of America
A long th e
S ch uy lk ill R ive
S chuy lkill R iveR
ARcAdiA PubliShin
The Schuylkill River Heritage
Area is proud to announce the
release of Along the Schuylkill River,
a book of historic photographs
that tells the story of the
Schuylkill River, the canal and the
communities along it. The book,
published by Arcadia Publishing,
will be released the week of
September 14.
The historic photographs in this soon to
be released Arcadia book were gathered
from various libraries, historical societies
and organizations along the length of
the Schuylkill River.
A long
he Schuylkill River
got its name, meanin
g “hidden river,” from
Dutch settlers who
discovered its mouth
sequestered behind
Delaware River’s League
Island. It later became
when along its banks
a river of revolutions,
Revolutionary War
battles were fought
George Washington’s
army famously camped
at Valley Forge. Later
river helped fuel the
Industrial Revolut
ion with coal from
County shipped to
Philadelphia via the
Schuylkill Canal.
Philadelphia and Readin
g Railroad began here
largest corporation
and grew into the
in the world. The
iron and steel industr
along its waters. The
y flourished
Schuylkill River Desiltin
was the first large-sc
g Project of the 1950s
ale cleanup of its kind
and helped usher in
environmental revoluti
on. The nation’s first
public water supply
developed here, and
its first zoo and univers
ity overlook the river.
Schuylkill River Heritag
staff writer Laura Catalan Area executive director Kurt D. Zwikl
o have compiled photogr
of collections, includin
aphs from dozens
g some of the earliest
images of the river,
effort to tell the rich,
in an
compelling story of
Schuylkill River.
The Images of Americ
a series celebrates
the history of
neighborhoods, towns,
and cities across the
country. Using archiva
photographs, each
title presents the distinct
ive stories from the
that shape the charact
er of the community
today. Arcadia is proud
to play a part in the
preservation of local
heritage, making history
available to all.
ISBn-13 978-0-7385-654
ISBn-10 0-7385-6548-2 8-4
9 780738 56
It was authored by SRHA Executive
Director Kurt Zwikl and Staff Writer
Laura Catalano, who researched
dozens of photograph collections
of historical societies, museums and
private collectors to find the oldest,
rarest and most interesting images of
the river and the region. Included in the
book are some of the earliest photographic
images of the river, some of which have never
before been published.
Highlighting the book are multiple images of
the Schuylkill Navigation System, including old
canal barges, mules, boatmen and locks—all
part of an infrastructure that was once vital
to the region, and of which there are only
scant remains.
Zwikl and Catalano set out to write the Along
the Schuylkill River in an effort to tell the rich,
Laur a Cata lano
and Kurt D. Zwik
compelling story of the Schuylkill River.The
finished product therefore contains images
from virtually every major town and city
along the Schuylkill River, as well as most of
the smaller communities. It includes photos
of numerous “firsts” in America: the first wire
suspension bridge, opening day of America’s
first zoo, the first tunnel in North America
and the country’s first vineyard—to name a
few. It also tells the story of the river’s role
in the Industrial Revolution, with pictures of
iron and steel mills, textile plants and other
factories that give a glimpse into what life
was like across the region from the mid-19th
to the early 20th centuries.
The book will be available after the week
of September 14 from the Schuylkill River
Heritage Area. For a copy, visit us at 140
College Drive, Pottstown, PA 19464, or call
484-945-0200 or order on-line at www.
schuylkillriver.org. Cost is $21.95 and a
portion of the proceeds from each book
benefits the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.
484-945-0200 • FAX: 484-945-0204
Schuylkill River Heritage Area Receives $169,000 from
Exelon Nuclear Grant Program
The Schuylkill River Heritage Area has received
$169,149 from Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick
Generating Station to bolster the Schuylkill
River Watershed Restoration Fund—a fund used
to improve water quality in the river and its
The money has been awarded to two nonprofit agencies for projects that will mitigate
abandoned mine drainage (AMD) and
agricultural pollution. Both projects will benefit
the entire watershed because they reduce the
amount of run-off and pollution that enters
creeks, and ultimately, the river, which is a source
of drinking water for over one million people.
This year’s project awards are:
Berks County Conservancy: Guntz Farm
Agricultural Project - $75,000
This project will implement Agriculture
Best Management Practices on the Guntz
Farm, located at the confluence of the Little
Manatawny and Manatawny Creeks.The Project
will include construction of a concrete manure
storage facility, streambank fencing and cattle
crossings, as well as barnyard stormwater
runoff controls.The Purpose of the project is
to alleviate streambank erosion and to prevent
manure from entering the creeks.
Schuylkill Headwaters Association:
Wheeler Run Project - $100,000
This project will replace the existing Wheeler
Run Flume from the Pine Knot Mine, Schuylkill
County’s largest contributor of abandoned
mine drainage.The existing wooden flume
will be replaced with a large-diameter plastic
corrugated pipe. Large rip rap at the bottom of
the flume will redefine the channel and slow the
water’s velocity.The Purpose of the project is to
keep surface water from entering into the Pine
Knot Mine Pool, thereby reducing non-point
source pollution.
Exelon Nuclear has now contributed more
than $750,000 into the Restoration Fund
over the four years that the program has
been in existence.The annual fund is part of a
demonstration project for what is known as
the water supply program at Exelon Nuclear’s
Limerick Generating Station.That program is
under the purview of the Delaware River Basin
Commission (DRBC).
The Schuylkill River Heritage Area oversees the
fund, distributing money annually to non-profit
organizations and government agencies for
projects that will enhance water quality and
quantity in the Schuylkill River Watershed.
“This program has allowed us to fund several
important projects over the past few years that
have improved the health of the Schuylkill River
Watershed,” said Kurt Zwikl, Executive Director
of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.
Recipients were selected by a committee made
up of representatives from Exelon, the Delaware
River Basin Commission, Philadelphia Water
Department, Environmental Protection Agency,
Department of Environmental Protection,
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and the
Schuylkill River Heritage Area.
“Limerick Generating Station is happy to once
again be a partner with the community and
environmental stewardship is something we take
pride in at Exelon and the station,” said Chris
Mudrick, Limerick Site Vice President. “We are
pleased with the positive impact this program
has on the Schuylkill River and we look forward
to continuing to partner with the Schuylkill River
Heritage Area on this and other projects.”
2009 Scenes of the Schuylkill River Heritage
Area Art Show & Sale Now on Display
This is the fourth year that the Schuylkill River
Heritage Area has sponsored an art show, and
each year the exhibit attracts more artists.This
year, 62 works were juried into the show, up
from 54 last year.
Return of the Shad, Bob Hakun's Scenes of the
Schuylkill River entry that received Best in Show
Every year, the Schuylkill River Heritage Area
sponsors a unique juried exhibit of original
artwork portraying the Schuylkill River region.
This year’s Scenes of the Schuylkill River
Heritage Area features 62 works that celebrate
the beauty of the river corridor while
showcasing the talents of regional artists. It will
run from September 2 through October 23 at
the Montgomery County Community College
(MCCC) West Campus Gallery at 16 West High
St. in Pottstown.
The works all communicate the distinctive
nature of the region, and are of various mediums,
including oil and watercolor paintings, drawings
and photographs.. Pottsgrove Manor, Hopewell
National Historic Site, Daniel Boone Homestead
and the Manayunk Canal are among the many
places represented by the artwork.
The purpose of the art show is to draw
attention to the beauty of the Schuylkill River
region, and to stimulate an interest in and
awareness of the talents of regional artists.
This year’s juror was well-known artist Julie
Longacre, of Bally, who selected three winning
entries, and also presented her own award
to a fourth artist for a notable work. Artist
Bob Hakun, of Royersford, took first place
for his oil entitled “The Return of the Shad,”
a detailed, whimsical painting of a suitcasetoting fish beneath the waters of the Schuylkill.
Second place went to Lori Quinque-Quinn, of
Perkiomenville, for her watercolor, “Dedication
Day of the Perkiomen Trail,” and third place
went to artist LA Mestishen, of Pottsville, for her
pastel “Raccoon Rock.” Earning a special award
from Longacre was photographer Kevin Bennett,
of Philadelphia, for his “Early Morning on the
Longacre said she was impressed by the variety
of mediums represented in the exhibit, as well as
the sense of imagination evident in many of the
Most works are available for sale, and a portion
of all proceeds benefits the Schuylkill River
Heritage Area.
The show is free and open to the public. Gallery
hours are: M-Th. 8 am-9:30 pm, Fri. 8 am-5 pm.
On Saturday October 10 it will be open from
11am to 4 pm during the Schuylkill River Festival.
For more information contact the SRHA at
484-945-0200 or the MCCC Galleries Director
Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349, hcairns@mc3.edu.
Look For the Schuylkill River
Heritage Area on WHYY
A short film about the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area
will be featured on WHYY beginning on September 27.The station has
put together a two- to three-minute video that will air between shows
heavily through October 11, and less regularly for one year. Andrea
Campbell of Natural Light Films produced the short segment for WHYY’s
Experience the Arts and Culture programming, interviewing several SRHA
staff members and highlighting the Schuylkill River Trail, the Heritage Area,
and kayaking on the river.The video is being released in conjunction with
the PBS show “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” a six-part series
directed by Ken Burns. It will also be posted on WHYY.org.
Schuylkill River Trail
On-Road Sign System
Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone cuts the ribbon before the new Gateway
Center along with, (l to r) Schuylkill River Heritage Area Executive Director Kurt Zwikl,
Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell, French Creek State Park Manager
Eric Brown, and Fran Rubert, Recreation and Park Advisor for the Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources Southeast Regional Office.
Ribbons Cut on Two New
Gateway Centers
A ceremony opening the new Gateway Center in the visitors’ center at
French Creek State Park was attended by Chester County Commissioners
Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell, as well as representatives of Senators
John C. Rafferty (44th District) and Andrew Dinniman (19th District).
Another ceremony at the Tuscarora State Park Visitors Center, in Schuylkill
County was attended by Senator David Argall (29th District), State
Representatives Jerry Knowles (124th District) and Neal Goodman (123rd
District), a representative from Congressman Tim Holden’s office (17th
District), PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials
and Schuylkill River Heritage Area Executive Director Kurt Zwikl.
The Schuylkill River Heritage Area Gateway Centers are essentially
information booths intended to enlighten people about the region’s
cultural and historic significance.They contain information about history
and attractions in the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area,
which encompasses sections of Schuylkill, Berks, Montgomery, Chester and
Philadelphia Counties.
River Trail
Both Tuscarora and French Creek State Parks are popular recreation
destinations. But, many visitors to those parks are probably unaware of
all that the surrounding area has to offer.The Gateway Centers provide
a broad picture of the region. Each contains a video kiosk with a short
video about sites and attractions, as well as tourism brochures, and an
illustrated wall map of the Heritage Area that highlights the Schuylkill River
and its major tributaries, historic communities, trails, and national and state
landmarks. A second map outlines sites of interest in the surrounding area.
One of the largest pieces of the Schuylkill
River Trail remaining to be built is the
Reading-to-Hamburg section. Since it will
take many years to acquire the property
and funding to construct that piece, the
Schuylkill River Heritage Area is working
to establish a signed, on-road bike trail
that begins where the Union Canal Trail
ends in Reading and travels through eight
municipalities to the Borough of Hamburg.
The on-road route, measuring roughly
20 miles, is expected to be completed by
Robert Folwell, the Schuylkill River Heritage
Area Trails Project Manager, is working
with eight municipalities to establish an
on-road piece of the Schuylkill River Trail
that will run about 20 miles from Reading to
Once the on-road Reading-to-Hamburg
piece is signed, trail-users will be able
to travel more than 40 miles along the
Schuylkill River Trail from Pottstown to
Hamburg, following the 19-mile Pottstownto-Reading mostly off-road trail and the
new on-road section. On-road systems help
stimulate interest in building off-road trails.
In 2007, a trail alignment feasibility study
was completed for a proposed section
of the SRT that will run between the city
of Reading and Hamburg Borough.The study recommended a proposed
alignment for that section of trail. However, since former railbeds are
not available in this region it will be necessary to assemble, from willing
owners, a patchwork of canal, private, and public properties for later trail
construction. In the interim, the SRHA desires to establish an on-road
bike trail for the central and northern Berks County area between Five
Locks immediately south of Hamburg to the Union Canal trail northwest
of Reading using the proposed Schuylkill River Trail Marker Assembly.The
marker system has been approved and a preferred route was submitted to
PennDOT District 5-0.
Since 2003, the SRHA has installed sixteen Gateway Centers in well-visited
locations across the region. Over the next several years, about nine more
Gateway Centers will be added to selected tourist sites throughout the
Heritage Area. By strategically placing four or five Gateway Centers in
each county, the SRHA hopes to insure that both residents and tourists
gain a greater understanding of the valuable resources of the Heritage Area.
Eventually all state parks in the region will have Schuylkill River Heritage
Area Gateway Centers, except for Locust Lake State Park, which will install
a three-sided sign with information about the Heritage Area.
Get Out and Enjoy!
September is a great month for local fairs and
festivals. Get out and enjoy some of these
interesting events...
mechanical technology exhibits, and Early
American Crafts. Festival is open 10 am to 5 pm,
Shuttle Runs 7 am to 6 pm. For directions and
more information, visit www.haycreek.org
Taste of Hamburg-er Festival
Green Lane Park
winners in many categories, including baked
and canned goods, floral exhibits, farm products
and animals. Home-style food is prepared by 17
area churches. Contests include a Pedal Tractor
Pull, Bale Throwing and Donut Eating. More
information can be found at www.oleyfair.org
10 am-5 pm. A day of fun
for the family celebrating
America’s favorite meat
patty. 21 different booths
will be selling hamburgers,
Some of the day’s contests
and competitions include:
Burger Cook-off, Chili
Cook-off, Human Mooing,
and Burger Eating. A Kid’s
Corner will provide lots of
games and activities. More information is at
September 11-13
Lyons Fiddle Festival
One of the largest Scottish-Irish Festivals in
Eastern Pennsylvania is hosted by the County
of Montgomery Parks
and Heritage Services
Department, at Green
Lane Park. A large variety
of Gaelic sports, events,
music and dance are on
the schedule.There’s
many information booths
featuring clans, dog
rescue organizations, food
and Celtic merchandise. $1 admission fee.
Directions and more information is at
September 20
Downtown Hamburg, PA
September 5
Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles
Duryea Day
September 5
Scottish Irish Festival
This Antique
and Classic Car
Show, Sale and
Flea Market is
celebrating its
44th year. Held
from 9 am-4 pm
in Boyertown’s Community Park, it features
hundreds of cars, trucks and motorcycles.There’s
also food, children’s rides, music and games.
The admission fee is $5/adults, $2/children 6-12,
children under 6 are free. For more information
visit www.boyertownmuseum.org
Bower's Chile Pepper Food
Historic Joanna Furnace
September 17-19
Hay Creek Festival
September 11-13
Experience Early American life at Historic Joanna
Furnace located along Route 10 near Elverson.
Includes a Civil War Encampment, a Juried Home
Craft & Antique Market, Children’s activities,
September 11-12
Two full days devoted to hot peppers in the tiny
village of Bowers. This popular festival includes
vendors and food stands that provide avenues to
sample hot foods, plus several unique contests
– Jalapeño Pepper Eating, Salsa and Chile Pepper
Song.There is a $2 admission fee, parking is free.
Directions and schedule are at
Oley Valley Community Fair
Known for its famous
French fries, this year
marks the Oley Fair’s
63rd year. A true country
fair that is a step back in
time, you can view ribbon
Your membership dollars help us continue to bring positive change to the region. At the
Schuylkill River Heritage Area, everything we do protects the unique historic, recreational and
natural resources that define the Schuylkill River Region. But now we are faced with budget
cutbacks from public and private sources. In order to continue running events like the very
popular Schuylkill River Sojourn; in order to build more miles of the well utilized Schuylkill
River Trail; in order to carry on our many important programs that revitalize communities up
and down the river, we must rely on our members for funding.You can become a member
for as little as $25. A donation to us is a contribution to the betterment of the region and the
preservation of our heritage.
9 am-6 pm in
Lyons Community
Park. A full day of
music, jamming,
and food. Music
includes an open
competition fiddle contest plus featured
entertainment. Iron kettle soups, pig roast (get
there early!), home cooked foods made by local
churches and organizations. Antique tractors,
a Bluegrass Church Service, and impromptu
groups of musicians gathered under the trees
round out this day of heritage and music.
Admission by donation. More information at
Schuylkill Haven Borough Day
September 26
A day of fun for the family in Schuylkill County.
The day begins at 7 am with breakfast and
continues with music, contests, crafts and more
food. Also on the schedule are three round-trip
train excursions provided by the Reading Blue
Mountain & Northern Railroad. Advance tickets
are strongly suggested. Antique and Classic Autos
will be on display at the Liberty Fire Company
parking lot. A shuttle will be available to and
from all events. More information is at
This is just a sampling of the many September
events in the Schuylkill River Heritage Area. Be
sure to check our website for more events.
Support the Schuylkill River
Heritage Area
Join or renew online at www.schuylkillriver.org
The Schuylkill River National & State Heritage
Area is dedicated to assisting communities, and
citizens of the Schuylkill River region to preserve
and sustain their cultural heritage and natural
environment for future generations.
140 College Drive •Pottstown, PA 19464 • 484-945-0200 • fax 484-945-0204 • info@schuylkillriver.org