New Pennsylvania historical markers approved

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has announced 28 new historical markers.

An independent statewide marker panel made recommendations based on nominations made by historical groups, institutions and individuals.

“We’re proud of our rich social, cultural and industrial heritage,” Executive Director Brent Glass said. “The historical marker program offers an exciting way to connect Pennsylvanians of all ages with our state’s rich heritage.”

Glass noted that more than 1,800 historical markers throughout Pennsylvania form a visual, educational and cultural map to introduce the state’s heritage to travelers.

Approved markers in western Pennsylvania are:



ALLEGHENY COUNTY

* Andy Warhol (1928-87) – Pittsburgh native who was the leading figure in the Pop Art movement of the 1960s. His work satirized America’s obsession with consumerism and celebrity.

* McKees Rocks Indian Mound – The largest Native American burial mound in western Pennsylvania, it contained 33 graves.

It was built by the Adena people between 200 B.C. and 100 A.D.; George Washington visited in 1753.



ERIE COUNTY

* Col. Philip G. Cochran (1910-79) – World War II heroic fighter pilot and tactical innovator from Erie, Cochran inspired a character for the comic strip “Terry and the Pirates”.

* Erie Land Lighthouse – It was the first land-based lighthouse on the Great Lakes. Commissioned by the Congress in 1812, this was the first acknowledgement by the new United States of the importance of maritime trade and navigation on the Great Lakes.

* Otto Maya (1876-1930) – Maya was a champion international bicycle racer during an 1890s bicycle craze that overtook the United States and Europe.

His most notable race was at Madison Square Garden, where he raced against representatives from around the world.



VENANGO COUNTY

Humboldt Works Refinery (1862) – The largest and most scientifically advanced oil refinery in the oil regions of Pennsylvania, the works incorporated the world’s first rotary pumps to convey crude oil through cast iron pipes.

* Jacob J. Vandergrift (1827-99) – Revolutionized the transport of oil first by river, then by rail, and ultimately by pipeline. Vandergrift was a pre-eminent buyer of crude oil in the Oil City area.

For more information on the state historical marker program and how to nominate a person, place or event for a historical marker call 717-787-8823.

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