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Local History

The Badge of a Freemason – A Wilkes-Barre Masonic Apron

One of the most well-known Masonic symbols is the apron.  Freemasonry is a fraternal organization for men that teaches a system of ethics using symbols, rituals and ideas drawn from stonemasons’ regulations, Enlightenment philosophy and Judeo-Christian teachings.  The exact origins of Freemasonry are unknown.  At some point during the 1500s or 1600s in Scotland and…

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Threads of History – Swetland Family Samplers

In 1842, The Hand-Book of Needlework by Miss Lambert explained that “no feminine art affords greater scope for the display of taste and ingenuity than that of needlework.  The endless variety of form which it assumes…each in their turn serving as graceful occupations for the young, and an inexhaustible source of amusement for those in…

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Frances Dorrance and the Indian Survey – A Crusader for Local History

Rather archaically named, the Indian Survey was the first statewide archaeological survey in Pennsylvania, and was only made possible through the hard work of Frances Dorrance (1877-1973), the Luzerne County Historical Society’s first executive director.  In 1922, Christopher Wren, the corresponding secretary and librarian for the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society (WHGS) (now known as…

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Wilkes-Barre’s Comic Book Grail – Joe Palooka #1

What’s your favorite hobby? Does it have any insider jargon? Most hobbies do. Comic book collecting is no different; its most common bit of jargon may be “grail.” Collectors will often ask each other, “What’s your grail?” Or an excited collector will exclaim, “I finally found my grail!” In comic book terms, a grail is…

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Did You Know that Wilkes-Barre Had a Palm House?

Shortly after I started as Executive Director of LCHS, I came across an image of Wilkes-Barre’s “palm house.”  I was fascinated. “How cool!,” I thought, “What were the circumstances for that, and what happened to it?” However, as I started to look around in order to learn more, it was a bit more challenging than…

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Will You “Capitulate” to Reading Our Blog?

Welcome! This is the first post in our LCHS blog! We plan to post regularly and to focus on our amazing collection of objects, documents and published materials that relate to the people, places and events in Luzerne County’s fascinating history. We hope that you will read our posts, ask questions, make comments and come…

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