Sunday, September 17, 2017

John Mathers -Photographer of the Early Oil Region

Cherry Run, Taken in 1864

A Passion for a New Art

Much of the world’s first oil boom was captured in the photography of one John A. Mather, an English immigrant whose love for his art allowed such a vivid picture of Crawford County’s history to be preserved. Though Mather did not travel to the US to pursue photography initially, he was enthralled by the prospects of the budding practice when he met a traveling daguerreotypist. This early photography was a dangerous art, with corrosive and hazardous chemicals needed to develop even a single photograph. But such is the burden of the artist, and Mr. Mathers bore the potential dangers of his trade well.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The 150th Pennsylvania

The colors of the 150th, on display at the state capitol

The year is 1862. The War of the Southern Rebellion has flooded field after field with blood and the dead. Though volunteers had already been sent from western Pennsylvania, being largely absorbed into the Erie Regiment, they were not the last. President Lincoln had, in May of the previous year, called for additional volunteers to be mustered and organized by their various state governments. One such regiment was the 150th Pennsylvania. The regiment itself was made up of men from across Pennsylvania, but companies C, H, I, and K all hailed from Crawford County. Their commanding officer, Henry S. Huidekoper was also from Crawford County. Though new, this regiment would serve with distinction in some of the most difficult battles of the last years of the war.