From Beverley Bittner:
From 1977 to 1979, I co-edited and wrote for the Reminiscence magazine, a popular 12-page publication of local history. I also wrote on history for Steppin’ Out magazine and newspapers.
I found a box of clippings from these writings recently in an unused closet. What fun I had reading those old narratives! I went to bed with visions of brave pioneer women like Harriet Blakeslee and Hannah Wilson. I think I dreamed of Michael Hare, his nimble fingers weaving an intricate bag for grain, telling tales of his war adventures to awestruck boys. I could almost see Colonel William Crawford tied to a stake while fires were ignited around him. I saw in my mind the almost impenetrable forests surveyor George Burges described at Fort LeBouf as “a great wilderness … with Indians hooping and halloing and begging for whisky.”
History is about the people who lived it. These wonderful old stories must be told to every generation. Most of the articles in this book appeared under my by-line in the 1970s. In some instances, I have added information not available to me then.
Dear reader, history isn’t only about the people who live it, after all. It’s about buildings, newspapers, books, well-traveled roads, hard work, dreams – and memories. Enjoy these glimpses back in time. Then put the book aside for your children and grandchildren. History is – timeless.
Corry, PA, 1999
The history from Beverley’s book pertains to the northwest section of Pennsylvania, commonly called “the chimney” by local schoolchildren.
Beverley Bittner (1930–2006) was born in Dunkirk, NY, a daughter of Paul and Doris Blakeslee. She was raised and educated in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania where she graduated from Spartansburg High School in 1948. She moved to Corry, Pennsylvania in 1960, and resided there until 1979 when she moved to Cleveland, Ohio, for several years. She was the Associate Editor for the Union Gospel Press in Cleveland, and was a free-lance writer for various religious publications. She had a special interest in history, wrote about veterans of World War II, and wrote and published a series of five novels about the history of western Pennsylvania and the origins of the local oil industry. She founded the Writer’s Block in 1999 after moving back to Corry and served as a mentor to other writers until her death in 2006.