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By the Way

By the Way: Fierce land dispute did Col. Erwin in

June 9, 1791. A single gunshot. A man fell to the floor in a frontier cabin in New York. He was Col. Arthur Erwin, probably killed by a Wild Yankee after serving in Bucks County’s Militia and surviving the Revolutionary War.

By the Way: Washington through others’ eyes

Jeff Finegan and I share a family name and a love of history but we are not related. He does, however, have a longstanding literary relationship with George Washington. He’s the author of the “I …

By the Way: Cast in the Durham Furnace

The Durham Historical Society now has a 5.6-pound cannonball with an interesting provenance. The cannonball was found “beneath the lowest floor of the Old Durham Furnace.” Described as “solid …

By the Way: Mother's Day

Mother’s Day used to be about breakfast in bed. Today, it’s more like coffee to go. We’re constantly on the move. The other day I watched four political candidates airing their views on …

By the Way: Donations in lieu of a retirement party

Her Penn Community Bank business card read Susan Matthias, Riegelsville Branch Manager, but for the people of that …

By the Way: Exotic animals abroad in Bucks

The pandemic has delivered darkness to us and now an arrogant, obsessed little man too full of himself has set off a firestorm in Ukraine – killing, maiming, destroying. But green shoots are …

By the Way: A Latvian American’s view of Ukraine

A Haycock Township executive who worked on corporate business ventures in Moscow in the 1980s and 1990s has special insight into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He both knows and understands the …

By the way: Picking up the ball

Chris Cunnane always liked to go outside and practice hitting a baseball. He had a net cage and a bucket of balls. What he didn’t like to do was pick up the balls. “It’s a waste of …

By the Way: Old newspaper tells the way it was

Astronomical prices. Sticker shock? If you’re like me at all, you’re experiencing shock and awe in the grocery aisles. Right now, it’s almost terrifying. Everything seems to cost …

A globe-trotting singer/songwriter who lives on a Springfield Township farm is helping children around the world to celebrate the medical professionals who have set aside their own lives to battle …

By the Way: The weather station on Springtown Hill

Before television, when Virginia Derbyshire was a child, she liked to play a game she called “radio” with her little sister. She’d crawl into an orange crate and do an imaginary …

By the Way: The star of Bethlehem

The light of Bethlehem’s Christmas star high on South Mountain doesn’t quite reach Upper Bucks but it can be seen for more than 20 miles north of the city. It’s become an icon for …

By the Way: Henry Mercer speaks

A love of tools—especially antique devices used to build this country—provides the common link between Henry Chapman Mercer and Jamison Bradley. Bradley, a cabinet maker and actor who …

By the Way: A delightful evening at a small zoo

I had tickets to go to the Winter Light Spectacular at the Lehigh Valley Zoo on opening weekend and it was just my luck to have the temperature drop to the 30s for the first time since last year.

Celebrated beauty, unlucky at love

Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, born nearly 300 years ago – 1739, to be exact – was a celebrated beauty blessed with an impressive intellect, but she was unlucky at love – very …

The day the coffeemaker died

I’ll never forget the Sunday morning my coffeemaker died. It was in December 2015. Coffee is my Number One essential wake-up mechanism. Its scent, its flavor, its wonder. It’s my comfort …

Precious mill put back in shape

The Durham Grist Mill has had a partial facelift and was almost ready to show itself off to the public Saturday, but the continuing pandemic has put a stop to the special event. It was to have …

This scholarship promotes fashion

Marty Staff was a colorful, much loved and cherished titan in the fashion industry, a business that is as much about illusion as it is fabric and thread. He once said, “As a child, people told …

An elegy that continues

Todd Stone has done what great artists have done over the centuries – simply looked out their windows over the city and painted what they saw. What he has seen recently is the rebirth of a …

The ironmaster of Durham

George Taylor rode horseback from his Durham home to Philadelphia in the summer of 1776 to sign the Declaration of Independence. A member of the Continental Congress, he was ironmaster at the Durham …

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