Pennsylvania – The Keystone State

As perfectly stated on the state’s government page, “Proudly founded by William Penn in 1681 as a place of tolerance and freedom”, Pennsylvania has a rich history of United States independence and American freedom.

As one of the original 13 colonies, the state came to be due to the result of a royal land grant given to William Penn, the son of Pennsylvania’s namesake. The Battle of Gettysburg, General George Washington’s headquarters and Independence Hall are all located or happened in the Quaker State.

Philadelphia

“Philly” is the largest city in the state and by far the most historical. The Declaration of Independence was signed at Independence Hall in 1776. It is home to the biggest symbol of American freedom, the Liberty Bell. Betsy Ross created the first American flag there.

The city is also home to so many firsts in the United States. The first library (Library Company of Philadelphia, est. 1731), first medical school (Penn Med, est. 1765), hospital (Pennsylvania Hospital, est. 1751), stock exchange (Philadelphia Stock Exchange, est. 1790) and the first zoo (Philadelphia Zoo, est. 1874). Philadelphia has 67 National Historic Landmarks and Independence Hall as part of the World Heritage Site.

Philly is known for more than its history too; the city is known for its yummy food. Probably the most popular is the cheesesteaks, a thinly-sliced beefsteak sandwich with melted cheese served in a long hoagie roll. Another popular brand that came out of Philadelphia from the Tasty Baking Company are Tastykake’s. They vary from different flavors of cupcakes, cookie bars, fruit pies and more.

Philadelphia is a good place to be a sports fan since it is one of thirteen cities to have teams in all four major sports leagues; the MLB (Philadelphia Phillies), NFL (Philadelphia Eagles), NHL (Philadelphia Flyers), NBA (Philadelphia 76ers. The teams and their fans thought they were cursed by Billy Penn going 25 years without a championship until the Phillies won the 2008 World Series. The previous championship had been a win from the 76ers in the 1983 NBA Finals.

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Pittsburgh

Also known as “The Steel City” for its 300+ steel- related companies, Pittsburgh has been nominated as one of the “top ten most livable cities in the world” numerous times. After going to one of the 68 colleges or universities, including research leader Carnegie Mellon, you shouldn’t have trouble finding employment between the eight Fortune 500 companies, six of the top 300 U.S. law firms, FedEx regional base, and more.

At the meeting of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, where they form into the Ohio River, is the Point State Park. It is the site for several events during the year, the Venture Outdoors Festival, Three Rivers Arts Festival and Three Rivers Regatta. It is also home to the two oldest buildings in Pittsburgh, Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne.

The city has deep roots in the arts culture dating back to the 19th century. The National Negro Opera Company was the first all African-American opera company in the United States. The Andy Warhol Museum, holding an extensive collection of art from the pop art icon, is the largest museum in North America dedicated to a single artist. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of four Carnegie museums in Pittsburgh, has extensive Egyptian, dinosaur and mineral collections ranking it the fourth ranked natural history museum in the United States.

Pittsburgh has some of the most die-hard sports fans. It was home to the first professional football game and the first World Series (1903). All three major league teams, the NFL Steelers, NHL Penguins, and the MLB Pirates all share the official city colors of black and gold as their team colors. The Pirates are the city’s oldest team, founded in 1881, they play in PNC Park which has been annually ranked as one of the best sports venues.

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Harrisburg

Harrisburg is the state capital of Pennsylvania and sits on the east bank of the Susquehanna River. It’s because of the easy navigation on the river that the city was chosen as the capital.

The city is known for its beauty and history, so it’s no surprise Forbes rated Harrisburg the second-best place to raise a family in 2010. The perfect place to take the kids is just 10 miles east, The Hershey Company, the original chocolate plant built in 1903 and still makes chocolate candies today.

Finished in 1906, the Pennsylvania State Capitol was modeled after St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome. The building was designed by Joseph Miller Hudson in 1902, the central dome rises to a height of 272 feet. Thought it may look small, the gold statue atop the dome is actually 17 ½ feet tall and weighs over 6,000 pounds. The statue is named Commonwealth, after The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Allentown

Allentown’s one most significant historical event is the location of where the Liberty Bell was hidden from the British during the American Revolutionary War. Philadelphia left defenseless and preparing for a British attack, the Liberty Bell was transported by two wagon masters, John Snyder and Heinrich Bartholomew, to the Old Zion Reformed Church and was to be hidden in the basement.

Today, Old Zion Reformed Church, now Zion’s United Church of Christ, is a shrine in the church’s basement to mark the spot where the bell was hidden. The church sits in what is now the center of the city of Allentown.

If you happen to be in Allentown in September, the Great Allentown Fair runs yearly at the Allentown Fairgrounds. The fair has been put on there since 1889 and it one of the oldest fairs in the United States. The fair was started to showcase agricultural advancements and to entertain. It has grown in entertainment and dining options, but it still stays true to its agricultural side with petting zoos, farmer’s market and livestock judging contests.

Along with most of the cities in Pennsylvania, Allentown has its own arts and culture. The Allentown Art Museum was founded in 1934 with over 13,000 works of art. Allentown Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1951 and is home to a 1200-seat Miller Symphony Hall. The orchestra is the smallest in the world to have its own hall. “Bringing science to life and lives to science”, the Da Vinci Science Center’s slogan, has been open since 1992.

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It’s Great, But…

There are tons of reasons to move to Pennsylvania; low cost of living, great education, New York City, but there are also some downfalls you need to know about.

Working in New York City and DC but taking advantage of the low cost of living in Pennsylvania is a traffic disaster waiting to happen, many commuters block up the roadways daily. While you are in the big city you may want to stop and pick up alcohol for that party this weekend, Pennsylvania prohibited the purchase of alcohol at gas stations or privately-owned stores, only beer and wine are available.

Finally, the cost of living is low, however the property taxes make up for some of that. The property taxes vary and can range from as low as 0.96% up to 2.5%, and if you have children in school the K-12 primary funding can get expensive too.

Services

No matter where you are in Pennsylvania there are companies to take care of you.

Pike County Light & Power

Headquartered out of Milford, Pennsylvania, PCLP is a regulated electric and gas utility company. A subsidiary of Corning Natural Gas Holding Corporation, they provide 4,700 electric customers and 1,200 natural gas customers within Pike County, PA. PCLP is a company who strives to follow the code of ethics and build on core values.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp

Cabot Oil & Gas is an independent oil and gas company exclusive to the United States. Continuing to refine its operating focus to the Marcellus Shale in northeastern Pennsylvania, the company plans to drill, complete and put into production 80 to 85 wells.

Since the inception of their horizontal drilling program in 2008, the company has drilled approximately 650 net horizontal wells in 10 years.

Dish Network

Dish NetworkMany Spanish-speaking residents are happy that DishLATINO has the best of Spanish and English language programming year-round.

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Conclusion

Pennsylvania is the state of “firsts”. The Keystone State had the first baseball stadium in 1909, the first automobile station in 1913, and the first to become home to the first computer in 1946.

The state is rich in historical sites, events, and architecture. Pittsburgh alone has over 300 sets of city-maintained steps that, if stacked together, would reach over 26,000 feet high. Pittsburgh, “City of Bridges”, has more bridges than any other city in the world at 446 bridges. The Rockville Bridge in Harrisburg is the longest stone arch bridge in the world.