Explore Dauphin County Heritage

The Dauphin County Commissioners in conjunction with a number of community partners launched efforts in 2015 to celebrate the 230th Anniversary of Dauphin County through an initiative called Explore Dauphin County Heritage. This year long project focused on a number of areas including Heritage Tourism, History through Art, Quilted History and several community programs geared towards educating both Dauphin County residents and tourists visiting our region about our rich deep rooted history.
Heritage Tourism Website
Visit Hershey Harrisburg in conjunction with Dauphin County Parks & Recreation created a new area of their website entitled “Arts, Heritage & Museums”. It focused on those locations within the county that may be of interest to the Heritage Traveler. According to a 2013 Mandala Research Report on Cultural & Traveler Study, Heritage Tourism is on the rise within the United States. Heritage Travelers spend approximately $325 more per trip, travel more frequently than leisure tourists, and stay longer in hotels.
The new addition included:
  • Brief History of Dauphin County
  • Historical Markers located within Dauphin County including the PA Canal, Wilt Chamberlain's Scoring Record, The Millersburg Ferry, Milton S. Hershey and more.
  • National Register locations within Dauphin County including Dauphin County Courthouse, Broad Street Market, Camp Curtin Fire Station, The Harrisburg Cemetery, just to name a few.
Tours of the Dauphin County Courthouse
The Dauphin County Courthouse building is currently the third county courthouse built in Dauphin County. It was designed in 1943 by Harrisburg Architectural Firm Lawrie and Green. The interior artwork was sculpted by C. Paul Jennewein and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in August of 1993. In partnership with the Historic Harrisburg Association, multiple tours of the courthouse were given over the course of the year.

Quilted History of African Americans in Dauphin County

Partnering with the African American Quilters Gathering of Harrisburg and local historian Calobe Jackson, 31 key historical references were quilted into this beautiful quilt.

Some references include:
  • Civil Rights Activist, C. Delores Tucker who was the 1st African American Women to serve as the PA Secretary of State in 1971.
  • Foster Street YMCA Founded in 1925 by Charles Crampton
  • Grand Review of the USCT in 1865
  • Harrisburg Giants Baseball - Black Professional Team in 1927
  • Bethel AME Church established in 1834

The quilt was dedicated in October of 2015. 

Young Artist Alley
In collaboration with local arts organization, Barak Inc., Dauphin County hosted its first ever Young Artist Alley during the 2015 Cultural Fest held on August 7th, 2015 at the corner of Market & Second Streets in Harrisburg. Sidewalks located around the event will be used as a chalk board for county youth as they depict what home means to them.

Heritage Mural Project
The Dauphin County Commissioners in conjunction with Barak Inc. commissioned an artist to create a mural depicting key events in Dauphin County History. The mural was designed with community input. The finished mural is displayed in Millersburg at The Twin Valley Players Colonnade located at 269 Center Street.

For more information about Explore Dauphin County Heritage programs and events, please contact
Michelle McKeown at (717) 599-5188 ext. 2117 or by email at mmckeown@dauphincounty.gov