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Perry County Students Uncover Hometown Secrets - abc27 WHTM

Perry County Students Uncover Hometown Secrets

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  • Shippensburg University Hosts Meet and Greet With a Kick

    Shippensburg University Hosts Meet and Greet With a Kick

    Shippensburg University Hosts Meet and Greet With a Kick

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:31 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:31:46 GMT
    It's certainly a unique way to break the ice between incoming freshmen and the faculty at Shippensburg University. A just for fun soccer match.Or, as PA announcer Stephanie Jirard, a Criminal Justice professor, put it: "The geriatric ward against the new generation!"The game has become a tradition at SU, organized seven years ago by the school's chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.Human Communications Studies Professor Dr. Kara Laskowski, public r...More >>
    It's certainly a unique way to break the ice between incoming freshmen and the faculty at Shippensburg University. A just for fun soccer match.Or, as PA announcer Stephanie Jirard, a Criminal Justice professor, put it: "The geriatric ward against the new generation!"The game has become a tradition at SU, organized seven years ago by the school's chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.Human Communications Studies Professor Dr. Kara Laskowski, public r...More >>
  • Historic Ferry Boat Operation Still Draws Riders

    Historic Ferry Boat Operation Still Draws Riders

    Historic Ferry Boat Operation Still Draws Riders

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:16 AM EDT2014-08-26 13:16:25 GMT
    It's only a one mile journey in distance, but it covers nearly two centuries in time."People come to enjoy the river," said Don Lebo, as he guided another load of vehicles onto the Roaring Bull V. "They come to enjoy the scenery and to enjoy the wildlife."Lebo should know. He's been at the helm of the Roaring Bull V and the Falcon III ferry boats for 25 years.The 20 minute trip across the Susquehanna River dates back to the early 1800's when the Millersburg Ferry system first became official....More >>
    It's only a one mile journey in distance, but it covers nearly two centuries in time."People come to enjoy the river," said Don Lebo, as he guided another load of vehicles onto the Roaring Bull V. "They come to enjoy the scenery and to enjoy the wildlife."Lebo should know. He's been at the helm of the Roaring Bull V and the Falcon III ferry boats for 25 years.The 20 minute trip across the Susquehanna River dates back to the early 1800's when the Millersburg Ferry system first became official....More >>
  • Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

    Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

    Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:59:44 GMT
    For many of her 87 years, Anna Jean Bennett Ditty was told, "You ought to write a book!" So, ten years ago, she did. In fact, she needed three books to cover her life, starting with "The House on the Hill," about growing up with three siblings in a small West Virginia town during the depression, with a hard-working mom and an absentee father.Browsing through her first book, Ditty paused to point out a childhood picture of her baby brother Dickie."He's my baby brother," she said. "My momma alw...More >>
    For many of her 87 years, Anna Jean Bennett Ditty was told, "You ought to write a book!" So, ten years ago, she did. In fact, she needed three books to cover her life, starting with "The House on the Hill," about growing up with three siblings in a small West Virginia town during the depression, with a hard-working mom and an absentee father.Browsing through her first book, Ditty paused to point out a childhood picture of her baby brother Dickie."He's my baby brother," she said. "My momma alw...More >>

For a group of Newport High School students, the historic Landis House in their own hometown was the ideal place to combine natural curiosity with creative talents. It was a chance to utilize research techniques learned in their history classes, along with video training from communications media classes. It was an oral history project in conjunction with the Perry County Council of the Arts.

"This wasn't something you could just Google," said Communications Media student, Emily Kiner. "You actually had to do intense research and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

When the council inherited the Landis property from Mary Landis six years ago, little was known about the home's contents. Most artifacts were brought to Newport from Germany by the Landis family in 1933 as they fled a growing nazi threat. Among the artifacts researched by the students were a Bechstein grand piano, a 500 pound statue of the god Odin, props once used in Wagnerian operas and several mysterious paintings.

"The signature looks really butchered and it's not really clear to know who actually painted it," noted senior Aaron Fisher, pointing to a painting he researched that featured a dog sitting in front of a large box. There are some that think the box is a coffin. But, Fisher's research revealed that box organs were common at the time of this painting.

When the students completed their research, professional videographer Rand, through a PCCA artist in residence program, oversaw production of the their videos. Some of videos included interviews with friends and relatives of the Landis family that were conducted last year by the art council's staff.

Fisher said his fellow researchers are hoping that their efforts are only a beginning in uncovering many untold stories remaining in the Landis House.

"Possibly we've created building blocks, you know, the first steps in more information being found on a lot of these artifacts," he said.

In all, thirteen videos were produced and can be seen on line or captured on smart phones by Landis House visitors.

"This really neat to see all your hard work come together and make a really cool project," added Kiner.

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