These Are The Days…

Steelton, PA: Then and Now

During the Spring of 2001, thirteen Dickinson College students, along with three professors, took part in a community study immersion project called, The American Mosaic.  After taking three classes on-campus in Carlisle, the group began traveling back and forth to Steelton, PA, participating in many events such as walking tours of the town, attending church services, eating in local restaurants, visiting schools, local hang-outs, the Boys and Girls Club, and interviewing many members of the community.

The thirteen students broke up into separate groups that focused on many different aspects of the Steelton community.  Throughout the many oral histories that were recorded, several themes emerged in the interviews.  One of the themes that this web site is based on is the idea of the past and the present; what Steelton used to be, and what is has become.  By highlighting three men and women who experienced Steelton years ago, as well as three students who are currently  growing up in Steelton, we have been able to acquire a greater understanding of what growing up in Steelton is like.  We also collected old photographs of important sites from the past and juxtaposed them with current photographs of the same location.  We would like to give a special thanks to Harold Kerns, Frank Albert, the Penn State Cultural Center’s Archives, and John Yetter’s Steelton, Pennsylvania: Stop-Look-Listen for all of their insight into Steelton’s history and collections of wonderful photographs.  Much of the material displayed here is from those collections.
The Locust Street stairway through the years…

“At the top of the hill there was a beautiful limestone staircase that went five flights up to the next plateau.  When I reached the top of the stairs, I turned around and looked out upon the town.  The sirens and dull roar of the steel mill machinery sank into the backdrop as the people on the quiet streets went about their day.” – Caroline Herter, Reflections of Steelton, First Visit
The doors below are links to sights that highlight the lives of six Steelton residents.  Select the older door to meet three people who reflect on their childhood experiences and where they are today.  Select the new door in order to become acquainted with three members of Steelton’s younger generation who are  growing up in Steelton today.

Picture of a Door


Door in 2001







Steelton: Then and Now Photo Gallery
Reflections on the American Mosaic
American Mosaic Homepage
Dickinson College Homepage
Contact Caroline and Colby