Browse Exhibits (2 total)

Harrisburg's City Beautiful Movement and Mary Sachs

Paul Beers claims, "Mary Sachs was the city's savviest and most civilized entrepreneur," (2012). Sachs was a Jewish woman who never married. Instead, she developed a life of humble service. First and foremost, she was a business woman. Mary Sachs created a beautiful and fashionable shop across from Capitol Park on Third Street. Mary Sachs put a lot of work into her store. Unfortunately, it burned down. However, she was able to get back up and build a stunning new building. Plus, the architecture of the shop was clean and pleasing to look at.  Sachs’ work brought beautiful clothing and design to the city of Harrisburg. This ultimately helped to make the city more beautiful as whole.

Sachs' business life was much like her civil life.  She made advancements such as building a boy scouts camp for all races to come together. She also also helped Harrisburg hospitals and the Harrisburg academy. She brought beauty and life into Harrisburg through her store and kind charity. She is a true reflection of the City Beautiful movement because she helped lift Harrisburg in status and beauty to rank of Paris or London. 

While Mary Sachs might not be considered a “reformer” to the City Beautiful Movement, she was a woman who loved her home in Harrisburg and contributed a lot to making it a nice and beautiful place to live and that is all the City Beautiful movement was about anyway.

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The Kipona Festival and City Beautiful

One of the essential parts to Harrisburg is the Kipona Fest every Labor Day weekend. Few know how it began. In 1916, the Kipona Club, an organization of boatsmen, decided to put on some outdoor events for the local people to showcase the river culture of the city. Their president was Edward James Stackpole, editor and publisher of The Harrisburg Telegraph. The weekend included baseball games, boat races, and parades. It continued until 1921. The Kipona Club then worked for three months to revive their festival in 1936 for it to return that Labor Day weekend.

The festival was an effect of the City Beautiful movement, trying to build revenue and pride in the citizens of Harrisburg. The Kipona Club emphasizes the history of Harrisburg as a city that mainly exists because of the Susquehanna. Kipona makes Harrisburg a more attractive city to visitors and its own citizens. It helps to demonstrate the true beauty of the capital city of Pennsylvania.

            I have split this exhibit into three sections: The Purpose of Kipona, the Events of Kipona, and the Revival. They contain newspapers as well as documents from the Kipona Club. I hope to explain the importance of this festival that still brings patrons to Harrisburg today.

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