As some Pennsylvania residents may know, the state of Pennsylvania has proposed drastic cuts in funding for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), and the possible permanent closure of a number of state museums and historic sites, including a number here in Western Pennsylvania. You can read more about the impact on historic sites in our region here (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 23 March 2009). Many other historic sites that receive a large portion of their operating budgets from PHMC grants may also be forced to close.
Thankfully, the Stone House is not subject to these same pressures, but the greater historical resources of Pennsylvania will suffer greatly if these proposals are implemented. Obviously in a budget crisis, difficult choices have to be made, but many lawmakers and state officials need to be made aware of the valuable contribution museums make to society. Please contact your state legislators and advocate for the importance of museums and historic sites as both key parts of the economy and an invaluable form of education. An organization called “Save Fort Pitt Now” has a good guide to contact info and guidelines on their website.