PA historical markers will honor Scotland School, Little Lithuania

Written by Tim Lambert, WITF Multimedia News Director | Apr 2, 2013 12:11 PM

(Latrobe) -- The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has approved a marker in the western Pennsylvania town where an apprentice pharmacist is credited with inventing the banana split.

The marker, one of a dozen new ones approved today, will be put in Latrobe where the fruit-filled ice cream sundae was invented in 1904 by David E. Stricker. The commission says two other American towns claim credit for the first banana split, but claims that Stricker made the first one about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh are better documented.

In central Pennsylvania, the commission has approved markers for Little Lithuania, USA, in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County and the Scotland School for Veterans' Children in Scotland, Franklin County.

The marker will tout Schuylkill County as having the highest percentage of residents with Lithuanian ancestry in the entire United States and Shenandoah as having the highest percentage within the county. The community works to preserve ethnic heritage through the local Knights of Lithuania. The group administers an active Lithuanian museum and cultural center and sponsor the annual Lithuanian Days celebration. Celebrating 100 years in 2014, Lithuanian Days is one of the longest running consecutive ethnic festivals in the nation. Shenandoah was also the site of one the nation's earliest Lithuanian parishes led by one of the first Lithuanian priests in the United States.

The Scotland School closed in 2009 and the historical marker will recognize it as the last state-run school for veteran's children in the nation. The facility operated for 114 years and consolidated several soldiers' orphan schools from across the state into one residential campus. It provided an education to more than 10,000 Pennsylvania boys and girls.

The commission also approved a marker for Pennepack Baptist Church in Philadelphia, the first permanent Baptist church in Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1688 but the surviving building dates to 1805, and was built upon a foundation set in 1707.

To learn more about the historical marker program, visit Explore PA History

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