Originally published in 1928 by The Telegraph Press as "A History of the Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania with Numerous Historical Notes and References."
This book, Dr. George P. Donehoo’s "Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania", was written and published in the early 20th century. That was a time when Americans were just beginning to become enthusiastic fans of much that was, or seemed to be, related to Native Americans. That was a time when Americans romanticized about the people who lived here before the Europeans and others arrived. During the time that Dr. Donehoo was creating this informative book, Americans couldn’t get enough of the popularized images of Indians. Books, paintings, songs and movies delivered exciting images of Native American life.
"Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania" is a valuable reference book for anyone, student or other, who wants to learn more about the land’s inhabitants before it ever became “Penn’s Woods.” Although first published in 1928, it was reprinted in 1977. Now it is being reprinted again. The need for this reprint comes from Dr. Donehoo’s translations of the hundreds of Native American names that appear across the commonwealth. We must accept a sorry fact: Pennsylvania’s Native American population is almost totally gone from the commonwealth. In addition, the main things that they left behind might be their countless arrowheads and their hundreds of Native American place names. While not all citizens of the Keystone State are interested in our state’s Indian heritage, all should be aware of it.
The author, Dr. George P. Donehoo, was a scholar who studied many aspects of Native American culture. At the time that he was studying and writing, there had been very little archaeology to support his work; yet Dr. Donehoo was able to explain much about the Native Americans’ several languages, their sweeping historical events and the many important historical sources on which he based his information. Above all, "Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania" explains the meanings of hundreds of Indian names–from Achsinning (Standing Stone) to Zinachson (Demon’s Den) that still appear throughout our commonwealth. Although most Native Americans and their culture have vanished from Pennsylvania, their colorful place names are a permanent reminder of their once-vibrant presence. Because Dr. George P. Donehoo was so diligent and conscientious in his work, this book explains those fascinating names. For the many readers who do appreciate our Native American heritage, this book will continue to be a welcome addition to their libraries. The reader will soon realize why "Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania" is a marvelous reference work.