Craighead House is a unique late-Victorian home near Boiling Springs, PA where Frank Craighead, “Scholar of the Everglades,” was born and raised. His daughter, Jean Craighead George, began her writing career at Craighead House. Jean was a Newbery Award-winning author of children’s books about nature, and went on to write over 100 books for children and young adults including My Side of the Mountain, Julie of the Wolves, and Summer of the Falcon.
Jean’s twin brothers, John and Frank Jr., developed their interest in nature and pioneered falconry as a sport in the United States during their summers at the house. Knowledge of, and respect for, nature in Ms. George’s writing were also central themes in the work of her brothers, who were significant contributors to National Geographic magazine and other publications. The twins are credited with saving the Grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park through their research studies, and are also the authors of the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (1968).
Craighead House Committee Corporation (CHCC) is a 501(c)3 organization that was created in 2012 to preserve the deteriorating house and transform it into an educational center on nature, the environment, and local history. CHCC’s mission also includes preserving the unique, professional-quality artwork in the kitchen that was painted by several generations of family and friends.
Programs at the house and other sites such as the Cumberland County Historical Society have been attended by hundreds of adults and children from a multi-state area.
Craighead House has a broad significance: it teaches that local residents have had national impact in the areas of nature and the environment. Craighead House and the family it symbolizes represent what individuals can achieve when they are passionately committed and inspired on a personal level. Craighead House is not just about environmental issues; it is about the ability of each of us to contribute to building a better world.
Local citizens, the PA Historical and Museum Commission, and foundations have contributed to CHCC. Ongoing contributions to CHCC are crucial for accomplishing the renovation of Craighead House and its transformation into a unique center for education in Central Pennsylvania. Please contribute today!