Category: Folklore

Nit-A-Nee: A Tradition of a Juniata Maiden

This legendary origin story appears in “The Legends of the Nittany Valley,” and is taken from Henry W. Shoemaker’s 1916 “Juniata Memories: Legends Collected in Central Pennsylvania.” Narrated by Ben Novak.

The Legend of Penn’s Cave (Nittany Valley Press Excerpt)

This is the very first Pennsylvania legend published by folklorist Henry W. Shoemaker in 1902. It is the official legend featured at Penn’s Cave, where it is painted on a large sign at the entrance. This legend tells not of the Princess Nittany over whose burial mound (or over whose lover’s burial mound) Nittany Mountain ...

Princess Nittany: The Valley’s Folk Hero

At the end of August 2015, The Nittany Valley Society had an opportunity to participate in the first annual LION (Living In One Neighborhood) Bash. The outdoor festival celebrated the town/gown diversity of our community and aimed to connect the resident and student populations, groups that are often estranged even while living side-by-side. The NVS ...

Happy Valley’s Magical Magnetism

By Chris Buchignani, August 14, 2014 You can already sense it here in the Valley. Before you know it, tens of thousands of students will make their way back to Penn State for another academic year. Soon after, tens of thousands more fans, alumni, and friends will follow them for seven Autumn weekends, many who ...

Why We Keep Returning to Happy Valley (Nittany Valley Press Excerpt)

The following abridged version of the legend of King Wi-Daagh’s spell, originally recounted by Henry W. Shoemaker, appears in full in “The Legends of the Nittany Valley,” a collection of regional folklore published by The Nittany Valley Society. No matter how mystical or supernatural it seems, this legend offers a telling and satisfying explanation for ...

The Origin of the Pennsylvania Groundhog

The Nittany Valley Society’s book “The Legends of the Nittany Valley” presents for the contemporary reader a selection of folk stories first published by Henry Shoemaker in the Altoona Tribune more than a century ago. Candlemas, an American Indian legend first published by Henry Shoemaker in Juniata Memories: Legends Collected in Central Pennsylvania, appeared in print in 1916 and is ...