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Photo of the Month
March 2022
See Previous Photos     Unknown Faces and Places


Cousin Mark D. Ware, an 8th-generation descendant of Somerset County (PA) pioneers, today serves as director of the Historical & Genealogical Society of Somerset County, in association with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Society is the steward of the rich cultural heritage of the county through its impressive historical collections, educational programs and genealogical archives. Each year, it holds the popular, three-day "Mountain Craft Days" living history event to showcase more than 100 craft artisans, musicians, and entertainers who demonstrate forgotten rural folkways of the past.

Mark is an offspring of the Daniel Foster and Amanda Margaret "Maggie" (Foust) Sarver branch. This line further traces back to Revolutionary War veteran Johann "Jacob" Gaumer and his bride Maria"Catharina" Sowash who settled in Somerset County in the 1790s or early 1800s. He graciously has contributed valuable images and content about his family for the Foust-Sarver biography on this website.

Writes Mark:

My museum career started at the age of 12 when I went on the Appalachian Wagon Train. It led to the newly opened Somerset Historical Center where I met Betty Haupt who lured me to be a teenage guide. From there, it turned into a career.  After getting my bachelor of arts in history from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, I became a museum educator II for the Pennsylvania  Historical and Museum Commission at sites in Somerset and Drake Well Museum in Titusville, PA. I signed on as executive director for the Somerset facility when it became a PHMC "partnered site." The Society at that point had begun to run the day-to-day operations at Somerset, and I thought it would only be a year or two to get things running smoothly. It has now been over 10 years. I am most proud of keeping the Somerset County traditions of coopering, flax processing/ spinning, and splint hickory brush making after learning the techniques from actual local artisans years ago, keeping an unbroken chain of apprenticing ongoing within the county.


Copyright 2022 Mark A. Miner